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Monday, September 14, 2015

A Note on Allergic Reactions

A Note on Allergic Reactions

As a beauty blogger with a haphazard attitude to most things in life, I have experienced my fair share of allergic reactions to various cosmetic items. If I am entirely honest most reactions could have been prevented, if I had spent a little time reading the ingredient list; rather than merrily slapping on a thick layer of whatever lotion, cream or potion that promised glorious results. I know my allergy triggers and therefore should know better.

I won't name the brand (nor is the photos in this post a clue to the product nor brand) that resulted in my worst allergic reaction to date, I know many others who have since tried said eye cream that caused my skin to panic, free from incident. The problem with naming is, that alone can result in a boycott and if there is no safety issue, it seems a little wrong to point the finger; especially since the it is medically believed that the reaction was due to my then over sensitised skin (antibiotics).

So yes, last Summer I began trailing a new eye cream - a cooling, dream to apply eye cream that was delivering all it promised. I was suitably pleased and thought all was well until approximately 72 hours into the trial. I applied the eye cream in the AM as I did the days before, then my make up as usual free from incident. Fast forward an hour or so and I was ready to claw the skin off of my own face. Weirdly my entire face (nope not just the eye area) felt like it was on fire and ridiculously itchy. Luckily I was at home and had the means to not only remove my make up, slap on Aloe Vera Gel (every bathroom should have a bottle) but of course pop an anti-histamine (every medicine cabinet should have a box).

A Note on Allergic Reactions

On removal of my make up, I greeted with a red, inflamed complexion and lots of tiny white headed blemishes all around my eye area. Like most I didn't panic, I've suffered allergic reactions in the past and this didn't seem all that extreme; I assumed at most it would be a case of waiting it out and relying on a heavy duty concealer the next day, if needs must. Oh how wrong I was. In a matter of what seemed like moments, an abundance of more white heads popped up all over my face and down my neck, my eyes began to swell shut and where there wasn't white heads, there was small skin blisters. It was a sight to behold and had it been Halloween I wouldn't have needed a mask - it was that bad. To cut a long story short I ended up in A&E, clutching a damp facial cloth and praying it would end quickly - the rash that is

Telling others about such eventful skin care experiment often poses the question - why didn't you contact the brand and often conversations in regards to compensation. Let's address both: first of all, my skin was already sensitised and wrote clearly on the packaging in bold lettering, it stresses that it should not be applied to broken skin and due to the active ingredients a patch test was recommended. I ignored both pieces of advice, my allergic reaction was my own fault - simple.  If you do however follow all application advice and know for certain that the product is either faulty or simply not up to par, by all means contact the brand.

Compensation is a tricky area within this industry full stop (there are cases in which the brand is accountable) but as I was completely at fault, the brand should not be held responsible; the ingredient list was as good as skin care comes and I was left with no scarring nor visible reminders. Again even if I was, I chose to ignore any application advice so all fingers point at me.

Thanks to the eye opening event (or should that be closing?) I have learnt to not only patch test all skin care items (better safe than sorry huh?) and not only read any application advice but to at least glare over the ingredient list too and perhaps hold off from new skin care when my skin is already stressed. Will it happen again? Probably but hopefully next time around I can be smug in the knowledge that it was unavoidable on my part.

So tell me what is the worst allergic reaction to a beauty product you have experienced and was it due to negligence on your part or not?


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17 comments:

  1. I agree with everything you said. As makeup enthusiast's we are always at risk of a reaction when we try so many new products on our skin. This could even be an underlying issue we didn't know we had with our skin. I have had minor reactions before and would never contact the brand as the product didn't agree with my skin which isn't the brands fault x
    Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave | My YouTube

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  2. Oh my goodness! That sounds awful! Not quite the same sort of thing but I was doing an SFX look last Sunday evening, and having never reacted before, my skin had a terrible reaction to the latex! I ended up with a latex burn (if you're interested you can read about that on my blog haha) and it was awful! One side of my face was just covered in this hot itchy rashy burn and (get this) my first day at sixth form, at a completely new school, was the next day. Oh, the joys of having sensitive skin! Like Emmy said though, I wouldn't blame it on the brand because really it isn't their fault, by buying the product it's almost like signing a disclaimer saying we know we could have a reaction to this but we'll take the risk. If that makes sense?! Haha. Great post as always :) xx

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    1. (my blog is www.emiliarachael.blogspot.co.uk) couldn't leave without some shameless self promotion! xx

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  3. I've only had one bad allergic reaction and that was back when I was a teenager. It was from a face wash by a cheap brand called t zone. My whole face was BRIGHT RED (literally like a tomato), burning, itchy and felt like leather, it was disgusting. I went through a phase of attacking my face with a million different acne products and it made everything a million times worse, so my reaction may have been a combination of already being sensitized and introducing yet another new product. Either way, I was highly embarrassed having to go to school like that. It took a good couple of weeks for it to go back to normal and meanwhile I was carrying a tub of moisturiser (I think recommended for it by a chemist) round with me and slapping it on every 5 minutes to try to stop the burning sensation. Let's just say I learnt my lesson and I'm much more cautious with what I put on my skin these days! Em x
    http://themusingsofem.blogspot.co.uk/

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  4. I'm really lucky, there is only one thing I react to (Johnstons Baby Lotion... wierd huh?) everything else my skin is fine. My problem is pretty much everything makes me spotty. Especially my favourite foundation (Mac Studio Fix) Spots I can deal with, I would be in horror if I reacted that badly with a product. But I know what you mean, so many people now think they are owed something if something bad happens, when quite often its made clear. As someone who works in customer service, this drives me bonkers. Try to figure out what it is that you react to, then avoid like the plague! :)

    http://www.makeerinover.blogspot.com

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  5. I've had a very bad reaction with a moisturiser once that resulted in my cheeks blistering. I did take it up with the brands as I'd specifcally bought it as I was pointed towards it in store having mentioned 'sensitive skin' whereas many had had issues with it reading online reviews...

