Make-up for sensitive skin: products to watch out for

A couple of weeks ago while playing around on Facebook and Twitter I happened to mention I’d be blogging about make-up tips for sensitive skin, and my feed went crazy!

It seems so many of you, sensitive skinned or not sensitive skinned, have suffered a reaction to a mainstream make-up product.

Strange then that there are so few make-up brands that cater for sensitive skin, no?

To be frank, navigating sensitive skin-friendly make-up is a bit of a minefield as there are few hard & fast rules, and what one may tolerate another may react to.

That being said, here are my top products to watch out for:

1. Under-Eye Concealers

3 of your top 5 worst offenders were eye make-up products.

This is because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest and most delicate on the face, and therefore the most prone to reaction.

While there are few specific ingredients to watch out for, metal oxide colourants or TEA (triethanolamine) can cause reactions.

If you do react to an eye make-up product, remove as soon as possible with a gentle Cleanser and rinse the eye out with cold water.

2. Mineral Foundations

One to watch – as mineral make-up is often touted as the make-up solution for sensitive skin (I myself recommend it as a natural SPF).

When choosing a mineral foundation look for one that’s Bismuth Oxychloride-free.

Bismuth Oxychloride is the ingredient that gives mineral make-ups iridescence, but it can be very irritating and cause sensitive skin to itch, particularly when it’s warm.

3. Gradual Tan

While not technically make-up, I had so many people report reactions to Gradual Tan products that I had to include them.

As well as artificial fragrance and preservatives, some people may react to dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – the active tanning ingredient.

DHA can irritate sensitive areas, and should be kept well away from the eye and lip area.

4. Hypoallergenic Make-up

Many people with sensitive skin are instantly drawn to products labelled “hypoallergenic”.

However it’s important to note that hypoallergenic products are not unable to cause a reaction, they are just less likely to compared to their more irritating counterparts.

There’s no industry standard meaning for “hypoallergenic”, it’s really more of a Marketing term – so shop wisely!

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