Hypoallergenic Makeup: What are its Advantages?

Hypoallergenic makeup is makeup that is designed to avoid irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive skin. Learn all about it here.
Hypoallergenic Makeup: What are its Advantages?

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 13 January, 2023

Hypoallergenic makeup is very popular nowadays. It’s sought by people who have sensitive skin or who have shown reactions to items that do not carry this label.

The problem is that the concept of hypoallergenic is very general. In practice, it is not regulated. Many of the best cosmetic brands have such lines. But to what extent do they deliver on what they promise?

When hypoallergenic makeup is genuine, it offers great benefits for people with sensitive skin. In such cases, components with potential risks of causing irritation or allergies are eliminated or reduced.

What is hypoallergenic makeup?

Hypoallergenic makeup comprises cosmetic products that, in the opinion of their manufacturers, contain fewer irritating or potentially allergenic substances than normal makeup. In theory, they have been tested to ensure these properties.

Cosmetics are made with many different components, such as pigments, emulsifiers, metals, resins, preservatives, minerals, and perfumes. Some people with sensitive skin react negatively to one or more of these ingredients.

In these cases, inflammation, itching, redness, eczema, and tearing can occur. In short, there is a form of irritation that becomes severe. Those who produce hypoallergenic makeup reduce or eliminate the components that most cause these problems. In particular, one or more of the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Retinol
  • Petroleum
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates
  • Aluminum
  • Fragrances
  • Parabens
  • Diethanolamine
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Synthetic colorants

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Why use it?

Hypoallergenic makeup is created for sensitive, acne-ridden, or scarred skin. It is also for those who are allergic to some of the components of normal cosmetics. However, anyone can use this type of product.

It is important to note that none of these cosmetics is 100% neutral. Even so, they usually reduce the risk of irritation or allergic reactions. In any case, there are people who cannot tolerate this type of makeup either.

Caution should be exercised in the use of eye and lip products. These include eye shadows, pencils, sealing powders, illuminators, mascara, etc. It is best to make sure that they do not contain any heavy metals.

Hypoallergenic makeup
Makeup allergies can occur in the area of application or in regions of the skin near the point of contact with the substance.

Choosing the right hypoallergenic makeup to take advantage of its benefits

There is no standardized regulation for hypoallergenic makeup.

This means that no specific parameters have been established to determine whether a cosmetic has hypoallergenic properties or not. Therefore, we can only attest to what each manufacturer states on the label.

That said, the best way to check if a product is suitable for delicate or sensitive skin is to look closely at the label. It’s important to look to see if it contains components that can cause irritation and in what proportion.

Ideally, those who have experienced allergic reactions to cosmetics should be clear about what element or ingredient causes them to have this effect. If this has not been established, the entire list of risky ingredients should be taken into account, and make sure to use makeup that does not contain them or only contains a minimal proportion of them.

Products made from natural substances, such as aloe vera or almond oil, are closer to hypoallergenic makeup. All these items are usually less aggressive to the skin.

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Some tips on how to choose hyperallergenic products

The most important recommendation is to read the label very well before buying hypoallergenic makeup. In particular, caution should be exercised when purchasing products containing the following substances in high proportion:

  • Alcohol
  • Retinol
  • Aluminum
  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Essential oils
  • Natural or synthetic fragrance
  • Chemical sunscreen

The above are the elements that most frequently cause irritation. The important thing is that, if they are present, their percentage is very low in relation to the other components. If the proportion is high, it’s not really hypoallergenic makeup.

Hypoallergenic makeup
Labels can be confusing. Take the time to review them thoroughly and know all the ingredients.

Hypoallergenic makeup is usually a little more expensive than classic makeup. However, the price difference does not have to be very high.

It’s important to keep in mind that more than a few companies use the hypoallergenic makeup label as a sales pitch, but do not guarantee that they are actually less aggressive. Therefore, do not be fooled and refrain from buying these products if there is any doubt.

People who have skin problems, especially if they are severe, should consult a dermatologist before purchasing cosmetics. A doctor will be able to recommend specific products that do no harm.

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  • Laguna, C., De la Cuadra, J., Martín-González, B., Zaragoza, V., Martínez-Casimiro, L., & Alegre, V. (2009). Dermatitis alérgica de contacto por cosméticos. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas, 100(1), 53-60.
  • Alay Murillo, J. P., & Macas López, M. F. (2021). Estudio comparativo de metales pesados plomo y cadmio en cosméticos sólidos (Doctoral dissertation, Universidad de Guayaquil. Facultad de Ciencias Químicas).
  • Edo, C. B. (2008). Maquillaje cosmético: Maquillaje hipoalergénico. Acofar: revista de la distribución farmacéutica cooperativista, (481), 34-36.

The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.