Just like with food, there are so many hidden forms of latex that if you have an allergy to it, it can pop up anywhere. The symptoms are the same as for food allergies, hives, itchiness, sneezing, coughing, even anaphylactic shock. So just as those with food allergies need to check all products, those with latex allergies need to be just as diligent. It’s not just in rubber gloves, balloons and condoms; it’s in diapers and sanitary pads, pacifiers and makeup applicators. However, again like food, you can be safe if you check your labels and are aware of certain brands.
While applying makeup, it’s important to know safety precautions, because if you have a latex allergy, you certainly don’t want to be putting it on your face. If you desire to wear makeup, you shouldn’t need to go without due to your allergy. There are plenty of ways to wear it safely.
First, let’s talk about application. While latex is mostly found in stage makeup, it’s all over in the application tools. For application, your fingers are always your best bet, regardless of allergy. They conform to the shape of your face and you have good control. You can use your fingers for everything from foundation to eye shadow to lip gloss without worrying about latex and achieve good results at the same time.
If you prefer applicators to your fingers, make sure they are latex free. Makeup sponges, though often made of latex, do come latex-free. Look for the wedges and make sure the package states that they are latex free. If you don’t see the words, assume they are made of latex and stay away. You can also try makeup brushes instead of sponges. These can be found at cosmetic counters and beauty supply stores. The wedges can be found at beauty supply stores as well. Cotton balls are also a cost effective, safe method for applying a variety of cosmetics.
If in doubt, ask. When buying the higher end cosmetics found in department stores, you are usually dealing with a representative who should be fully knowledgeable about the products. It’s better to skip the product if you are in doubt than come away with a face full of hives or worse.
Remember, too, just as you wouldn’t let your food allergic child share food, don’t share makeup or applicators with anyone else. Not only is it not hygienic for anyone, you can have a reaction if they have any latex products. There is also the prospect of cross contamination. If you share product but not applicators, your friend’s applicators may have latex and that is being dipped into your product and can leave traces.
Be diligent with your products as well as your applicators and you will be looking beautiful and staying safe at the same time!
– Heather Legg