Can makeup cause eczema?

eczema on face

You have probably read 10 other pages to find the answer to this question - can makeup cause eczema?

And I am going to dive straight in.

As a Cosmetic Formulator for the past 6 years, I dare say makeup does not cause eczema if you:

  • have been applying moisturizers or skincare regularly - (prescribed or not)
  • lead a healthy lifestyle by eating balanced diet and do regular workouts
  • know your triggers well from the makeup ingredients list
  • balance your stress
  • have enough sleep or rest

Before I continue, I should warn you that I although I am an avid supporter of Clean, Green, Natural, Vegan, Halal, Organic and Eco cosmetics (whatever you call it), I also support the use of cosmetic grade Silicones in makeup for several reasons:

  • There is no scientific research that prove Silicones can cause Eczema or make it worse.
  • Silicones are non-comedogenic so it does not clog your pores.
  • Wearing makeup with Silicones is similar to wearing gloves - your skin behind the gloves are protected and you eventually remove them at the end of the day. No one sleeps with it anyway!

Makeup Ingredients Trigger

There are many categories in a cosmetic product - Emollients, Emulsifiers, Sunscreen, Base Oils, Colorants. Generally, makeup ingredients that trigger an eczema to worsen are Fragrance, Actives, Acids, Preservatives and Alcohol.

Most Organic formulators use Essential Ois for fragrance so you need to know which chemicals could trigger such as:

  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Coumarin
  • Citronellol

Actives are added very little but make the product outstanding. These may also trigger:

  • Vitamin C
  • Niacinamide

Alcohol-related ingredients that can cause flare ups:

  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Phenoxyethanol

Acids-based that cause a product to have lower pH range hence makes it very itchy:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Glycolic Acid

Food grade ingredients that can cause trigger:

  • Eggs or foods that are high in protein
  • Hot & Spicy foods
  • Cheese and Dairy
  • Peanuts - Almonds included
  • Tomatoes 

There are also ingredients that could irritate you but works fine on other people:

  • Propylene Glycol 
  • Retinol

So can makeup cause eczema?
Nope. Not when you avoid the triggers!

Can you actually make makeup without the triggers?
Yes, definitely. You only need a few ingredients and some color matching skills.

My upcoming class on how to make Foundation (For normal skin and Eczema-ish skin) will be up probably in Feb 2023.

Eczema approved skincare

The National Eczema Association has a list of Eczema-Approved Skincare here.

I am not affiliated with them and I have no clue how they assess a brand or company to be endorsed as Eczema-approved.

Please contact them directly if you have any enquiries.

So which makeup products can I wear?

You can wear absolutely anything that suits you - skin tone, color, brand preference and philosophy!

If you really like a brand although there are some ingredients that could trigger flare ups, you can approach the Distributor or Seller for a sample. Tell her that it is important that you do a Patch Test before you purchase.

Who knows that it may not trigger any!

And remember, Silicones are not bad stuff.

So, can makeup cause Eczema?

You know the answer. If it has been causing flare ups, you may need to double check on your products ingredients again!

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