The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Allergy Free Makeup for Sensitive Skin

Today's Topic: Hypoallergenic Makeup

Are you a makeup lover? You are not alone. Many people won’t leave the house without it as it’s a massive part of their daily routine. It can be a fun ritual before a big night out or a rite of passage between a mother and her daughter. With that in mind, it can be frustrating to learn you have a makeup allergy.

There are many people today who are sensitive to certain types of makeup which suggests many are looking for alternatives. One such option is hypoallergenic makeup, seen in the beauty industry as the go-to in allergy-free makeup.

This article seeks to provide much-needed guidance when it comes to this irritating dilemma.

Table of Contents

What Causes an Allergic Reaction to Makeup?

Woman shopping for hypoallergenic makeup

You might wonder how you can be allergic to make up? A simple question, however, the answer is more complex.

Makeup manufacturers like to create products that defy Mother Nature. They have marketing campaigns for makeup that makes you look younger or states wearing it will rid you of those dark bags under your eyes. As a result of these marketing promises, more consumers buy their brands. However, the ingredients that many people are allergic to are overlooked.

These ingredients can be found in your foundations, eyeshadow, lipstick, etc. Have a read of this list and check the labels on your own products as you go.


This is a pretty big umbrella term. You will see this listed on many of your products. It covers various ingredients and there are currently no regulations that state the manufacturer has to disclose the specifics of the fragrances they use.

Although you can rest assured, if you start itching or develop red blotches, the irritants under the fragrance umbrella could be responsible. If you want to avoid this, ditch the umbrella and choose fragrance-free makeup instead.


Parabens are not only in 90% of our cosmetics because they increase their average shelf life, but they are also believed to be a harmful chemical that scientists have said mimics estrogen. Can you imagine how that impacts your hormones? Especially if you are putting it directly on to your skin!

Check your foundations and mascaras and you will find it’s in there. Although small amounts are said not to be dangerous. You will find there is a lot of controversy around Parabens and cancer scaring. You should always do your own research and make up your own mind, especially when it comes to your makeup.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Check your foundation and concealers for this one because while it’s useful in cream-based makeups, it can cause serious problems. You could end up with canker sores, acne or eye damage. All because the creators added dioxane and ethylene oxide which can cause cancer.

It’s best to check the labels to understand what you are buying and if you see sulfates and polyethylene glycol, you can make your own choice.

Retinyl Palmitate

When you want to defy aging you choose a good anti-aging cosmetic and Retinol products are known for this purpose. Most anti-aging foundations will have Retinol and it reacts badly if on the skin and in direct sunlight.

It is believed by scientists that this can be a trigger for cancer and recommended that people only use a nighttime range and ditch daytime anti-aging makeup altogether.

Petroleum Distillates

Examine the labeling on your mascara for this because you don’t want to have one if it contains the ingredient. Petroleum Distillates are from the same place fuel and heating oil is produced. It’s a harsh and toxic chemical that may cause Contact Dermatitis. If you want to avoid an itchy, irritating rash, get yourself a nontoxic mascara instead.

How Will You Know If You Have a Makeup Allergy?

Woman showing concern from allergy reaction.

When your cheeks become red after you apply some foundation or your eyes become itchy from your eye-shadow, you can safely assume you are allergic. 

Your skin will feel like it’s burning. Perhaps you wake up to an angry rash? A quick glance in the mirror tells you what you need to know.

If you are lucky the reaction will only last 24 hours, still, if luck is not on your side, you likely have had a severe reaction and need to seek advice. You might instinctively want to cover up with more makeup but it’s s best to cleanse your skin and leave it bare until you can see your specialist. If you add any more product to your skin you risk making it worse.

The good news is that there are many treatments for people with sensitive skin regardless of the severity.

You can take an antihistamine.

Use a fragrance-free ointment that relieves itching.

Have a short shower with warm water.

It may be you have a continued problem, you can seek help from a Dermatologist, whose job it is to treat cosmetic skin disorders. They will ask you about what products you have been using and discuss this with you. They may want to perform skin tests on the problem area. It’s their job to determine what is causing your ongoing makeup sensitivity.

Alternatively, they may suggest you try other brands.

Dermatologist Recommended Makeup for Sensitive Skin


A favorite for many Americans, this brand prides itself on meeting the needs of sensitive skin, while it is also fragrance-free. You can try, ’Stay Matte, Sheer pressed Powder’ if you have incredibly sensitive skin. It's the best makeup for sensitive skin.

Burt's Bees

If you want to avoid Parabens and Sulfate, and I would think you do then you have to try Burt’s Bees Lip balm. This drugstore brand is the best makeup for dry sensitive skin and lips.

Giorgio Armani Beauty

It's a beautiful and lightweight makeup and great for clogged pores. It's gentle on the skin as it contains no irritants and is fragrance-free. If you are interested in the best makeup for allergic skin, you want to head to the store and give this your attention.


This is another brand many consider to be the best makeup for dry, sensitive skin because of its various sensitive skin products. If you suffer from dry and sore lips, you will want to check out their lip gloss range. Their skincare range is worth your time too.

Bare Minerals

They contain no Parabens nor any additional not so lovely chemicals, making Bare mineral makeup hypoallergenic and ideal for sensitive skin. They have a range of popular products but if you are looking for non-allergic makeup then try their Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.

Are Hypoallergenic Cosmetic Brands the Solution?

Hypoallergenic beauty products are not a cure for sensitive skin but merely an alternative, a far better one than nonallergic makeup that’s for certain. Nevertheless the term hypoallergenic is not FDA approved, meaning manufacturers can label any makeup with the words.

There is no official strategy to determine what is hypoallergenic and what’s not. That means there are no tests being run for allergies to specific makeup or their ingredients. A makeup brand does not have to meet any standards in regard to this, which is cause for concern.

Hypoallergenic makeup is a safer option if you are looking for allergy free makeup, but the question of whether it is completely safe is unknown. Thus you as the consumer have to make up your own mind, shop with confidence and find a brand that works for you.

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