Cosmetics are widespread, and basic knowledge about the ingredients and the type of reactions to those products are necessary to overcome any problem.
Cosmetics are largely used for beautifying or promoting attractiveness and altered appearance. But, these products are not intended to alter or interfere with the normal physiology of human skin or body. Most cosmetic products do not initially cause a reaction, but subsequent sensitization causes an allergic response. Reactions to cosmetic ingredients are common nowadays, out of which contact dermatitis is very common.
The cosmetics industry has always been prosperous. Hair dye, cosmetic cream for a 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 affects 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:
It is the most common adverse reaction to cosmetics. The most common site is the 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 mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and eyebrow pencil due to various sensitizers in them like paraben phenylmercuric acetate, etc.
2) Contact Urticaria:
In this, the individual presents with multiple hives and flare responses 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 the face, also called 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.
For this, you just put a small quantity of cosmetic product behind your ear and do not wash it off for two days. If you do not have any signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, burning, or redness at the test spot, then it means that this product is safe for your skin.
Please remember to always wash your face after removing makeup once your task is over or before going to sleep. It is important to wash your face with a cleanser to avoid traces left to clog pores or do other damage overnight.
There are a variety of cosmetics available in the market with lots of attractive levels and fragrances 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 in combination.
Products like moisturizer and foundation are chosen according to his or her skin type. For dry to normal skin, oil-based formulations are 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 cheaper products may often give equal or better results.
While selecting cosmetics, the result should be evaluated under natural light and not 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:
Household cosmetics are harmless - Household products can also irritate or be sensitive to the skin or have comedogenic potential. So, it should be used with care.
Skin creams and moisturizers with vitamin A, E, and other plant extracts prevent aging and skin wrinkling. Most of these substances are absorbed topically, hence carrying no added advantage over a plain moisturizer is needed.
Face cleaning with milk and the use of facial packs are more effective ways to clean the deep pores. But, in reality, soaps are equally effective for facial cleaning as compared to others mentioned earlier.
Soaps or shampoos that produce more lather on the application have better cleansing actions. The lather production depends on the addition of foam booster to soaps or shampoos, while cleansing depends on the presence of a detergent ingredient in soaps and shampoos.
Medicated soaps are better cleansing agents and good for skin disease. In reality, the normal flora acts as a defense against harmful bacteria and prevents their growth over the skin surface.
Application of eyeliner improves eyesight and eyelash growth. Eyeliner contains carbon, and it is used for the cosmetic purpose of enhancing eye appeal. It serves no beneficial action, and it can cause contact dermatitis and other eye problems.
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. Remember that makeup is for beautifying and promoting attractiveness only to a certain extent. This article is not discouraging the use of cosmetics, but it should be used judiciously, in minimal quantities, and should be used after doing a test patch of cosmetic products.
Last reviewed at:
14 Mar 2022 - 4 min read
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