Eye makeup allergies – My experience & advice

I have recently had a less than great experience when my impossibly sensitive eyes decided to develop a makeup allergy. Like the great millennial that I am , I immediately turned to the internet for help (cuz who needs a doctor when you have google right?) and I really had to dig on a few different medical websites for all the different pieces of information. So I decided to do a whole blog post dedicated to this subject and include all the information I wish was available to me when I went thru it. I hope that if you are experiencing this , my post helps and do keep in mind that I am not a doctor and all this advice is what I personally did and helped in my situation.

Firstly I want to start off with how the allergy manifested itself, a few months back I begun noticing my eye area becoming increasingly dry and even developing a wrought texture that resembled eczema. I didn`t think much of it since soon there after I went on my summer holiday and quit wearing makeup almost at all. Now my first big reaction was a few days after I went back to university and started wearing eye makeup again. This time my eyes really swelled up and the skin was red and dry. I also want to add that allergies can very easily appear even if for the first however many years of your life you weren’t allergic to that specific substance, they can just appear one day out of nowhere and there isn`t much you can do about it.

Now the first thing you will want to do in this case is remove any trace of makeup , I started with cotton pads and micelar water (I use the Garnier Micelar Water ) as well as using the micelar water on a q-tip and cleaning any trace of eyeliner residue. I also did a cleanse with a very gentle cleanser (Khiel`s Ultra Facial Cleanser ). Be carefull not to rub too much at your eyes since this will only aggravate the situation. I also should mention , even if it might seem obvious , that you showldn`t apply any sort of makeup around the eye area anymore, I will talk more about that .

What I did next was to go to my nearest pharmacy and get some antihistamine eye drops . You don`t need a prescription for them since they are a very mild substance. I put in the drops three times a day as the pharmacist recommended and for me the swelling went away after a couple of days. If you are freaked out by the swelling warm compress should help with that, I also really liked putting warm green tea bags on my eye area to help with the swelling.

As soon as the swelling goes down you will be left with extremely dry eyelids, this is when you will need a really good super hydrating eye cream . I personally really like this  Khiel`s one with avocado. You will want to put the eye cream on at least two times a day and try not to rub at your eyes even if it gets a little itchy. Also I want to mention that when applying the eye cream it might really sting at first , don`t get alarmed it will soon get better.

Now as for wearing makeup, what I personally did and recommend is to wait for your eyes to get completely held before you attempt to put on any more makeup around your eyes , this will take anywhere from one to two weeks. Keep strong and avoid any makeup as much as you will want to, it will bring you straight back to square one and you will have to do it all over again.

I also want to add that you personally might be allergic to only one or two ingredients in eye makeup and could possibly find other brands that will work for you. You can only find that out by trying out different products and seeing what works . I personally tried that and I found that I am basically allergic to all, the best way to try things with the smallest impact is by putting it on by itself (be it mascara , eyeliner , eyeshadow) and live it for at most half an hour . For me I could feel it immediately that it wasn`t working , my eyes would start watering and I could feel a little discomfort as well. I did switch brands and threw away  all my old makeup but nothing seamed to work.

Now this doesn`t mean you can`t wear any more eye makeup , if everything else fails there is the last option of hypoallergenic, fragrance free, ophthalmologist tested makeup. There are a hand full of brands that you can choose from. If you live in North America than you are lucky and have a bit more to choose from including drugstore options Almay and Neutrogena. I personally have only one option available and that is Clinique. Good quality products but the prices are much higher. Gone are the days of my favorite Maybelline mascaras that were also amazingly affordable.

The two products I have so far gotten are a mascara and a chubby stick for eyes to use as my base under eyeshadow. Starting out with the mascara (I chose the High Impact Extreme Volume ) , it`s a pretty good mascara, although I do find it clumps a bit more than I would like it to (and I usually like a bit of clump so watch out). I would still prefer my Maybelline Falsies or Bloom mascaras even without thinking of the price difference which is quite a bit. One thing I will say is that they do have a good selection of mascaras so you are bound to find one to suit you. Next I wanted an eye base in order to keep on using my old eyeshadow pallets ( I mean I wasn`t happy when I had to get rid of all my mascaras , eye liners and cream eyeshadow but don`t make me have to get rid of all my eyeshadow pallets) I checked the website and Clinique do a couple of eye primers but again they don`t carry them in Romania, yay for me . The next best thing was one of their chubby sticks for eyes I chose the pink color , even thou it looks pretty full on it was the one that blended into the skin the best and was the least noticeable . So far this option of a base has been working pretty good , I do only use high-end shadows since they do have better ingredients in them but I do plan on doing some drugstore experimenting as well.

Clinique also do eyeshadow pallets that as far as I know are also good quality so I will soon invest in a couple of those as well as the must have black and brown eyeliner. I am not much of a liner person since I have such small eyes but they are essentials .

I hope I didn`t ramble on too much in this post and you now have a better idea of what you need to do in the future. I would also love it if you too could share some of your experiences in the comments since I know that allergies are different from person to person and hopefully they will be useful to someone in the future. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you have found it useful!

Love Laura

12 thoughts on “Eye makeup allergies – My experience & advice

  1. You are right about eye allergies manifesting all of a sudden despite using an eye makeup product for some time. Happened to me recently with Revlon kohl pencil. Haven’t used Revlon at all except for this as it came highly recommended by friends. Used it for 3 months , now suddenly it doesn’t agree with me. In fact most eye pencils are irritating my eyes except Kryolan. Wonder why 🙄

  2. I’ve had this happen before, too. Eventually I figured out that it happened whenever I put on an eyeshadow that had gotten too old. So throwing out makeup periodically has become a ritual for me!

    I also found some special eyewash cloths (disposable) that seem to help whenever my eyes get irritated.

    Thanks for sharing!! Good tips.

    1. Allergies can be so different from one person to another, you just need to try things out and see what happens in your case. Thanks so much for sharing hopefully this helps someone in the future .

  3. Sorry about your allergies. I have food and seasonal allergies but I have a friend who’s allergic to SPF (sunblock). She can’t use any moisturizers or lip balm that has this ingredient. She constantly has to take Benadryl or Zyrtec to make sure she doesn’t have a reaction. I’ve developed different allergies as an adult and have lost some so things do change over time. I hope that your body will eventually become immune to it. Good luck!

  4. I’m curious, do vegan products work at all or does it specifically have to be hypoallergenic? That sounds extremely limiting. Sucks that you had to deal with all of this! Hope that you find some solutions that you’re peachy keen about.

  5. Great post. Do you ever get skin/scalp reactions with other products or is it just your makeup? If the answer is yes, you may be having a reaction to a common beauty/skin ingredient (silicones, fragrances, etc.). If the answer is no, you may possibility be reacting to the pigments in the makeup especially since you tried a variety of different products/brands. Hope all works out for you! 🙂

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