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  • Lea

Skin Allergies: Glitter, Lanolin, Wool & Eczema.

Updated: Feb 19

Do you have a metal allergy? Excema & Psoriasis? Here is a look at allergens found in most beauty products including foundation, lotions, lipstick and eyeliner.

From irritating skin reactions to pesky eye sensitivity, makeup allergies can really put a damper on your beauty routine.

Trigger Alert!

Listen I will be honest I was never really paying attention to ingredients until I had my first flare up. I've now come to respect the crunchy granola Queens in finding a more natural alternative to things. After honing my eye for reading labels and gaining a bit of understanding of the latin names for contents, I can say I do well in dodging the evil cronies in the beauty industry. Unfortunately Major allergens are found in our everyday routines and one is a major shock. Let's set a new honest regard for our health and not support brands using methods of animal cruelty. So after careful trial and error, I gift you my cheat sheet to allergic reactions and why you might be interested in some vegan and gluten free alternatives in your beauty routine.

It dawned on me recently that my eyeliner was making me feel puffy and tired.

I thought it was just a post pregnancy sensitivity, peeling lips, puffy eyes, burning cheeks...until I did some further research into ingredients and how my skin allergies might be connected. What I found was a web of things that I've compiled here for you as a cheat sheet to avoiding allergens that are found in everything.

Here is a look at allergens found in most beauty products including foundation, lotions, lipstick and eyeliner.

I noticed that lanolin was the main ingredient in most lotions and cremes. Lanolin is derived from sheep's wool a known allergen and trigger for eczema. The flare up cycle was continuous until I started using pure massage oils on my skin.

Makeup Brushes made with fur

Have you ever felt a tingle on your cheeks after applying your blush? I bet you didn't know that your make up brushes were made from weasel and horse hair! Other high end companies sell makeup brushes contain natural goat, Blue Squirrel, or sable hair, and rabbit hair as well. If you are allergic to animal dander this can be a number one reason why your eyes are puffy and cheeks irritated after a glam session.

Hard Water & Dandruff

Do you have a circular itchy patch on the crown of your head? Many of our clients in the salon suffer from dandruff and flakes in the middle of their heads. A spot that takes the direct hit of the shower water.

I have always suffered from seasonal itchy and dry skin. Allergies to fake jewelry are mainly caused by Nickel. Nickel pipes are used in most places and traces of the allergen has been found in most water pipes. Years ago I discovered that soaps, hot water and regular lotion were all making it worse. Of course in the colder months we turn up the temps on the warmer water and heat.

What I've never expected is that the heat also releases metal and minerals from the pipes into our water. Burning your sensitive skin both on your scalp and body. In my case washing the dishes would even burn my hands and i would get swelling and itching between my fingers & on my wrists.

High concentrations of nickel in tap water can cause skin irritation (allergic contact dermatitis). If you have experienced any skin irritation, a rash or sensitivity following washing, you should consult your GP and contact your local water company for further information. Nickel allergy, often caused by nickel in jewelry, is a form of contact dermatitis. Things such as coins and zippers also may provoke nickel allergy.

Food Allergies Diet and Alcohol

I was shocked to learn that it was even my diet. It turns out if you are allergic to grass, you are probably allergic to wheat and any animals (and their by-products) that live and thrive in grassy areas. Wheat and Barley are also in the grass family. Beer and some Whiskeys are also included in this list.

But that wasn't the only culprit I discovered.

Nightshade plants are also a nasty allergen that are found in almost everything. These plants release toxic aromas at night to ward off pesky animals from nibbling on their bush. Paprika, Potatoes, Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomatoes. There are also flowers that are more of evening genre. These plants release fragrance at mostly at night to ward off pests. Some perfumes are derived of these plants and can also create the same allergic reaction in sensitive skin.

Night-blooming Jasmine, a plant known for its intoxicating fragrance, can be less than friendly to human health. The entire plant harbors toxins that can cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested.
Skin contact is generally less hazardous, but it's not a green light to handle the plant carelessly. Alkaloids and glycosides are the primary toxic compounds, acting as the plant's defense but posing risks to humans.

Eczema Caused by Lanolin Based Cremes

Feeling the burn? Lanolin is in almost everything.

