Allergic to herbal cosmetics; how you can avoid it?

Allergic to herbal cosmetics is very common.The idea of this post is to guide you on how to minimize hypersensitivity reactions when planning to make your own product by selecting the right ingredients.  Even if you are not a very sensitive person you can still be allergic to some ingredients. We ourselves are responsible for product safety. We cannot complain about an inappropriate product to anyone else.


Self-made cosmetics has advantages

You control all the ingredients yourself, can avoid harmful substances and clear allergens. Even if you know for sure every ingredient you are allergic to, there may be a surprise waiting. There is always a chance to use some ingredient you have no experience when preparing your own cosmetics. You may find a new wild herb or try some foreign antioxidant in your product. Then you cannot be sure that the ingredient is suitable for your skin.

All new ingredients should be tested

If you want to make sure that the cosmetic ingredient you use is suitable for you, you should test it before making the product.

To test the suitability, you can make oil extract made of fresh herbs. Fresh oil extracts contains all possible compounds of the plant. This is the best way to make sure the plant is suitable for your skin.

To make oil extract, you need a drop of some mild carrier oil. You need to be sure that you are not hypersensitive to the oil in question.

  • Mix diced herb you want to test with fresh oil. For example, if you would like to test birch leaves dice them small and add them to the oil. Place the mixture in a mixer and make a slightly pesto-like mixture.
  • Filter the mixture through a gauze cloth
  • You can now test your possible hypersensitivity

Choose a suitable test area on your skin


There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the point for testing. Facial skin may be your most sensitive area of ​​skin. So, if you want to be sure about the test result, you should choose a skin area on your face.

Perform the test on an unnoticeable area of ​​skin

It is best to choose a skin area that is not very visible. I usually test new products on the skin under my chin. This way, any possible redness is not directly visible on the face.

You can also select a less visible area for the test, such as the inside of the arms or the inside of the legs. However, you should remember that on the face the substance behaves differently. In addition, the result obtained from the skin on the arms is not very reliable.

Clean the skin thoroughly before the test

Another thing to remember is skin cleanliness. The skin must be clean of everything. During the test, you should not use any other products on that area of ​​skin. Other products will most probably spoil the test. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully cleanse the skin area with neutral cleansing methods and then only add the test ingredient to the skin.

The third thing to keep in mind is the time needed for testing. Half an hour is not at all enough time to detect hypersensitivity. It usually takes hours to detect a clear sensitization. Often, sensitization may not occur until after two days. In fact, I recommend using the new ingredient for a week in the test area to detect hypersensitivity.

Perform testing

  • Apply the oil containing plant or other substance you want to test to your cleansed skin.Allow the oil to effect until evening, if nothing critical occurs.
  • If the area you are testing becomes instantly irritated, you can stop testing it right away. You are clearly hypersensitive to the ingredient being tested.
  • Do not use it in any product, even in small quantities.
  • If nothing has appeared on the skin by the evening, you can wash off the test oil and add fresh test oil on the skin.
  • Continue doing this for at least two days. If, after two days, there is no reaction, you can use the plant relatively safe in your products.
  • However, you can continue testing if you wish. I recommend a week-long test period to make sure the ingredient is safe for your skin.

Common allergens


When making cosmetics, you should consider the ingredients you know you are allergic to or otherwise sensitized to. If you get any symptoms for example from milk or wheat, do not apply those ingredients on the skin either. However, if you want to try a yogurt mask you can test the yogurt first on the area under the chin. More information about skin allergies and allergens can be found on the website of the Allergy Association.

Most common nutrition allergens are

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Domestic cereals
  4. Tomato
  5. Beans
  6. Carrot
  7. Apple
  8. Citrus fruits

Despite testing, you may become allergic to any ingredient

Even if the test result is negative and you did not over-react to the product, it still does not guarantee that there will be no problem. Any person can become allergic to any ingredient over the years and months. Our physics is changing over the years and we maybe no longer tolerate some ingredient(s).