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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  6. I'm always wary when trialling new skincare, for this exact reason. The only bad reaction I've had that caused irritation for longer than a day, was a brow dye kit. I had used it before without any adverse effects, but it caused my eyes to swell and the skin to blister, before peeling off over the course of a few, painful days. To be honest, I'd say neither myself or the brand were at fault and, as it cleared up after a week with no long-term damage, there was no real point in making a fuss. It is possible to suddenly develop an allergy to anything out of the blue, even when you've previously been fine when using it before, too, which can make things more complicated.

    Alice / Alice Grace Beauty

    x

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  7. Oh my that sounds awful!
    I've never had an allergic reaction to any beauty products, the only thing I have an allergic reaction to is Vicks products (when I have a cold haha). After reading your story though I will be more careful to read everything on the packaging and do patch tests beforehand!
    www.missamyguest.blogspot.co.uk
    xxx

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  8. Touch wood, I've never had an allergic reaction to any product that I can think of. I'm always cautious though and try to patch test things that have strong ingredients etc.

    Emily x
    www.britishbeautyaddict.com

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  9. That sounds so horrible! I've never had an allergic reaction to a product before and I'll be honest, I have pretty much that same haphazard attitude you earlier described. I'll definitely be patch testing my new products from now on...
    Dina // lovelettersandlace.blogspot.ca/

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  10. I seem to be allergic to something used in MAC products because when I used their eyeliner my eyes went so red and watery, I've since had a couple of reactions to other cream product from other brands which never happened before using the MAC one. My skin also reacted badly to their foundation!

    Jenny | That Northern Gal

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  11. The worst reaction I've had was to a montagne face mask about five years ago. Although the mask didn't say it wasn't suitable for sensitive skin, my sensitive skin reacted to it badly. Since it was applied all over my face, the reaction was all over my face. I didn't leave it on for longer than it stated, probably even shorter as it started to sting and burn. Once washed off my face was left sore and looked like extremely bad sun burn that lasted for days. I haven't used the brand since, but I wouldn't necessarily tell other people to avoid them instead I'd just tell them what happened to me. I didn't take it up with the brand as I already knew I had sensitive skin :) xx

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  12. I used the Ren glycolatic mask after a mud mask and my skin was all bumpy for a week afterwards. Something that has never happened to me!

    Emily x www.emandthem.co.uk

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  13. I contacted soap and glory after a horrific allergic reaction to the heating detox mask (cant remember the proper name). I simply contacted them and asked for the ingredients list and just to tell them that this happened for their own sakes and whilst the reply was polite - they said to look at the back of the bottle for ingredients (its in like size 2 font) and that some people are just sensitive. I for one am not particulary sensitive. I am allergic to bioderma, benefit bella bamba blush (only bella bamba - no idea why) and clinique superdefense so I wanted to see if i could find a common ingredient that could be causing the issue but with a lack of helpfulness from S&G I had to hand type all the ingredients to do this. I think companies should want to know - not give out compensation as thats stupid but at least be a bit more sympathetic!

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  14. In january i took a pack i received for xmas 2013 to a trip to Mexico, they were unopened and there were no use-by dates on the pack.
    I had used the simple wipes years ago, but this last time it made my skin red and itchy, it only took me a couple of days to realize it was the wipes, so i went and bought another makeup remover to use.

    xo

    Inspirations Have I None

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  15. oh and I just remembered also to the body shop vanilla perfume oil.
    after using it for a while i realized it was making my wrists itchy and had tiny bumps on them, so sad because it was a nice product

    xo

    Inspirations Have I None

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  16. That sounds like a really nasty reaction! I've had a few problems here and there. One cream cleanser I tried I obviously didn't wipe it away from my eyelids properly and it burned them. This left me with red skin that dried out and gradually flaked off, sexy! Another reaction I was on counter at a blogger event. I was given the brands most sensitive mask to apply there and then and after a couple of minutes the lady on the counter looked at my face and said 'I think you need to take that off!'. I won't name the brand but lets just say you're looking at £50+ for one of their masks. The poor lady doing a makeup over for afterwards had a lot of redness to try and cover!

    I'm not sure if I agree with contacting a brand if you've had some kind of reaction. Yes it's not great if you've had a bad reaction to a product, especially if it has left you with scaring, but why should the brand be to blame for it? If they're using some dodgy ingredients that are effecting a lot of people badly then yes it's their fault. But whatever ingredients they use there will be at least one person somewhere who will have a reaction if they use that product x

    Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

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