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Cosmetic Allergy: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention

An allergy to cosmetics is an unwanted skin reaction to one or more ingredients in a cosmetic product. This guide offers a broad overview of the symptoms, how to recognise a cosmetic allergy and preventive measures to avoid it.

Symptoms of Cosmetic Allergy

Allergy to cosmetics can manifest itself in various ways, here are some of the most common symptoms:


Erythema is a reddening of the skin that may appear immediately after the use of a product or develop over several hours or days.


Itching is an annoying sensation that induces the desire to scratch. It can be a sign of an allergic reaction.


Localised swelling may indicate an allergic reaction to a cosmetic product.

Skin rash

Skin rashes, such as hives, can be a sign of an allergy to cosmetics.

How to Recognise Cosmetic Allergy

Recognising an allergy to cosmetics can be complicated, as symptoms can vary and may resemble other skin conditions. If you suspect that you have an allergy to cosmetics, you should consult a dermatologist. It may be helpful to perform a patch test, a procedure in which small amounts of suspected substances are applied to the skin to see if a reaction develops.

Prevention of Cosmetic Allergy

Here are some useful tips for preventing allergies to cosmetics:

Use Hypothallergenic Cosmetics

Hypoallergenic cosmetics are formulated to minimise the risk of allergic reactions.

Run a Patch Test

Before using a new product, a patch test can be carried out by applying a small amount of product on the forearm and monitoring for any reactions for 24-48 hours.

Read the Product Label

It is important to read the list of ingredients of cosmetic products carefully. If you know you are allergic to a particular ingredient, make sure it is not present in the product.

Use Less Products

Using fewer products can reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions.


Allergies to cosmetics can cause discomfort and interfere with your daily beauty routine. However, with a proper understanding of the symptoms, the ability to recognise a possible allergy and take preventive measures, you can minimise the risk of allergic reactions and maintain the health and beauty of your skin. Remember, if you suspect you have an allergy to cosmetics, it is always best to consult a dermatologist or health professional.