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Only 3 Things you MUST know to avoid cosmetic allergy

Three most common causes are Fragrance, Preservatives and PPD Hair Dye for deadly allergy. Consequently following steps you must take to reducing cosmetic allergy before or after using a product:

  • Must read the list of ingredients on all cosmetic products and identify the names of the allergens these ingredients can cause in general
  • Do a mini patch test on your inner wrist or elbow and wait for at least 24 hours to see if a reaction occurs, then fully use that product
  • As knowing all ingredient is not feasible so choose products that don’t have a long list of ingredients to minimize the potential allergens
  • Apply perfume to your clothes rather than your skin, and allow the perfume to dry before putting on the clothes
  • Search for products that are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. still, be aware that these may still cause allergy reactions.

If a reaction is due to an allergy to an ingredient that was documented by patch testing, then it is very important to avoid that particular ingredient by carefully perusing the cosmetic labels. Sometimes this can be challenging because certain additives in beauty products may have a number of brand names. Although the immediate allergic reaction to the chemical will resolve within a few weeks, the propensity to react on re-exposure always exists.

Almost any product that has water must have some preservatives. The most common are parabens, imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, phenoxyethanol, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and formaldehyde. All have been linked to skin allergies.

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Paraphenylene Diamine PPD Hair Dye

  • Used widely in permanent hair dyes because it gives a natural look.
  • Reactions may be mild and involve dermatitis to the upper eyelids or rims of the ears, or may be more severe with swelling of the scalp and face.
  • New derivatives of PPD have a lower risk of causing allergy

The manufacturers of cosmetics claiming to be hypoallergenic were to be responsible for carrying out the required tests. But this regulation was subsequently declared invalid by U.S. courts, leaving manufacturers free to apply the term as they wish, without any required testing to prove that a product is hypoallergenic.



  • More than 3000 unlike fragrances used in cosmetics and skin care products
  • Present in most types of cosmetics including perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, facial cosmetics, and deodorants
  • The most common cause of contact dermatitis from cosmetics
  • 70-80% of fragrance allergy can be picked up by patch testing with Fragrance Mix and Balsam of Peru
  • Cosmetic labeled “unscented” does not mean “fragrance-free” as some unscented products may contain a fragrance to mask another chemical odour. Products should be labeled “fragrance-free” or “without perfume” to indicate no fragrances have been used.

There may be a stinging sensation soon after the offending cosmetic is applied, or the reaction can be delayed for a day or two. Less commonly, reactions may appear as blackheads, folliculitis, hives, and darkened skin.

 allergic reaction to eye makeup symptoms 342


  • Cosmetics that contain water have a preservative in them to prevent bacterial or fungal growth

o             Parabens – used in many facial cosmetics and skin care products

o             Formaldehyde – mainly found in shampoos

o             Imidazolidinyl urea – said to be less allergenic than other preservatives

o             Quaternium-15 – another commonly used preservative found in facial cosmetics and skin care products

o             Isothiazolinone and, especially, methylisothiazolinone

At least these three things, you must consider – Fragrance, Preservatives and PPD Hair Dye. Avoid using Hair Dye and use natural product as Mehendi (Hinaa), Reetha, Shikakaii etc. Similarly use herbal fragrances such as Ark or Itra of flowers made by homely natural process on flowers. Now basic makeup products, please read ingredients and search names given above to avoid any potential allergy.


About Author

MIFT ( Mysore Institute of Fashion Technology) students, trainee and scholars study and research about fashion, makeup, forecasting, e commerce, disruptive technologies in fashion & cosmetics industry. The primary research objective is to create open industry modular ecosystem platform for fashion designers and makeup artists to work and earn in hyper personal and local market using IR 4 and 5 ( industrial revolution) technologies to disrupt connected digitalization of mass production. 


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