What do you wear when you can’t wear anything? Makeup allergy or cosmetic sensitivity can ruin your existence for a while. Sometimes your face gets hyper-reactive to all cosmetics. What do you do when you have to go out in public and your face will not cooperate ? I have had this happen several times to all or part of my face, and I may be able to help with a few tips and tweaks. A part of my face – in this case my lips – has sometimes been all that reacted. Other times my entire face rebelled. Not sure if it’s allergies or why my face has issues.
I have a sensitivity to fragrances that makes it prudent for me to use low or no fragrance products for my face and sometimes for my entire body. I’ll outline the strategy I use when this occurs and how you can find what works for your situation.
When I was in college my lips became reactive to lipsticks and I defaulted back to no fragrance lipsticks. In my case the low amount of fragrance in Cover Girl lipsticks were enough of a change to allow me to continue wearing them after a few weeks of rest/no lipstick at all. So how did it work ?
I wore nothing. Then after a week or so I wore only Vaseline Original (Petroleum Jelly – pure with no additives). Be sure to look for original formula Vaseline or petroleum jellly, as the Yellow #5 Lake they put in some of the formulations and the cocoa butter and other forms can be allergens or triggers for fragrance.
Then I was able to add in a tiny bit of lipstick over top of the base of petroleum jelly. Eventually after a couple of months I resumed wearing lipsticks. I kept the base of Vaseline and found low fragrance lipsticks like Cover Girl – Continuous Color in a range of colors. Formulas change for lipsticks, though CoverGirl has remained remarkably consistent. Recently they changed their formulas and I can’t wear them as well in full reactive mode as I could previously.
How I Cope Now With Cosmetic Allergy
How about now ? When this happens, as it still does occasionally, I revert back to only petroleum jelly, adding in a bit of judicious pure color in the form of pencil style lip liners. Be sure to look for the pencil form and to read the label to be sure there is no fragrance or other irritant. I find the hard wooden pencils have a purer form of color in them.
As it gets better, I can add in lipsticks. I look for pure forms, like Pixel or other natural ingredients brands. Pixel brand is a gloss balm combination and can be worn alone or over a base as I do. It’s oils are Mango butter, grape seed oil and Vitamin E. I am not affiliated with them at all – just a fan. One thing that I like is that the names of the lip butters are things like Appreciative (this one) and Gorgeous.
I can’t look for just natural cosmetics. In my case, it needs to be low or no fragrance, so they must have colors or pure pigments, no fragrance, and natural oils, preferably pure olive or grapeseed oil. I still wear these over a base. At the worst times I’ll use a bit of oil – grapeseed or olive. After a few weeks I graduate to natural lip balm or petroleum jelly and then back to normal low fragrance lip choices over a base.
Sometimes you can find a brand with a fragrance or mix you don’t react to. When this happens, it’s good to get a couple extra lipsticks etc. if they work for you. Sometimes brands change their formulas and they may not be the same later on. Don’t buy too far ahead because oils in lip products go rancid over time and allergies or sensitivities are changeable and what works now may not later.
Makeup allergy – it doesn’t have to ruin your life, but it’s a good idea to be prepared and have a strategy for getting beyond the first super sensitive stage and down the road to wellness.
I have strategies for eyes, cheeks, moisturizers and blush coming up in this series. So why does this reaction or allergy happen and what can be done to prevent it ? I’ll tell more of my story soon.