Does bright eyeshadow fill you with dread? You may have a makeup allergy

No beauty fan wants to hear the words 'makeup allergy' and 'you may have a' in the same sentence. Chill, it's not totally bad news

It's Monday again, and we are right in the middle of summer. I find summer tends to bring out our daring streak in makeup, with bright colours on lips, eyes or even both. But not everyone can wear bright colours without reacting.

Have your eyes ever started to water and got itchy and red when you wore a brightly pigmented eyeshadow? A reaction like this could be down to a red pigment, called Carmine. This doesn't mean it's included in red eye shadow only. It's used to colour purples, oranges, coppers, even warm toned browns. (It's also commonly used in food.)

Carmine is actually is carminic acid, a chemical extracted from cochineal insects (or other scale insects). The extract is then treated to create the red tone that we see in cosmetics like lipsticks, eyeshadows and red food dyes. Even though it's known as a common allergen, it is not considered toxic by the FDA as it is not harmful to people who aren't allergic to it.


If it sounds like you are allergic, have a look at the ingredients list of your eyeshadows, and check to see if Carmine is present. In my experience, that is often the reason people have reactions. On the bright side it doesn't mean you have to stop wearing bright colours, it just means you have to avoid the red tones ones.

A makeup allergy like this is slightly annoying, but avoiding certain shades is much better than sore, red peepers.

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