Makeup for Sensitive Skin
It can be quite a daunting task to look for makeup for sensitive skin. There are too many such ingredients in cosmetics that flare reactions in individuals sensitive to them. This is an essential guide to help you design your dressing table such that you step out looking your best, and feeling your best.
Try to buy organic mineral makeup if you can. Since these are free from the majority of harmful ingredients, they are perfect for most types of sensitive skin. Brands like Bare Escentuals are a favourite among women who battle with skin sensitivity. Others like MAC and Estee Lauder also have their range of quality mineral makeup for you to choose from.
1. Recognize the Problem-Makers
And maintain a safe distance from them. If you have ever suffered an unpleasant allergic reaction to a certain product, note down the list of its ingredients.
With time, you shall notice repeat reactions of other products having three or four same ingredients and be able to narrow down possible irritants. Once you know what causes the problem, you can avoid it next time you’re shopping for cosmetics.
2. Conduct a patch test
Whenever you buy or are gifted a new product, don’t wait till a party comes up to try it for the first time. Do a patch test by applying a minimal amount to a discreet area such as the inner wrist, behind the ear or elbow. Note the effects that may occur within 24 hours. If your skin shows no signs of irritation, you know you can use this safely.
3. Check labels
Better safe than sorry. Now that you are saddled with sensitive skin, you might as well work hard to protect it. Inspect labels for words such as “hypoallergenic” and “fragrance-free”.
Hypoallergenic products may have been specifically designed keeping sensitive skin in mind and eliminating known offenders from the ingredient list. But don’t allow yourself to depend completely on this claim, since the term is subject to company interpretation. Cosmetic companies are not liable to prove the efficacy of their ‘hypoallergenic’ products. This term is not under any regulatory standards imposed by the FDA or boards for cosmetic quality control. However, most reputed companies that make such a claim are brands that believe in building trust in their customers. One can hope that they do put in certain efforts to test their products for harmful ingredients.
Fragrance-free products are devoid of added perfumes and scents which cause irritation in many people.
4. Dump your Old Stuff
Don’t cling to your old loves. Once the expiry date is crossed, toss them into the bin. Sensitive skin cannot afford to milk the last remains of a hot favourite product after its ‘best before’ date has arrived. We know you may be extremely attached to a certain shade of blush or love the staying power of a beloved eyeliner. But you would benefit more from ditching it one month before expiry, let alone using it after. Toxins in cosmetics tend to cause worse irritations and flare-ups after their time is served.
Sometimes, climate and storage conditions may cause certain products to die before their time. If you see any kind of discoloration, weird odours or change in the consistency in any of your cosmetics, it’s a good idea to bid it farewell.
5. Stick to Black
Be wary of colour. It is widely recommended by dermatologists that you use black eyeliners and mascaras, as they have the least potential irritants, as opposed to fancy colours. Prefer eye pencils to liquid liners, which have latex – a likely irritant.
6. Powder over Liquid
Powder cosmetics contain lesser of the offensive ingredients than the liquid variants do. If you must use liquid foundation, choose a silicone-based one, which is safer for sensitive skin.
7. Waterproof is NOT Dangerproof
Waterproof cosmetics contain more stubborn and harsh ingredients that do not get removed easily. They require a profuse amount of makeup remover, which contains solvents that lift away the skin’s natural oils. These oils are a protective barrier against harmful ingredients and should be allowed to remain intact.
8. Less is More
We know you’re a makeup geek, but don’t slather a hundred different products on your poor skin. That way, if you have a reaction, you won’t even know which one’s the culprit.
Also, products that consist of ten or less ingredients would help you minimize your chances of dangerous encounters with possible irritating ingredients. It’s simple mathematics.
9. Stay Clean, Stay Beautiful
Good hygiene is vital for sensitive skin. Learn to sanitize your makeup products and use them in a hygienic manner. Wash your hands and cleanse your face before using makeup. Keep your brushes, lash curlers, etc, clean and sanitize them regularly.
We’re all prone to bouts of sisterly affection for those that share our love for makeup. But this should not mean that you express your generosity by sharing your makeup products with others. That’s a stupid and sure way of spreading germs and your skin will not thank you for it.
10. Use Professional Guidance
With a little caution, it should be easy to avoid skin trouble. However, if you do have a specific condition or if you have a sudden adverse reaction, ask your dermatologist or a skincare professional to help overcome it and pinpoint the particular allergen.
Special Tips for Rosacea & Eczema
Rosacea, also known as “adult” acne, is often seen in middle-aged women. It is marked by the appearance of pronounced blood vessels, redness, pimples and lesions.
• To camouflage the red marks without aggravating the condition, apply green-tinted moisturizer, primer or concealer before using foundation or powder.
• A survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society reveals that “alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus oil” are ingredients that cause reactions in rosacea sufferers. Check labels for these ingredients before buying something new.
Eczema is the appearance of dry frequent skin rash, with redness, skin edema, itching, crusting, burning, cracking or oozing.
• People with eczema sometimes apply a heavy layer of foundation to cover redness. But this will only worsen uneven skin texture and dryness. Instead, apply a small quantity of green base on red patches of skin before applying your foundation, as advised in the case of rosacea.
• Skin around the eyes is oversensitive if you have eczema. Avoid lanolin containing products as these cause swelling around the eyes in eczema patients.
• Buy makeup that is labelled ‘hypoallergenic’ and ‘non-comedogenic’ and has ten or less ingredients. Avoid the complex formulas of anti-aging creams, face-lifting, contouring, oil-reducing products.
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