You apply makeup to give yourself the appearance of a healthy, clear complexion. But the very products used to improve your look can cause rashes, redness and itching among some people. People experiencing such problems may be having an allergic reaction to the makeup they use each day. Put simply, an allergy is when your body overreacts to a substance that does not affect most people. Allergies to ingredients in makeup are not uncommon and can make it difficult to find a product that will work for you.
Allergies to makeup can occur the first time you use a product, or they can develop over time, so don't discount your favorite foundation as the source of your skin problems [source: FDA]. If you have itching, redness, swelling or a rash in the area where you've applied makeup, it may be because you are allergic to it. To find out if the source of the problem is the product you have used, a dermatologist can perform allergy tests on your skin.
Continually using a product that is irritating to your skin can cause even more problems. You can develop contact dermatitis, a skin condition that can also be caused by soap, skin cleanser, deodorant, jewelry and other items that come in constant contact with your skin. Contact dermatitis causes a red rash, bumps and blisters in severe cases [source: Mayo Clinic].
If you discover that you have an allergy to a certain makeup, it may be difficult to know exactly which ingredient is causing your reaction. Unfortunately, the best way to figure this out may be trial and error.
What causes an allergic reaction depends on each individual. To find out more about what can trigger allergies to makeup ingredients, keep reading.