Sensitive skin sucks. Nothing’s worse than having a night on the town wearing a bomb make up look, only to wake up the next day with an itchy, rashy face. A lot of makeup on the shelves today make it seem like they’re going to your best option – they all read ‘hypoallergenic’ or ‘dermatologist tested’. Unfortunately, these terms are loosely regulated and can be pretty much slapped on anything (literally, anything). To get to the nitty-gritty of what’s going to break you out, you’re going to have to look a little closer at the fine print. As in, reading the science-y ingredients that you can’t understand.
The good news? Well, we’ve found some starting points for you. Here's an intro guide to hypoallergenic make-up.
Products containing nuts often get overlooked by allergen-safe makeup brands. In fact, they'll often recommend products where the key ingredient is a nut oil, like almond or macadamia (known for their moisturising benefits). If you need to keep away from the nuts, check out Young Blood Mineral Cosmetics. They offer vegan, gluten-free, lead-free, alcohol-free, chemical dye-free, mineral oil-free and nut-free products. Phew. If you want to shine bright like Rihanna, pick up their Illuminator with Diamond (!!) Powder
Do you want to zero-in on the vegan options? Luckily, there’s quite a few kicking around nowadays. Here's a good example: Priceline favourite brand, Australis. It's 100% Australian owned (tick), 100% cruelty-free (double tick) and makes over 100 completely vegan products. Our pick is the Stayput 16hr Foundation. We've done the hard yards, and it totally does what it claims.
If you didn't know latex was in makeup, watch out. Eyelash glue, make up sponges and other products can all contain this sneaky ingredient. Lucky for you lot, latex-free products are generally well specified. You can pick up the Duo Individual Lash Adhesive Clear Latex Free from you nearest Mecca store.
Just All 'Round Sensitive
If you suffer from contact dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, acne, psoriasis or any other skin condition that is easily provoked, you're gonna need to be careful around make-up. You want to look for things that are fragrance-free and dye-free. Other risky ingredients include essential oils. Even if these are organic, you can still face a reaction (yep, this isn’t going to be easy). Keep an eye peeled also for bismuth oxychloride – this is a favourite for mineral cosmetics but is widely considered to irritate sensitive skin types. The crystalline structure of it can get ‘stuck’ and scratch your pores. Bleurgh.
Finding suitable products will take a bit of fiddling around, but a few to start off with are Hurraw’s Coconut Lip Balm (organic, vegan, raw, delicious smelling) or Australian brand Inka’s Long Lash Vegan Mascara. Eyes are the without a doubt the worst place to have a reaction. Blinking becomes hard. Give love to your lashes, people.
As always, if in doubt make sure you chat to your GP or dermatologist. Allergies and sensitive skin conditions are pretty common, and they'll have a good idea where to start.
Image credit: Ian Dooley