How much do we really know about the ingredients used to formulate our favorite makeup and skincare products — and could they be making our skin issues 100 times worse instead of actually helping them? Hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer from dermatitis, an umbrella term that encompasses several types of eczema, including those caused by allergens and hormones, genetics, and microorganisms on the skin. At the same time, allergies are increasing and as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children suffer from various food and environmental allergies.
It’s time to face facts: if our makeup and skincare isn’t part of the solution, it could be part of the problem.
Cosmetics and skincare products contain some of the worst allergens imaginable — including parabens, synthetic fragrances and dyes, and even formaldehyde. If you suspect your favorite shadow, powder, or serum is to blame for dryness, redness, and other skin reactions, toss it to the curb. These 8 best makeup brands for women with dermatitis prove we don’t have to trade in our health for outstanding beauty and skincare products.
Created by entrepreneur and mom Jennifer Kurko after her eldest daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies, Kiss Freely is dedicated to delivering makeup, skincare, and bath products that are free of the most common eight allergens and gluten. Additionally, Kiss Freely seldom uses other potential allergens like shea butter, sesame, peas, avocado, coconut, and sunflower seed. The extensive line of lip glosses, balms, lipstick, eyeshadows, and body butters contain natural, luxurious ingredients and come in fun colors (you’ll find both allergy-free black lipstick and the perfect shade of Cinderella blue eye shadow on their website). This brand also gives back: a portion of all profits are donated to organizations that work toward the advancement of people with food allergies.
As one of the leaders in the mineral makeup movement, Colorescience has been using natural ingredients like zinc oxide, talc, and titanium oxide since before it become a trend. Its chemical-free line of foundations and powders, which contain sunscreen protection, are ideal for anyone with sensitive skin who finds most SPF products are giving them a case of red, dry skin. Foundations like Natural Finish Pressed Foundation are free of parabens and contain nourishing botanicals. Take note that not every Colorescience product is free of gluten, so be sure to read labels.
A “clean beauty” mineral makeup brand from the UK, Jane Iredale offers a gluten-free, mostly all vegan (some products contain beeswax) selection of foundations and powders, eye makeup, lip goodies, tools, and skincare products. Everything is cruelty free and, in an effort to be as transparent as possible (which we just love), the company lists a makeup ingredient glossary on its site. You’ll receive an education in chemistry and can rest easy learning that Ascorbyl Glucoside, which sounds technical and slightly scary, is actually a skin-brightening form of vitamin C (hurray!).
100 Percent Pure
Fruit-pigmented makeup? Pass that blueberry extract eye palette, please. As an organic, toxin-free, natural brand, 100 Percent Pure is always coming up with innovative ways to provide cleaner, healthier makeup, skincare, and hair and body care alternatives. Take its Creamy, Long Last Liner, for example: you’ll find no fewer than nourishing botanical oils in its ingredients list — with a touch of vitamin E thrown in for good measure.
Red Apple Lipstick
Red Apple Lipstick, $23.50
Don’t let the name fool you: Red Apple Lipstick is a gluten and paraben-free brand that makes eyeshadow, blush, mascara, liners, brushes, lip balm, and lip gloss. But it would be a sin not to focus on its gorgeous selection of lipsticks, all of which are vegan and free of gluten, allergens, corn, GMOs, and parabens (they’re cruelty free, to boot).
With a focus on quality skincare, Drunk Elephant makes a promise to its loyal fanbase that its cleansers, exfoliants, moisturizers, and lip balms will be free of what the brand considers the six worst skin product ingredient offenders: silicones, chemical screens, sensitizing colorants/perfumes, sulfates, essential oils, and drying alcohols.
It may not be a household name here (yet) but Lavera, a popular organic and natural makeup brand from Germany, has been operating for 25 years and has a roster of more than 300 beauty products that are formulated without synthetic preservatives, colors, or fragrances. The brand doesn’t test on animals and lists on their website a long line of ingredients that they avoid using (including popular ones like mattifying dimethicone). One of its most popular products is its liquid foundation, which comes in 10 shades and is formulated with organic argan oil, jojoba, and vitamins A, C, and E.
She’s on a serious mission to empower women, but makeup artist and ThriveCausmetics founder Karissa Bodnar has made sure to create a vegan, cruelty-free makeup line that’s as fun as it is serious beauty business. Without the use of parabens, sulfates, or toxins, this collection of face, eye, and lip makeup consists of beautiful, vivid shades and brightening formulas. And this is a brand with heart: for every product you purchase, ThriveCausmetics donates one product to women surviving cancer or domestic violence.