How to Shop for Beauty if You Have Allergy-Prone or Sensitive Skin

If you have allergy-prone and/or sensitive skin, here are some must-read tips to help you snag beauty products that’ll leave you radiant, not with a red, bumpy reaction. From certification logos to allergy-friendly product lists, to no-good ingredients to watch for, these tips will help put more safety into spoiling yourself when shopping for your next pretty purchase.

Certification Logos
After scanning the label for ingredients you are allergic or sensitive to, also look for Allergy UK’s Seal of Approval on your beauty products. Ones that are certified allergy friendly are scientifically tested to verify they have less allergens/chemicals in them. But everyone, especially allergy-prone and sensitive skin sufferers, should always patch test their beauty products first, as allergies to certain ingredients can sometimes start at anytime. Here are some certified allergy-friendly beauty products: allergyuk.org.

A Few Ingredients to Watch For
Fragrances and parfums: Most allergy-prone or sensitive skin sufferers know to stay away from them but did you also know you should stay away from fragranced plant extracts, too? Usually written in Latin binomial (the first word will be capitalised (genus) and the second word in lowercase (species), such as Lavandula angustifolia ), fragranced plant extracts may cause allergic reactions.* So, make sure to look for extracts, such as lavender, tea tree oil, etc., on your beauty products, if you are sensitive to fragrances.* Note: a lot of natural and organic beauty products use fragranced plant extracts so sensitive skin and allergy-prone sufferers should be careful when buying these and any products.

PPD (para-phenylen-diamine) in hair dye: is a chemical that fixes colour, found in 98% of hair colours and causes 80% of allergic reactions from darker shades. Thus, allergy-prone and sensitive skin sufferers should check the label for this ingredient. For other ingredients allergy-prone and sensitive skin sufferers should look for natural or any hair dye, click here.

Preservatives: are needed to kill bacteria and keep beauty products lasting within their shelf life. However, some preservatives can cause allergic reactions, such as imidazolidinyl urea, quaternium 15, methylisothiazolinone, etc.*

Remember, the easiest way to prevent a nasty flare-up or reaction and weeks of suffering, especially if you have sensitive skin or are allergy prone, is to patch test!

Sources:
*’Allergy to Cosmetics.’ Allergy UK. Web. March 2012. www.allergyuk.org/skin-allergy/allergy-to-cosmetics

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Christina, editor of Evolving Beauty

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