Allergens in Skincare: Is There Latex in Makeup?
Last updated: March 2023
Latex comes from the sap of a rubber tree. It is used in natural rubber products such as balloons, medical gloves, or elastic. About 1 to 6 percent of people have an allergy to latex. The allergy can be triggered by touching latex, breathing in fibers, or eating certain foods.1,2
People with latex allergies should avoid latex products. The allergy can be triggered by the product touching the skin. So, it may be important to avoid makeup with latex in it.1,2
Is there latex in makeup?
This answer depends on many factors. Some makeup can have latex in it. This might include:2
- Eyelash glue
- Face or body paint
This is not a complete list. The best way to know if a product has latex in it is to read the ingredients on the label.2
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require a latex warning on products. But it does require that makeup list the ingredients. The ingredients should be listed on the makeup packaging. If you buy makeup online, the ingredients should be listed on the website.2
Latex can be called by a different name in ingredient lists. Other possible names for latex include:2
- Aqueous latex adhesive
- Latex rubber
- Natural centrifuged latex, natural liquid latex
- Natural latex, natural latex rubber, natural rubber latex
- Rubber latex
What is hypoallergenic makeup?
In the US, there are no official regulations on the word "hypoallergenic." This means any company can label any product hypoallergenic. Customers may think this means it does not contain allergens. But the company is not required to prove this to the FDA. Make sure to still check the ingredients for latex even if a product says it is hypoallergenic.2,3
How to manage an allergic reaction to makeup
Signs of an allergic reaction to latex in makeup include:1
- Red, itchy, or swollen skin
- Runny nose or sneezing
- Difficulty breathing
If you experience these symptoms, stop using the product and contact your doctor. The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is avoiding latex. Besides reading the ingredients, other things you can do are:2
- Avoid all body paint, theater makeup, hair glue, and eyelash glue. These are the products most likely to contain latex.
- Contact the maker to confirm that a product does not have latex if the package is unclear.
- Tell any hairdressers or makeup artists about your allergy. Products used by professionals may not list ingredients. So, they may have to call the manufacturer.
- Check the ingredients list each time you buy a product. Ingredients may change between batches.
What other allergens could be in makeup?
Even if makeup does not contain latex, it could have other allergens. Other common allergens in makeup include:4
- Colophony is also made from tree sap. It can be called rosin or resin. It can be found in mascara, lipstick, powder, eye shadow, concealer, or blush.
- Lanolin is a material that comes from sheep. It can be in many different types of makeup. Examples are lipstick, eye makeup, and foundation.
- Fragrance is used to give makeup a smell. But it can still be used in “unscented” products to hide a smell.
- Black rubber might be in makeup tools like sponges or eyelash curlers.
- Formaldehyde is a preservative that might be in makeup.
- Paraphenylenediamine is an allergen often found in hair dye. It can also be in makeup like dark lipstick.
- Paraben is a preservative that is common in makeup.
This is not a complete list of possible allergens in makeup. Speak with your doctor if you are worried about allergic reactions to makeup.
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?