Some people are so obsessed with beauty that they spend their last penny on creams or put on make-up to achieve different looks at different times. These days, it's not surprising to see beauty – conscious women doing those tried and tested tips like putting mayonnaise on the hair, cucumbers on the eyes and even milk or eggs on the face. All these for the sake of beauty.
Undoubtedly, cosmetics has played an important role in women's lives. Superficial or not, most spend endless hours being scrubbed, massaged, exfoliated and made up like a butterfly. You have beauty products for having lovely eyes, sweet fragrances, oil-free foundations, dyes, anti-aging creams, moisturizers, powders, lipsticks, among others.
"But one should be careful," explains dermatologist Glibenette Tapang – Panlaqui. "Contact dermatitis to cosmetics is common nowdays due to the wide range of products available in the market." The leading cause of skin reactions due to cosmetics is fragrances.
The severity of the skin reactions, she says, vary from person to person or from time to time for the same person, due to the conditions of the skin at the time of exposure to a given concentration of the irritant.
"It is therefore advisable to buy products which are labeled hypo-allergenic or non-comedogenic and do a patch test before using the products on the skin to make sure one is not allergic to it," Dr. Panlaqui adds.
Cosmetic ingredients vary. They come from aloe vera, wheat grain products, essential oils and extracts derived from plants. One of the newest are florabeads which are ideal for facial scrub.
Evidence of mechanical exfoliation dates back as 3,000 BC when honey and salt instituted the main cleaning ingredients of the Egyptian religious community. According to data, exfoliation acids have a long history of use like the baths taken by Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette.
Aside from the scrubs, cosmetics and treatment are reputed to beautify and minimize ageing effects. Hair cosmetics strengthen the hair and scalp as well as color it; lipstick makes one look more attractive; powder makes the skin glow and rosy; and fragrance leaves an enchanting scent. Indeed, the growing complexity of today's market combine make-up and treatment using cosmetics that do not harm the skin.
What are the precautions to take? Do not forget the patch test. Keep away from the sun, use an umbrella or a sunblock lotion. Throw away old make-up. Read labels just like you would food and medicine labels.
Dr. Panlaqui also warned about the following cosmetics and its harmful ingredients:
In axilliary deodorants and antiperspirants, aluminum salts like aluminum chloride or zinc slats (eg zinc chloride act as a primary irritant) In roll-ons, the quaternary ammonium compounds may produce allergic contact dermatitis.
In hair dyes, those containing PPDA or paraphenylenediamine may act as sensitizer. Hair bleaches peroxide ad ammonia.
In lipsticks, the perfumes used and di- and tetrabomo -fluorescein in the dyes may cause sensitization reactions.
In eye make-up, be wary of preservatives and perfumes.
In sunscreens, keep away from paraaminobenzoicacid and its esters.
In depigmenting creams, beware of those containing hydroquinone.
Well, while cosmetics really makes a whole lot of difference in enhancing a woman's beauty, there's still no substitute for a radiant and sincere smile.