Even if you’ve used cosmetics for years without problems, one or more ingredients can still trigger an allergic reaction. Your body may build up sensitivities to these ingredients, causing your immune system to overreact. It can help to observe these common-sense rules.
1. Wash your hands and your face before applying make-up as a matter of course.
2. Never use anyone else’s cosmetics. Sharing cosmetics means sharing germs, whether the make-up belongs to your best friend or is a tester on a store shelf for anyone to use.
3. Don’t apply eye make-up if you have an infection such as conjunctivitis. Toss out all products you were using at the time.
4. Throw away old cosmetics. Every time you open a bottle of foundation, airborne microorganisms have an opportunity to rush in. Most cosmetics have enough preservatives to kill off the bugs for about one year.
5. Test new cosmetics. If you tend to have allergic reactions to cosmetics, ask for free samples before buying. Products labelled ‘allergy-tested’, ‘dermatologist-tested’, ‘nonirritating’, or ‘hypoallergenic’ are not guaranteed to help you avoid an allergic reaction.
6. Apply eye make-up with care. Use mascara only on the outer two-thirds of the lashes – do not start at the roots. Never apply eyeliner to the inner eyelid margins. Contact lens wearers should avoid frosted eye shadow. The iridescent particles can get in the eyes, attach themselves to the lens and scratch the cornea.
7. Don’t be misled by the word ‘natural’. Just because an ingredient is natural is no guarantee you won’t have an allergic reaction to it.