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Judicious Use of Cosmetics in Daily Life

Written by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Feb 13, 2017 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  4 min read



Use of cosmetics is very common in day-to-day life. So, basic knowledge about the ingredients and the types of reactions to those products are necessary to overcome any problem.

Judicious Use of Cosmetics in Daily Life

Cosmetics are largely used for beautifying or promoting attractiveness and altered appearance. But, these products are not intended to alter or interfere with normal physiology of human skin or body. Reactions to cosmetic ingredients is common nowadays, out of which contact dermatitis is very common. Most of the cosmetic products do not initially cause a reaction, but on subsequent exposure due to the sensitization cause allergic response.

The cosmetics industry has always been prosperous. Hair dye, cosmetic cream for different purpose, lipstick, nail polish, epilators, antiperspirant, pre and aftershaves are now used frequently. Relative to its wide usage, cosmetic products have rarely been associated with serious adverse reactions. But, it does not mean that cosmetics are always safe to use.

Cosmetic dermatitis predominantly affect females, probably due to their frequent use of cosmetics. Common cosmetic dermatitis due to the use of various cosmetics products are,

  1. Allergic contact dermatitis.
  2. Contact urticaria.
  3. Pigmentary changes.
  4. Lichenoid eruptions.
  5. Nail changes.
  6. Hair changes.
  7. Acneiform eruptions.

1) Allergic Contact Dermatitis:

It is the most common adverse reaction to cosmetics. The most common site is eyelid. In this, the sufferer will present with redness and scaling of the affected areas. This adverse reaction occurs due to hair dye, eye makeup like kajal, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow and eyebrow pencil due to various sensitizers in them like paraben, phenylmercuric acetate, etc.

2) Contact Urticaria:

In this, individual presents with multiple hives and flare response to topically applied cosmetics. It is basically due to various ingredients of cosmetics like Balsam of Peru, acetic acid, paraben and cinnamic acid.

3) Pigmentary Changes:

Hyperpigmentation of face also called as Riehl melanosis occurs due to the use of various fragrance ingredients containing cosmetics like benzyl salicylate, sandalwood oil and jasmine absolute.

4) Lichenoid Eruptions:

Lichen planus, itchy purple color raised eruptions like lesions on the face and neck may occur due to hair dye ingredients paraphenylenediamine (PPD).

5) Nail Changes:

Onycholysis (separation of the nail plate from the nail bed ), nail destruction and nail discoloration may be caused by nail cosmetics such as nail polish and nail polish remover.

6) Hair Changes:

Hair breakage is more common due to improper use of hair straighteners or hair damage may take place due to the oxidation type of dye or bleaches.

7) Acneiform Eruptions:

Various cosmetic ingredients like Lanolin and its derivatives, detergents and dyes are known to cause acne like lesions.

Test Patch Before Cosmetic Use:

How to Choose Cosmetics for Different Types of Skin?

There are a variety of cosmetics available in the market with lots of attractive levels and fragrance claiming lots of things that are liable to confuse a normal person who has no knowledge of personal care products. First of all, the caretaker must know the type of his or her own skin, whether it is normal, dry, oily or combination.

Products like moisturizer and foundation are chosen according to his or her skin type like, for dry to normal skin oil based formulations required and for oily skin, water based formulations are required. The cost of the product or the manufacturing company should not guide the purchase since very often cheaper products may give equal or better results.

While selecting cosmetics the result should be evaluated under natural light and not the bright artificial light. If a sample of the product is available, then they should be checked first in a small area to see for any irritant or allergic reaction.

Certain Myths Regarding Cosmetic Products Are as Follows:

If you develop any reactions to cosmetics products, then immediately wash the face. If you feel excessive burning, stinging or redness, then you can apply ice packs to the affected areas and apply topical steroids like Hydrocortisone over the face and Mometasone over the neck and other body parts. Visit your dermatologist or general practitioner as soon as possible.

Always remember that makeup is for beautifying and promoting attractiveness to a certain extent only. This article is not discouraging the use of cosmetics, but it should be used judiciously, in minimal quantity and should be used after doing a test patch of cosmetic products.

Any doubts in choosing your cosmetics? Consult a cosmetologist online -->


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Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  4 min read


Dr. Suvash Sahu

Dr. Suvash Sahu


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