Lanolin is a oil/waxy substance that comes from the wool of sheep. It can be found in Eyeliner, Lipstick, Lotions, diaper rash creme. Doctors will prescribe anti histamines and steroid ointments, and some of them seem to make it worse by only treating the symptoms.

Water and Metal Allergies

So for those of you that suffer from allergies I have a few interesting finds.

Food allergies aside I discovered a very common yet unchartered one: Glitter

Metal Allergies."A metal allergy is one of the most common types of skin allergies, and is commonly attributed to nickel which is found in metals. Nickel is used in many of our everyday items, such as coins, jewelry or cell phones. Long-term exposure to metal that you are allergic to can cause your skin to become dark and leathery."-

Glitter and Microplastics

If water is also to blame what else has nickel in it? Eyeshadow is chock full of glitter and metal fragments. Made with small aluminum-coated plastic, glitter has sharp edges and can be very abrasive to the skin. Especially when removing glitter around sensitive areas like the eyes, this rubbing action can cause small micro-cuts on the skin, creating irritation, breakouts, and premature aging through repetitive skin damage.

Tips & Alternatives

  • Is Lanolin Vegan? Since lanolin comes from wool, which in turn comes from sheep, it's not vegan. As with all other non-vegan substances, there's substantial cruelty and animal exploitation tied to lanolin that merits attention.

  • Plant-based Oils: Vegan cosmetics often use plant-based oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil. ...

  • Plant Extracts: Ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, green tea, and lavender are commonly used in vegan cosmetics for their soothing and antioxidant properties.

  • Shower head Filters to soften your water and block out heavy metals, micro-plastics and chlorine.

  • Try hardwater removal shampoo by Hello Klean or a DIY Mask with apple sauce.

  • Sun, Vitamins & Supplements Vitamin D and the sun are said to keep the skin fortified against these breakouts. But nickel allergy has no cure. Filtering your shower water is the quickest way to lessen the effect of itchy skin and dandruff on the the scalp. You can pre-oil your hair and body before washing to form a protective barrier on the skin. Or shower with cooler water to prevent irritation.

  •  Try Gluten-free alternatives. Gut health with probiotics, detox, hydration and periodic fasting.

  • Use a beauty blender or your fingers to blend instead of animal fur brushes.

  • Try vegan eyeliner made with coconut instead of lanolin.

Choosing Hypoallergenic Makeup Products

Hypoallergenic makeup products are like the gentle giants of the beauty world – they're specifically designed to minimize the risk of triggering allergic reactions. Look for labels that proudly declare their hypoallergenic nature and make them your go-to choice to keep your skin happy and healthy.

Non-Lanolin Moisturizers and Cosmetics

If lanolin and wool are causing your skin to throw a hissy fit, fear not – there are plenty of non-lanolin alternatives out there. Look for moisturizers and cosmetics that boast ingredients like shea butter, almond oil, or glycerin to keep your skin hydrated and happy without the drama.

Wool-Free Clothing and Textile Options

For those with wool allergies, finding wool-free clothing and textile alternatives is a must. Opt for fabrics like cotton, bamboo, or synthetic materials to ensure that your wardrobe doesn't trigger any unwanted skin reactions. Your skin will thank you for the breath of fresh (non-woolly) air.

Navigating Allergies in the World of Cosmetics

Navigating makeup allergies can feel like tiptoeing through a field of potential triggers, but with the right knowledge and strategies, you can confidently rock your favorite beauty looks without fear. Remember to stay vigilant, prioritize skin-friendly products, and seek professional guidance when needed. Your skin deserves to feel pampered, not provoked.In conclusion, being aware of potential allergens in cosmetics, such as lanolin and wool derivatives, is essential for maintaining healthy skin and avoiding allergic reactions. By understanding the symptoms, exploring alternative products, and seeking professional guidance when needed, individuals can better manage makeup cosmetic allergies and protect their skin from potential irritants. With the right knowledge and precautions, it is possible to enjoy the beauty of cosmetics without the discomfort of allergic reactions.

My main takeaway from all of this research is finding simplicity in ingredients and still celebrating a life of color in your food and beauty choices. DIY recipes for hair and make up.

So go ahead and pinch your cheeks to blush, rub some popsicle juice on your lips for color, and hey while you're at it brush your eyebrows with your toothbrush! Stay natural ! xx


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