Cosmetics may be defined as any substance applied externally to the body to enhance beauty. They are made up of many different chemicals eg. the active ingredient, fragrances, animal, vegetable or synthetic oils/ fats, colouring agents, preservatives and others, some of which are closely guarded “secret ingredients”. Some of the ingredients can cause skin problems on the areas applied while others eg. resins in nail products can cause skin conditions in areas other than the areas applied eg. the face.
Before we answer that question, we have to know that there are normally 2 types of reactions that one may encounter with the use of cosmetics. One is due to the irritant nature of the product. This depends on the chemicals used, how often and under what condition it is used and the condition of the person’s skin. Another reaction is due to a, allergy to the compound and this is not as common. This depends on how allergenic the compound is and the ability of the person to develop the allergy.