‘Allergy tested’: you see it more and more often on the packaging of your day cream or foundation foundation. Such hypoallergenic cosmetics reduce the risk of allergic reactions. Everything about (skin) allergies, the ‘big culprits’, and what you can do about them.
Hypoallergenic literally means: with a reduced risk of allergic reactions. In practice, this means that the product is formulated with ingredients that cause as little as possible to cause a contact allergy. Hypoallergenic cosmetics usually do not contain perfume.
How do I get a skin allergy?
It would of course be easy to regard your care products themselves as the main culprits of a skin allergy. We are all using more and more products with a complicated composition, and many skins are breaking down under so much chemical violence.
But there’s more. More and more aggressive soaps are also ending up on our bathroom shelves and despite all the awareness campaigns, we can’t stop sunbathing. All this together can ensure that your skin can no longer perform one of its basic functions: protecting you against external attacks. An ideal situation for allergies, which can then attack to their heart’s content.
Which products most commonly trigger allergies?
If your skin reacts allergically to a certain product, this is usually due to the fragrances, preservatives, lanolin and hair dyes present. Certain plant extracts such as chamomile, aloe vera, arnica and ivy are also known to trigger allergic reactions. Cosmetic products that are labeled natural, plant-based or organic (which usually means that they are made entirely or partly from plant-based ingredients) are therefore not necessarily safer.
A certain type of resin used in nail polish can also be the cause of a skin allergy. Finally, oils, fats, emulsifiers and antioxidants can also cause unwanted skin reactions. In short: the basic ingredients of almost all cosmetics.
What are the symptoms of a skin allergy?
First, redness, flushing and itching occur. The face, eyes and neck are particularly affected. But you can actually get an allergy anywhere on your body where it has come into contact with the product in question.
The wrong cosmetics can also cause conjunctivitis, breathing problems or even an asthma attack. This is usually due to volatile allergens contained in perfume.
What can be done about it?
Once you have identified the guilty product, the solution is obvious: simply don’t use it anymore. It could be a day cream or nail polish that you have been using for years, and now suddenly provokes allergic reactions. But you can also have a price with a shampoo that you wash your hair with for the first time.
Usually, tracking down the culprit is not that easy. Then consulting a skin doctor who specializes in allergies is the only solution. He will subject you to very extensive skin tests that can determine exactly which product you are allergic to. He can then tell you which products you should avoid in the future and replace them with safe alternatives.
You will find sun allergists in all major and university hospitals. It is useful if you immediately take with you a list of all cosmetic products that you use frequently and less frequently. That makes the search a little easier. For example, it is possible that a skin allergy on your face comes from the nickel in your nail polish, because women simply cannot resist running their hands to their face and through their hair.
How do I know I am using the right hypoallergenic product?
Quite simply: by trying, trying and trying. Only then can you know whether it is suitable for you. A product that is very good and reliable for one person may not have the desired effects for another. Also know that the risk of allergies certainly does not only depend on the quality of products, but above all on your susceptibility. And this can change over the years: suddenly your organism can ‘reject’ a product that you have used for years without any problems.
Some good hypoallergenic creams
One of the top names on the hypoallergenic cosmetics market is Galenic’s Ophycée range. The anti-wrinkle cream efficiently combats the first signs of aging, but does so in a gentle way thanks to a special algae extract.
Thermal spring water that cares for sensitive skin and even eczema in a non-aggressive way: that is the Lait au Cold Cream a leau thermale from Avène. Super soft and very efficient.
Overloaded with more and more great cosmetic prices, but still only available at the pharmacist: the philosophy of RoC hypoallergenic, without perfume and preservatives, is apparently becoming increasingly popular. The success story within the entire range is the RoC Retinol Actif Pur: day, night, hand and eye cream, all guaranteed hypoallergenic.
Thermal spring water, selenium and mineral salts: that is the hypoallergenic recipe of the Toleriane products from La Roche-Posay.
The Turnaround cream, the success product of the house of trust Clinique, is one of the few hypoallergenic face creams on the perfumery shelves with its guarantee without perfume and without preservatives.
These hypoallergenic products are available in pharmacies or better perfumeries.