I Am Allergic to Eye Make Up

Updated on September 25, 2012
P.:. asks from Phoenix, AZ
16 answers

I have tried many different kinds of mascara and eye shadow and within 2 hours of putting it on, I have an allergic reaction...watery eyes, scratchy, feels like a piece of sand in my eye. If I don't wash it off right away, I will end up miserable for 3 days. Does anyone know of any good hypo-allergenic eye make up? I don't care if I have to go to a dept store and pay $20 for an eye shadow, I just want to be able to wear make up again. Ugh!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for the suggestions. I've been meaning to ask this question for a while and kept forgetting. The suggestions to see a dermotologist reminded me that when I went to an allergist years ago I asked about the make up issue and they said they could test for that. You have to go 3 days without showering and it was summer...living in AZ, I didn't want to go 3 days without a shower in the summer. :-) I'm going to call tomorrow for an appointment. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and make up suggestions.

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answers from Phoenix on


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I too am allergic to most make up.
I have pretty good success with Aveda.
I do use Maybeline Waterproof Mascara. Waterproof tends to stay put on my lashes only and not flake into my eyes, so no reaction.
Another choice would be Origins.
I have not had good reactions to Almay. I think all the cosmetic company's advertise Hypo-Allergenic and such.


2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

Have you ever tried the Almay brand? It's hypo-allergenic. So (I think) is the brand Physicians Formula. I've never used the latter but have used Almay for decades. It's unscented (a big issue for me). I can't say whether it would work for you but if you want to continue to try a drugstore brand, and haven't tried Almay, give it a go.

You can also ask your allergist or dermatologist or even an optometrist what they recommend. Allergists and dermatologists must be used to recommending makeup to women with allergies.

One thing to bear in mind -- even if you end up with some very expensive makeup that does work for you, be sure not to keep it too long. Throw out eye makeup frequently and never store it in the bathroom anywhere, even inside the medicine cabinet. The steam from daily showers, sinks, etc. does get into the cabinets and is horrible on eye makeup and eye makeup carries bacteria pretty quickly after you get it. Good luck with finding a brand.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I think that if I were you, I'd go to a dermatologist and show him or her what your eyes look like when they are like this. It will help the doctor give you good recommendations for hypo-allergenic makeup.

This way, you won't be guessing at $20 a pop.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on


I am so sorry! I have trouble with makeup and allergic reactions too. Have you tried Artistry? It is really well made and I haven't had any issues. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

If you want to keep trying, go to Sephora. This way if it does not work for you, it's returnable. I don't buy make-up at drugstores because they will not take it back. Sephora will take anything back. Or you could try it in the store to see how you react before you go back and buy.

Another idea is Whole Foods. They have a couple of natural lines of make-up you cold try.

Also, like PPers mentioned try Almay or Physician Formula.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

I'm allergic to most make-ups, but have great luck with Mary Kay as long as it does NOT have sunscreen in it. I can't put sunscreen on my face at all or I break out in hives and a burning rash plus acne.

For over the counter, I've been using L'Oreal. It's actually making my skin softer and I haven't had any sort of breakouts. I'm amazed. I'm using the True Blend products but I'm also using their BB cream 4-in-1. BB creams are supposed to be amazing for the skin and I was skeptical, but now I'm a believer.

My mother has always used Almay and Avon. She won't use anything else and her skin is much more sensitive than mine.

My grandmother also have sensitive skin and has always used Clinique.

A friend of mine has some pretty serious skin problems to the point that she lost all of her hair, and she uses bareMinerals. She said she tried Avon Minerals with good results, but went back to bareMinerals.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I've tried it all.
I get the same reaction (plus I break out) no matter what.
So I just gave up on make up.
I look my best when I'm not having an allergic reaction.
I won't suffer for fashion or 'a look' anymore.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I would definitely go to a dermatologist and/or allergist to find out exactly what you are allergic to in the make-up itself; hopefully they'll be able to diagnose. Also, they should have some safe suggestions for you. Mary Kay and Sephora will let you return or exchange; they both have a 100% guarantee on their make-up so if something doesn't work you can try something else. I would get a diagnosis first. For now, just wear a good foundation, maybe blush and lipstick or lipgloss if you want some make-up on or just go for the natural look altogether. I wish you the best...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I have a bad reaction to most types of mascara, but it's not really an allergy. Did you know that the ingredient that makes most mascara "waterproof" is titanium? It can be really harsh, make your eyes water, sometimes even make your lashes fall out! Try skipping the mascara and using eyeliner instead for a while, see if that makes a difference. The only mascara I've ever found that doesn't bother my eyes is one from Mary Kay, it's a lengthening mascara and has conditioners in it, but it's not waterproof. As for eyeshadow, I like mineral powders. Make sure you get good brushes and clean them often. But for me the mascara makes all the difference.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Almay - I had the same problem...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ugh. i hate it when that happens! and you never really know when it will. i spent over $20 on an estee lauder mascara a few years ago, and my eyes blew up so badly i still have a little scar under one. it was hypo-allergenic too.
i'm not sure if there's any way to know in advance, is there?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Clinique makes great hypoallergenic makeup. If you go when they have their free giveaway with purchase, there is usually eyeshadow, mascara, blush, ect in the giveaway bag. I just buy my facewash and lotion, and get the other stuff free. I havent paid for mascara or eyeshadow in years. They do the giveaways seasonally, call and they can tell you when the next one is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If I use the shadow that is more shimmery it does that to me and itches badly no matter what brand. I have to use the matte kind. I use L'oreal mascara and it doesn't flake off for me. IF I get anything too close to my eye it does what you describe. The brands that said non allergic were worse for me so that was very strange. I got a rash all over my face with a allergenic foundation. Just keep trying them until you find one and see if you can tell them you need a sample first.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Jane iredale is a really good natural line. Its a bit pricey though. I found some on ebay ( new of course) for cheaper. Also any mineral brand... bare, everyday minerals, devita are all really good. I get a rash from any other makeup. The quality of ingredients is what is important.



answers from Phoenix on

I have used Mary Kay for over 25 years and also am a consultant. I know different reactions can occur with ingredients, as well as environment. What I love about our products is that everything is 100% satisfaction guaranteed. And you can try the products before you make a decision. Let me know if I can help. Thanks!

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