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An FDA Ruling On Makeup That Bugs You

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If you’ve ever left on your eye makeup overnight and woken up looking a little worse for the wear due to itchy, red irritation—not to mention those disconcerting dried black tears stuck to your cheeks—you might have an insect allergy. Yes, we said insect allergy. The colorants carmine and cochineal, which are extracted from the crushed bodies of the cochineal beetle, are used in a large number of name-brand eye shadows and mascaras and have recently been linked to increasing complaints about severe allergic reactions, ultimately provoking FDA involvement. Beginning in 2011, a new regulation will take effect requiring cosmetics and personal-care products manufacturers to actually list these ingredients on labels, rather than just citing them as “artificial colors” or “additives.” You should still make a conscious effort to wash your makeup off before you go to sleep, though. It’s a good move for optimal skin health—and for feeling halfway decent about yourself when you wake up in the morning.

Photo: Getty Images

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  1. deena23d says:

    In the past month I have gone to 2 doctors trying to find out why my eyes keep turning red and irritated. After spending a lot of money on new make-up/contacts/make-up brushes. I was finally told by my make-up person at Macy’s that it could be the red dye(carmine) in my make-up. I bought new eye shadow that did not contain carmine and for the past few days my eyes are now clearing up.

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