Our bodies are naturally alert at picking up on what it is sensitive to and not. When we are allergic to something, be it a chemical, microbe, inhalant or food, our skin, sinuses, lungs and gut identifies it as an intruder, and our immune system reacts to help remove the offending agent. Allergies will sometimes sneak up on us in ways we do not expect, and the result can cause severe discomfort. While food allergies are common, it is not rare to develop cosmetic allergies too, also called contact dermatitis.

I bring up cosmetic allergies because every day millions of us apply make up without giving a second thought to its potential risks. I once wore purple eye shadow that ended up significantly irritating my eyes. They became red, watery, and inflamed. At first I thought I had pollen in my eyes but when I used kinesiology sensitivity testing for the eye shadow, it became clear to me that I was allergic to it and it was the root of all my symptoms. More specifically, it was the red dye used in my purple eye shadow but also found in pink, blue, bronze and even green eye shadows. Red dye can also be called Carmine, Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red #40, C.I. 75470, or E120.

Eye shadows can contain many other harmful ingredients including artificial chemicals, preservatives, toxic minerals, and fragrances. When applied to the eyelids, the powder can go into the eye, causing the delicate tissues to swell and tear. With continuous use your eyes will get itchy, inflamed, red and even feel pain.

Whole Foods, Co-Opportunity, Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy and Pharmaca all have many different brands of natural cosmetics. Natural does not mean “clean” though, always read the label for any chemical names I mentioned above. My suggestion is to wear neutral tones that are free of the red pigment. The less toxins and chemicals you apply to your body, the healthier you will be!



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