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Makeup And Face Eczema-What Ingredients To Watch Out For

Makeup And Face Eczema-What Ingredients To Watch Out For

If you have eczema, there are a plethora of cosmetics that may irritate the skin. There are some ingredients in cosmetics that will trigger a flare up of eczema and cause red patches of dry skin on the face or dry itchy skin on face. Knowing which ingredients aren’t compatible with eczema is a step in the right direction. Makeup and face eczema – what ingredients to watch out for:

Retinol, Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid

In part, eczema is caused by a weak skin barrier. This weakness causes water to evaporate more easily and lets irritants penetrate the skin more efficiently. Retinol, salicylic acid and glycolic acid are all sloughing agents.

Often, these ingredients are found in some foundations, moisturizers, masks and other cosmetics. These ingredients tend to dry out the skin and may cause even the eyelids to become swollen and flaky for those who are eczema prone. It’s best to avoid cosmetics with these ingredients to both avoid a reaction and to avoid worsening a flare-up.

Synthetic and Natural Fragrances

Even when a fragrance is soft and subtle, it’s a potent trigger that can aggravate the skin and cause a flare up. Choose a cosmetic skin care product that is formulated for sensitive skin. In addition, the best bet is to choose product that says fragrance free instead of unscented.

Even unscented cosmetic products may have fragrance ingredients just to neutralize the smell of the product’s other ingredients. Vegan cosmetics are also generally free of fragrances.


While preservatives like quaternium-15 or phenoxyethanol help keep cosmetic products free from bacteria and fungus, those with sensitive skin or facial eczema should steer clear of preservatives in cosmetics. Preservatives can lead to inflammation, red patches of dry skin on the face and eczema flares.


Lanolin is often used as a base in facial creams, foundations and ointments. This ingredient is well known to cause a flares with those who have eczema and many people who have eczema are actually allergic to it.

Even though lanolin is often used in hypoallergenic cosmetics, it’s not a good ingredient if you’ve got facial eczema. Many eczema sufferers report having a reaction around the eye area with cosmetic products that contain lanolin.

Once you’ve found the makeup product that is eczema friendly, it’s time to narrow it down even more. Keep in mind that if your face eczema is in a red or flaky stage, foundation powders may end making the skin look blotchier. Opt for creamy foundation formulas or oil-based foundations for a better look.

These formulas also help guard against itchy dryness. If the facial skin is oozing or very irritated, it’s likely best to skip the makeup routine until your complexion has calmed down. Usually, eruptions resolve quicker with less makeup on inflamed skin.

For makeup that looks most natural, it’s wise to keep the skin moisturized when you have facial eczema. A rich moisturizer at night will naturally ease flakes. For the best result, choose a moisturizer that focuses on skin barrier and essential lipid replacement.

Look for hypoallergenic and vegan products that are optimized for the skin barrier because they are safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin.


  • +Dr.Cheryl Lee  Eberting a well respected, board certified dermatologist, has created a vegan, hypoallergenic skin care line that combats skin care issues such as eczema, cracked heels and psoriasis. She writes regularly at

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