Ingredients in Cosmetics – What the Skin Reacts to
August 21, 2019
In most bathrooms, cosmetics are found in a variety of different products. Whether for the face, the hands, the hair or the body, these products have one thing in common: they are used for care and for their own beauty. But some ingredients can cause allergies instead of well-being. The skin is then not cared for gently, but suffers and makes itself felt by rashes, swelling, spots or itching.
Skin problems through cosmetics?
Certain ingredients in cosmetic products are considered responsible for causing allergies and inflammation of the skin. But one thing beforehand: In an allergy many different factors play a role. It depends not only on the ingredient itself, but also in what concentration it is present in cosmetics.
Also, the response to the ingredient may vary greatly from person to person. The strength of a skin irritation depends, among other things, on the condition of one’s own skin. Is the skin rather thick or thin, generally rather sensitive or robust?
Caution is advised in any case in the use of cosmetics in children, because children’s skin is much more permeable and often react much more sensitive than the skin of adults.
Preservatives and perfumes often malefactors
The most common allergy triggers in cosmetics include preservatives and fragrances. But here too, it is again decisive what these ingredients consist of. Cosmetic products, which are produced in large numbers, are usually enriched with animal fats, synthetic fragrances and many chemical additives such as emulsifiers and stabilizers. Even high-quality cosmetics consists of fats, oils and fragrances, but the raw materials are added here on a vegetable basis.
But even natural cosmetics can trigger allergies. Because especially people who are prone to allergies, can also respond to the individual plant extracts. Just those who already suffer from hay fever or food allergies, has a greater risk also sensitive to herbal extracts that come into direct contact with the skin.
Tests bring clarity
Anyone who knows that he is sensitive can see a possible reaction of the body with a small test on the crook of his arm. For this, the cosmetics are simply applied to the skin in the crook of the arm. The skin is extremely thin and sensitive. If the tested cosmetic product is tolerated on the skin in the crook of the arm, it can generally be used on the whole body as well.
Of course, an exact and binding result can only be met by a dermatologist by means of an allergy test. But at first it is not that easy to associate a skin reaction with a particular product.
After all, women in particular use many different cosmetics throughout the day. Especially since the skin does not necessarily have an allergic reaction to an allergen. Often, hours have elapsed after use before a first reaction occurs.
Even cosmetic products, which have been well tolerated for several years, can suddenly stress the skin and cause allergies and inflammatory reactions. On the other hand, those who know exactly what they are responding to should avoid the content substance best in the future.
Transparency for the cosmetic user
In order to protect the consumer, legislators throughout the EU require all ingredients and additives in cosmetics to be listed directly on the product. The ingredients used must be listed in decreasing order of their share. Ingredients, which are at the top of the INCI list, are therefore the highest dosed.
INCI means International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient. However, this is often criticized by consumer advocates and the cosmetics users themselves, as the ingredients are listed with the Latin name and thus are usually not at all apparent at first glance.
For sensitive skin is therefore always recommended cosmetics that contains neither fragrances nor preservatives. Please do not be fooled by the statement “fragrance neutral”. This does not mean that the cosmetics contain no perfumes and fragrances, but simply states that the product does not have a strong odor.