Cosmetics have become part of our daily routine. The average adult uses at least seven different cosmetics each day with the average women using up to 12. They are used to make us look more beautiful and feel younger but can cause skin irritation and or allergic reactions. This can actually make you look worse if you are not careful and have a reaction. There are certain ingredients in these cosmetics that can be harmful to the skin. Many people also suffer from dermatitis at work which is classed as occupational dermatitis.
Visiting salons would help reduce the risk of skin conditions as your stylist would use protective measures and be trained to care for your skin to avoid any bad reactions. Their utensils will be disinfected along with the working area ensuring that no bacteria is passed on from previous use. At home you may not be as vigilant, as you feel that it is only you using that utensil or applicator but this could put you at more risk of developing dermatitis. If nothing else, an advantage of visiting a salon is the fact that the stylist them self is coming into contact more with the make up, dyes and styling products than you are, which will reduce any risks to you.
Eczema is the general term used to refer to skin issues of which dermatitis is the most common. Dermatitis can cause ;
- Dryness of the skin
There are two main forms of dermatitis and each are caused by different substances and affect people in various ways. Irritant dermatitis can happen to everyone and have such an impact on the skin that some people can’t work. This is usually caused by the skin being dried out by contact with a chemical. As explained above, many areas of the body can be affected, specifically hands and face. Allergic dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction to a product. This can be very specific to a certain group of people with some being fine using the product and others reacting badly. You usually become extra sensitive to this chemical/product and become ‘allergic’.
Women are more at risk due to the amount of cosmetics used and the areas they are applied. Generally the symptoms of dermatitis are more distressing to women so care needs to be taken with how and which products are used.
Eye shadow can be one of the most common cosmetics to cause dermatitis. The skin near to the eye is very sensitive which can cause allergic and irritant reactions from ingredients in eye shadow but also in pencils, mascara and make-up remover. You can even cause skin conditions from nail varnish when you touch your face. The application of these products can also increase the risk. If you don’t have a steady hand you are more likely to apply your make-up on areas that are more sensitive. This is a good reason to use a professional when possible. A stylist on occasions like weddings are advisable as more make-up is likely to be applied and the risk to you increased.
Research was conducted by Dr Donald Grant on beauty products and dermatitis; ‘Unfortunately I do see an awful lot of women who have eczema or inflammation on their eyelids and nowhere else. The tissue around the eyes dries out as you get older.’
He added: ‘The best way to retain this moisture and the skin’s defences is not to use cosmetics every day, some of which contain strong chemicals such as preservatives which strip away the natural defences and dry out the skin.’
Organic products are not necessarily good for the skin. Many plant extracts used in natural products can actually be bad for your skin. Lavender is widely used in cosmetics because of its fragrance but it can cause dermatitis. Peppermint can make the skin swell and the fact it is regularly used in lip balms and glosses is very worrying. Eucalyptus is used to sooth the skin but it can cause allergic reactions. Asking professionals is advisable as stylists will work with people everyday and know what products are safe and which are not.
To preserve your skin’s condition you should take care of it. Wash your skin properly with just water or soap substitute, dry thoroughly and moisturise often. If you notice symptoms of dermatitis, remove the product promptly and apply the above process. It is also advisable not to use the product again.
Water its self can actually cause dermatitis. This can happen at home or at work. If you do a lot of washing that involves your hands being in water for 2 hours a day then your skin is at risk of developing dermatitis. This may be excessive for just the home but combined with work you could easily achieve this period. Your employer should protect your skin and if they don’t you could make a dermatitis claim for compensation. Gloves are the most obvious form of protection. Make sure you are not allergic to the material the gloves are made of though. None latex gloves are most advisable. In addition to water, the cleaning products used can contribute to dermatitis, particularly soap. This will dry your skin out and make it more vulnerable to damage.
I don’t wish to scare you as dermatitis can be easily avoided. Simply be careful what products you are using on your skin and follow the care tips to keep it young and healthy. Also use protection at home and at work if using any substances that has the potential to harm your skin. When possible using a salons will further reduce any risk to your skin. The best solution is to avoid using any substances that you have previously reacted to or have the potential to cause you dermatitis.