HELP! I suddenly developed an allergy to all of my makeup products! Topical allergies are annoying, uncomfortable, and inconvenient! Because of them, I am no longer able to use the products I loved. I noticed these issues after using my new beloved BH Cosmetics and NYX palettes, only for the third time each…
From then on, whenever I put makeup on, my eyes would get tingly and start to sting and get itchy… Then they would swell! Even taking the makeup off right away didn’t prevent the horrors that came next. I would get conjunctivitis in the eye(s) I used makeup on (inflammation and swelling of the eye that turned into bacterial or viral infections) and then a couple days later, I’d get skin flaking on my cheek beneath the affected eye, very clearly contact dermatitis! Even worse, I had to go through a period where this contact dermatitis turned into impetigo! The doctors I saw didn’t even know what it was (since they weren’t specialists), so I had to self-diagnose and suggest it as a possible cause for the infected sores on my cheek. Luckily, the Fucidin cream I was prescribed worked like a charm and got rid of these issues… But NEVER AGAIN!
After jumping through all those hoops (and months of suffering), I decided I would completely stay away from makeup, at least until I could figure out with a dermatologist what the issues were.
Unfortunately, once I saw the dermatologist, she said the only recommendation she had for me was to test the products on my skin and see what causes a reaction — that was exactly what I wanted to avoid. Instead, what I decided to do was take a look at all the ingredients in the palettes I used and see which ones they all had in common.
The biggest ingredient that they all had in common was talc! I took a look at my other makeup products and noticed it was a common ingredient in so many items I owned! I decided to sell, give away, and trash everything I owned that had talc listed in the ingredients. Once I finished doing that, I was left with so little. I decided to test a few of the seemingly okay products, most of which were highlighters. They didn’t cause any issues for me, but I also applied them nowhere near my eyes. I wasn’t left with very many eyeshadows, and because of the talc issue, it was difficult to find feasible, affordable, and nice-looking replacements. I was honestly at a loss.
I really missed doing all these different makeup looks and collaborating on artsy makeup looks with fellow makeup artists. Aside from all of that, I overall just missed being able to post something I was excited about to Instagram. I had to find a solution!
Then it hit me. What if I made my own makeup?
Hear me out: I know it’s a challenge to find the perfect formula and that it could end up being costly to shell out all this money for bulk amounts of supplies… But it would make my allergy woes almost disappear because I could create my own formulations and omit the ingredients I suspected I had problems with!
I was on a hunt. I decided to bite the bullet and pick up a ton of ingredients that could save me the trouble of experiencing another topical allergy. I bought supplies from TKB Trading, Candora Soap, and Voyageur Soap and Candle. Since I received my supplies, I’ve been researching different formulas and experimenting with these ingredients, trying to find the perfect formula. Obviously I had to avoid or substitute the problematic ingredients. Talc seemed to be a major one, but at times I wondered if perhaps some waxes and synthetic ingredients were also culprits of my contact dermatitis, puffy eyes, and eye infections after every use of makeup.
Due to this topical allergy experience, I’ve done a 180° switch from being reckless and buying whatever I thought looked pretty to diligently reading ingredients lists and opting for products with more natural ingredients when I had the chance to. Whenever I could, I would also get products with shorter ingredients lists, as that’s way more helpful in narrowing down allergens!
Hopefully I never have another day in my life that I suffer from contact dermatitis!