Sometimes beauty can be a pain—or painful. No, we’re not talking about torturous plucking or waxing. Although, grooming our brows feels like pure masochism. Beauty pains result from our body resisting our go-to cosmetics, jewelry, and even our wardrobe through an itchy, irritating, and sometimes seething allergic reaction.
That perfect blush, a must-have eye palette, that fire-engine red lipstick or even the gold earrings and soft cashmere sweater might antagonize the body and flare up hidden allergies. Many of us harbors some sensitivity—whether we know it or not. Allergies are becoming more prevalent worldwide, although skin sensitivity doesn’t always to translate to a full-blown allergy.
Almost half of all children have some allergic sensitivity. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics released by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, “worldwide, sensitization rates to one or more common allergens among school children are currently approaching 40%-50%.”
While allergy rates are climbing, the incidence of contact dermatitis (the fancy name for skin inflammation that can be caused from both allergies and irritants) only affects between 1.5 to 5.4 percent of the U.S. population.
Still, if your skin is one that becomes inflamed, itchy and irritated, statistics are not so comforting. The trick to combating irritation is identifying the offending source. While over-the-counter or prescription remedies may be prescribed by a dermatologist or family doctor to alleviate inflammation, irritation and itching, the cause must be identified to stop the reaction from reoccurring.
So what might cause the skin to suddenly become red, inflamed, itchy and blotchy? Here are some common culprits that might trigger contact dermatitis and skin irritation:
Many people find that they harbor an allergy to wool, which may cause the allergic form of contact dermatitis. However, synthetic fabrics also may contain chemicals that may trigger a skin flare-up. And fabric dyes also may contribute to reactions.
Always wear gloves when handling bleach. Some beauty products contain bleach…like at-home hair lighteners. If you’re about to DIY your blonde, keep hands and skin covered…plus you don’t want to bleach out clothes!
Different soaps are unique in their formulas…and, often, their ingredients. Certain chemicals found in your favorite soap may cause skin to become itchy and irritated. You may never know which chemical might be wreaking havoc on skin! Although, keep in mind, that the soap also may be drying out sensitive skin. If you’ve recently switched soaps, and you’ve discovered irritation, just switch back.
A friend is allergic to a form of red dye, and it’s a fairly common allergy. Unfortunately, the dye is found in so many products. From soaps and lotions to food, red dye (and artificial dyes in general) are everywhere! If you suddenly develop a reaction—especially if skin breaks out in huge hives—get medical attention!
Yes, you can be allergic to your jewelry…even your wedding ring. The most common metal that incites a reaction is nickel, and it’s often mixed with other metals to increase strength or alter color. White gold gets its silver color from either nickel or palladium, so if you have a nickel allergy and love white gold, inquire about nickel content. However, sometimes what is assumed to be a jewelry allergy might simply be the skin reacting to debris or residue that has accumulated in the small grooves of rings, pendants or earrings. Always keep jewelry clean to save skin from irritants. Some individuals also find that their pierced ears are more sensitive to metals…when choosing earrings, opt for posts made from surgical steel if ears are super sensitive.
Sometimes our skin will react to a certain cosmetic for reasons completely unknown. Some individuals have to steer clear of certain brands of powder of foundation, oils or other ingredients. For sensitive skin, choose products that are clearly labeled and marketed for sensitivity. And if you’re prone to breakouts, always check that products are non-comedogenic.
What we wear, what we put on our skin and the accessories we select all may trigger skin irritation—or worse, an allergy. If skin is suddenly irritated, itchy and inflamed, it’s time to root out the cause. Because beauty should be a pain!
Ashley Smith is an author and mother of two beautiful young girls. Her hobbies include reading about interior design and writing about her daily experiences. She loves helping people with her knowledge so that they can fulfil their dreams.