Melanie is miserable: Recently, I had a terrible allergic reaction on my lips to the Primal Elements Lip Plumper. Shortly after putting it on I had severe swelling, bumps, peeling, on and on. My dermatologist prescribed cortisone cream that seems to be working it will be awhile until it’s completely healed. Do you have an idea of what could have caused a reaction. Maybe the cinnamon? Do you have any suggestions about lip balms that will be safe to use in the future.
The Left Brain provides lip service:
We’ve written about lip plumpers before, so I looked at the ingredient list of this product and I have some theories about which ingredients might be the problem.
First, you asked about cinnamon. That’s a good guess because Cinnamic aldehyde, a component of cinnamon oil, is known to cause allergy contact dermatitis. Symptoms include a rash, intense swelling, and redness of the affected area. (If you`re interested in learning more, here’s a good link from Dermnet.)
However, that doesn’t seem to be the likely culprit for your lip gloss because Primal Elements doesn’t contain cinnamon oil, it contains Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate which is a sunscreen. While the name sounds like cinnamon, it’s not. Some people are sensitive to sunscreens, however, so you could look at the ingredients on other products you buy and see if you’ve used this one before.
What else? Well, Menthol and Camphor are mild irritants that could be causing the problem. And Benzyl Nicotinate is added to give your lips the tingling feeling that lip plumpers are supposed to provide. You might be reacting to that.
Smells like fragrance
Finally, fragrance is always one of the usual suspects when it comes to skin reactions. The good news is, probably any lip gloss you try will have a different fragrance than Primal Elements. The rest of the formula seems unlikely to cause a problem.
The Beauty Brains Bottom Line:
If you look for a lip gloss that doesn’t have ethyl methoxycinnamate, menthol, camphor, benzyl nicotinate and that has a different fragrance, that should help.