You don't want to end up with a reaction on your wedding day.

By Elizabeth Swanson
August 21, 2020
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Credit: Michelle Patrick / EyeEm via Getty Images

If you have sensitive skin and you're getting married, you want to be sure that the makeup you'll wear won't irritate your skin—no one wants wedding-day redness or rashes. First of all, make sure your skin is a clear canvas for makeup, with no active acne, rosacea, eczema, or sunburn, as "it will go miles in preventing reactions, because compromised skin equals highly reactive skin," says Dr. Estee Williams, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. "Get all of your skin conditions under control before venturing into makeup experimentation. And have a backup prescription for a steroid cream in case you flare at the last second." (Steroids should be used as a last resort, Dr. Williams says, but will work faster than any other intervention to calm facial rashes.)

Steer clear of products with fragrance and preservatives, as they are common ingredients that can trigger inflammation and allergies, Dr. Williams explains. While you should test the products you're going to wear on your wedding day ahead of time, Dr. Williams says contact allergies can develop over a couple of days, so one trial may not be enough to be sure you won't have a reaction. Instead, test your bridal makeup a few times before the big day to ensure you don't have any problems with it.

Patch testing, a form of allergy testing commonly performed by dermatologists and allergists when there is a suspicion of a contact allergy, can also be done. A high concentration of the chemical is placed directly on the patient's skin in a sticker that's worn continuously for 48 hours. "But I generally don't routinely recommend patch testing unless there is a history of repeated facial rashes that are itchy, unexplained, and don't go away with standard treatment," Dr. Williams says.  

And when in doubt? Stick to brands that are formulated for sensitive skin. Dr. Williams recommends Clinique, Beautycounter, and It Cosmetics, but you could also go with any tried-and-true products you use regularly.   

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