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Question: I have an allergic reaction to makeup…what can I do about it?

Answer: Sensitive skin makes looking for the right makeup products more difficult, though not impossible.

Knowing exactly what you are allergic to in your makeup will aid you greatly on your quest to find the perfect products for your skin. However, a professional allergen test isn’t always a practical expense. You can test yourself at home by paying close attention to the ingredients listed in each product and applying a small amount to a test area on your face (think your cheek or neck) to determine whether or not that product will give you an allergic reaction. Take advantage of trying products on in-store, and be sure to ask questions about the ingredients.

While everyone’s skin is different, common ingredients to avoid include: fragrances, oil, alcohol, retinoids, Menthol, Menthoxypropanediol, Menthyl Acetate, Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate, Sodium lauryl sulfate, and TEA-lauryl sulfate. A more detailed list can be found here. This is why testing your skin to determine what will be irritating to your skin is so important. Many products are laden with preservatives, fragrances, alcohols, and unregulated synthetic materials.

With sensitive skin, it is also crucial to have a skin care routine that you stick to. Remove your makeup at the end of everyday, wash your face, and moisturize daily for best results. We recommend Aveeno Ultra-Calm Makeup Removing Wipes, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser,  First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and Murad Sensitive Skin Smoothing Serum.

As for the best products for sensitive skin, your best bet is to stick to companies who are invested in making quality products and are adamant about testing their products for allergic reactions. Such companies include: Almay, Clinique, La Rouche-Posay, Aveeno, Simple Skin Care, and Physicians Formula.

Here are a few product suggestions:

– Smart Shade Perfect and Correct Primer from Almay

– Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

– The Bombshell Collection Blush from Physicians Formula

– Pur Minerals Perfect Fit Eye Shadow Trios

– Eyes Right Mascara by Lush

Keep in mind that even products marked “for sensitive skin” or “hypoallergenic” won’t necessarily be the best products for you and your skin. Try samples until you find the best combination — and then stick with it. Good luck!