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Aspirin Allergy and Skin Care Products

salicylic acid
Aspirin. It is Acetylsalicylic acid derived from willow tree bark. If you are allergic to it, you most likely allergic to many skin care, personal care and makeup products. Salicylates are chemicals found many fruits, vegetables and are often in skin care products these days. 

It is said that topical application of salicylates is generally well tolerated and that an allergy to topical products is rare. But, I do have a facial client who is allergic to aspirin and does react to skincare products that contain salicylic acid. I'm really careful about which skincare products I use on her or she will end up with swollen eyes. I didn't realize how many products and foods actually contain them until I started looking into it. If you suspect you have a salicylate allergy, an allergist can do a patch test to diagnose the allergy.

Beta hydroxy acid (BHA), a salicylate, is widely used in makeup and skin care products for its exfoliating, healing and anti inflammatory properties. You will find it in acne products as well as anti aging products.

Sunscreens can have salicylates too. Even toothpaste. It's a great ingredient as long as you're not allergic to it.  Allergic people should always read the ingredient list on the product label for any salicylates before buying.

Here is a list of salicylates:
Acetylsalicylic acid
Amyl salicylate
Benzyl salicylate
Beta Hydroxy acid
Magnesium salicylate
Phenyl salicylate
Phenylethyl salicylate
Salicylic acid
Sodium salicylate
Willow bark extract

Sunscreen ingredients:
Homosalate (Homomenthyl salicylate)
Ethylhexyl salicylate (octyl salicylate/octisalate)
Trolamine salicylate

Some Foods containing salicylic acid:

Kiwi Fruit

Hot peppers

Nuts & Legumes
Pine nuts


There is so much more. Red and yellow food coloring, nitrates, artificial flavorings. It's crazy. I'm glad I'm not allergic to them.

Here are some  helpful links:

My Sensitive Skincare:

Salicylate Free Products:

I hope this post helps you avoid aspirin related allergic reactions.

        Have a Beautiful Day! 
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

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