Could I be allergic to makeup?

Signs of Makeup Allergies

If your makeup is leaving you red and itchy -- whether it's a longtime favorite product or one you've just tried for the first time -- you may have makeup allergies. Common signs of skin allergies or irritation due to makeup are rashes, red bumps, itching, dry patches, blisters and pain [source: Mayo Clinic].

Those who have reactions to cosmetics and other skin-care products normally are suffering from one of two conditions. The first, irritant contact dermatitis, happens when the skin reacts to a substance, leaving itchy patches or a red rash. This irritation of the skin is more common than an actual allergic reaction and can happen to anyone. Especially with harsh substances, irritant contact dermatitis can appear after using a product only once [source: Mayo Clinic]. The second reaction, allergic contact dermatitis, is more severe, and is a true allergy to an ingredient in a product you use. You can develop swelling, itching and hive-like breakouts [source: MedicineNet]. Once a true allergy has developed, it remains for life; even having a small amount of the substance on your skin can cause a major reaction [source: Mayo Clinic].

Mild reactions can be treated by avoiding the product that caused them, but for more serious cases that linger and interfere with daily life, or appear to be infected, seek medical attention.

If you have experienced makeup allergies, you need to use extra caution when purchasing cosmetics. For tips on how to do this, continue to the next page.