Your hypersensitivity reaction may also be due to another concomitant allergen. For example, in the springtime, when there is plenty of pollen in the air, many people will be easily sensitized to other things as well than just pollen.

Exposure and sensitization to pets may also exacerbate skin reactions to other substances.

You need to do an allergy test

So, you may have to do allergy tests on different products often if you have very sensitive skin. However, it is worth it. Your skin will thank you for using only safe, self-tested products. When making home cosmetics, you have the opportunity to choose ingredients suitable just for you for each of your product. You can easily avoid clear allergens. You can also avoid allergic to all herbal cosmetics.

How do you avoid allergic to herbal cosmetics?


Sensitization to cosmetics is avoidable. Nobody gets allergy symptoms by accident. All symptoms are always the cause. Allergic to herbal cosmetics is avoidable.

Keep INCI short

The products you make yourself can be very simple if you wish. Only a few ingredients are enough. You should not include many herbs in the same recipe. Even mild herbs contain dozens of different herbal chemicals. If you want to use five to six different plants in your product, the amount of herbal chemicals can easily increase up to hundreds. Therefore, it is advisable to use common sense with herbal ingredients in cosmetics.

You can also make allergic frienly facial toner using only one or two ingredient(s) avoiding all plant chemicals. You can find the recipe here.

There is a wide variety of ingredients used in commercial cosmetics. I don’t understand why at all. Out of dozens of extracts, it is very likely that you will be allergic to one or more of them.  Not all of these ingredients can be tested on their own, as many brands use rare ingredients of which some are very difficult to obtain. The suitability of the products can then only be tested with testers. Unfortunately, testers are not so often available.

Even a small number of herbs is enough

The wonderful thing about herbs is that quantity is not the thing but quality is. Even a very small quantity of herb is enough to achieve the desired result. Too much plant chemicals are common reason of allergic to herbal cosmetics.

If you make a product that is mentioned to be left on the skin and is intended for daily use, use herbal extracts very carefully. Powerful plant extracts can irritate your skin even if you are not at all allergic.

Avoid unnecessary plant chemicals

All the cosmetic manufacturing companies take this into account. This is especially the case with the largest multinational cosmetics giants. They do not want receive any complaints about their products. Therefore, in many INCIs, active plants are at the very end of the list. At the end of the INCI list are the ingredients that are the least in the product. Herbs are generally not widely used in commercial cosmetic products.

I only use herbs and other plant extracts in special products like masks and steaming. My normal moisturizing lotion does not contain any plant extracts. If for some reason I want plant strength in my ointment I will add to my daily ointment a drop of herbal extract. My own sensitive skin cannot withstand daily exposure to herbal chemicals. Especially if you have herbal lotion, herbal serum and herbal cream you will face problems. There are just too many herbs on the skin.

Of course, we are different and your skin may well withstand moisturizing plant extracts. However, it is worthwhile to think how to carry on with your daily cosmetics. At least in daily products, it is advisable to use milder extracts than specialty products.

Never use any cosmetics on broken skin


This rule is absolute. If your skin is broken, for example due to acne or eczema, or is otherwise inflamed, do not use any cosmetics on your skin.

Hardly anything can penetrate through healthy skin. It is very difficult for allergens to penetrate into the bloodstream through healthy skin. If the skin is broken already, the allergens get into the blood directly. To became allergic to something is very easy. If your body is sensitive, you will most likely get a hypersensitivity reaction.

Let your skin heal

So, if your skin is broken, let it heal first. Cosmetic creams are not intended to use for broken skin.

With these instructions, you will for sure let your skin to breath with less exposure to allergens. The purpose of cosmetics is to maintain the skin’s moisture, elasticity and healthy appearance. Avoiding sensitizing ingredients is part of this treatment.

P.S. I’ll be linking you to this post very often in my future posts. Whenever I talk about allergies and adding herbs and chemicals to products, it’s a good to remember how to avoid sensitization.

Are you sensitized to cosmetics? How do you make sure that the cosmetic product is right for your skin?

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