Ever try a new moisturizer only to end up with red, itchy skin instead of the promised dewy glow? No matter how great a beauty product may seem, reactions or contact dermatitis can happen. If you’ve experienced a bad skin reaction, you’re not alone. Studies show that one in three people have allergy symptoms like contact dermatitis. Genuinely natural personal care and cosmetics brand Human Nature has come up with five allergy facts all beauty junkies need to know.
Fact 1: Contact dermatitis have two categories: irritant and allergic. When a product causes immediate harm to the skin barrier, irritation can happen on the surface of the skin. Skin irritations are characterized by any of the following: burning sensation, redness, flaking and itchiness. Meanwhile, allergic reactions build up over a long period of time and are the immune system’s response to substances that are attacking the body, called pathogens.
Some face cleansers may deliver a slight tingling sensation. However, certain chemicals inside products can be too strong for delicate skin types, resulting in a painful burning sensation. If your face care routine results in stinging and redness, you need to switch to milder products.
Fact 2: Skin irritations can be triggered by common cosmetic ingredients like fragrances, preservatives (parabens) and detergents. Human Nature reminds beauty lovers to read the label carefully and check for potential allergens. According to a study conducted by Amersham Hospital in the United Kingdom, 23 percent of women and 13.8 percent of men reported an adverse reaction to a personal care product over the course of a year. “Allergic reactions are triggered by allergens. Some people can be allergic to natural ingredients like lavender while some can be allergic to chemical ingredients. That’s why it’s important to check product labels closely before using anything new on your skin,” emphasizes Rushelle Aguirre, Human Nature’s research and testing head.
Fact 3: The dry flakes on your hair and scalp could be caused by your shampoo. Most synthetic shampoos use sulfates as lathering agents. Sulfates are harsh detergents that can dry out the scalp and cause it to itch and flake. When flakes appear, most people will reach for anti-dandruff shampoo, which usually has antimicrobial agents like selenium sulfide that can further dry out and irritate the scalp. Jojoba oil also works as great skin soother: use a drop on your face to nourish dry or soothe irritated skin. Plus, jojoba oil contains wax esters similar to skin’s natural sebum — the oily, waxy substance that the skin produces. When used on the face, jojoba oil helps prevent the overproduction of sebum, making it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin.
Fact 4: Air pollution can make your skin more prone to irritation. Regular exposure to air pollutants (a.k.a your daily commute) can lead to inflammatory or allergic skin conditions. As such, it’s not surprising that skin irritation is more common among residents of urban areas like Metro Manila.
Fact 5: A patch test could save your life. “If there is an allergic reaction and the cause is not known, it is best to see a doctor to determine what the cause of the allergy is,” explains Aguirre. She adds that if in doubt, finding going to a dermatologist for a patch test is advisable. Those with sensitive skin are also advised to test a product on a small area of skin for 24 hours or more before using on the whole face or body.
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