5 skin allergy facts you need to know

Ever try a new moisturizer that only gave you red itchy skin instead of the promised dewy glow?

Caring for your skin requires knowing to which products you’re allergic. 
No matter how great a beauty product may seem or how many individuals vouch for it, skin reactions or contact dermatitis can happen. If you’ve experienced a bad skin reaction, you’re not alone. Studies show that one in three people have allergy symptoms like contact dermatitis.

In support of National Allergy Day on July 8, natural personal care and cosmetics brand Human Nature lists down five allergy facts all beauty junkies, or anyone who uses skin care and beauty products, need to know:

Fact 1: Skin reactions or contact dermatitis have two categories: irritant and allergic.

When a product causes immediate harm to the skin barrier, irritation can happen at the surface of the skin. Skin irritations are characterized by any of the following: burning sensation, redness, flaking, and itchiness. Meanwhile, allergic reactions build up over a long period of time and are the immune system’s response to what it perceives as substances (pathogens) that are attacking the body.

Some face cleansers may deliver a slight tingling sensation. However certain chemicals inside products can be too strong for delicate skin types, resulting in a painful burning sensation. If stinging and redness have become part of your face care routine, you need to switch to milder products.

Human Nature has hypoallergenic products that are ideal for sensitive skin. Start your cleansing routine with Bare Necessity Cleansing Balm, a gentle virgin coconut oil-based makeup remover. Follow up with tomato extract-enriched Nourishing Facial Wash and Nourishing Face Toner for sting-free facial cleansing and toning. The brand’s Acne Defense Solution Gel, Acne Defense Facial Wash, and Acne Defense Tone are also hypoallergenic.

Fact 2: Skin irritations can be triggered by contact with common cosmetic ingredients.

It is important to read the label of every product carefully and check for potential allergens. At least 23 percent of women and 13.8 percent of men reported an adverse reaction to a personal care product over the course of a year, a 2004 study conducted by Amersham Hospital in the United Kingdom revealed.

“Allergic reactions are triggered by allergens. Some people can be allergic to natural ingredients like lavender while some can be allergic to chemical ingredients. That’s why it’s important to check product labels closely before using anything new on your skin,” emphasizes Rushelle Aguirre, Human Nature’s research, and testing head.

Human Nature products that have been clinically-tested as allergen-free bear the hypoallergenic seal on the brand’s website. Its bestselling top-to-toe miracle workers Sunflower Beauty Oil and Sunflower Beauty Oil Luxe also bear the hypoallergenic seal.

Fact 3: The dry flakes on your hair and scalp could be caused by your shampoo.

Most synthetic shampoos use sulfates as lathering agents. Sulfates are harsh detergents that can dry out the scalp and cause it to itch and flake. When flakes appear, most people will reach for the anti-dandruff shampoo, which usually has antimicrobial agents like selenium sulfide that can further dry out and irritate the scalp.

The natural alternative to anti-dandruff shampoo in reducing flakes and relieving itchiness is Pure Jojoba Oil. In a consumer panel test, 96 percent of users experienced reduced dandruff in less than five weeks. Jojoba oil also works as great skin soother: use a drop on your face to nourish dry or soothe irritated skin.

In addition, jojoba oil contains wax esters similar to skin’s natural sebum--the oily, waxy substance that the skin produces. When used on the face, jojoba oil helps prevent the overproduction of sebum, making it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin.

Fact 4: Air pollution can make your skin more prone to irritation.

Regular exposure to air pollutants (aka your daily commute) can lead to inflammatory or allergic skin conditions. As such, it’s not surprising that skin irritation is more common among residents of urban areas like Metro Manila.

The good thing is, you can help your skin recover with regular care: slather on Pollution Defense Face Mask two to three times a week to combat the effects of air pollutants and remove deep-seated oil and dirt.

Homegrown label Human Nature offers a wide range of hypoallergenic and mild personal care and cosmetics products, such as (from left) Acne Defense trio, Pollution Defense Facial Mask, Bare Necessity Cleansing Balm, and Sunflower Beauty Oil Luxe. 
Fact 5: A patch test could save your life.

“If there is an allergic reaction and the cause is not known, it is best to see a doctor determine what the cause of the allergy is,” explains Aguirre. She adds that if in doubt, going to a dermatologist for a patch test is advisable. Those with sensitive skin are also advised to test a product on a small area of skin for 24 hours or more before using on the whole face or body.

Topics: National Allergy Day , beauty products , Human Nature , Rushelle Aguirre
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