The Allergic Girl’s Guide to Beauty Products

By Rina Stone,

In recent years, I’ve found my skin becoming more and more sensitive. Rashes, hives—or a bag over my head—became the norm. After multiple rounds of tests, I identified an extensive list of ingredients that my system could no longer handle. Unfortunately, these ingredients also go by four or five different names on product labels, so narrowing down my routine to a super-sensitive collection has been quite a daunting (but ultimately successful) exercise.

Now, we all know that I could have stopped at Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($11; It works perfectly and causes no reactions. But seriously, the world of beauty is so exciting and ever-changing, a girl’s got to have choices. Working in the offices of InStyle, I’m tempted by the new and enticing all day long. As your personal guinea pig, I’m happy to share the non-reactive skin care products (some, but not all, are chemical-free, organic or all-natural) from my daily routine—and even some great color cosmetics. This is just a sampling of my favorites. Explore the links for dozens of others that might suit you.


Soap 101 Stressed Skin Remedy, $12.50;

This super-soothing bar soap made with oatmeal and chamomile foams to a rich lather and leaves skin feeling clean. Texture and irritation are definitely reduced with continued use.


MV Organic Skincare Pure Superfine Jojoba Oil, $45;

A natural moisturizer that softens and protects skin without clogging pores. I also find it’s great for removing eye makeup.

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Facial Spritz Toner, $55;

Just a light misting hydrates, tones and calms redness: It’s a great refresher during a long flight.


Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer, $29;

Perfect for everyday.  Mineral pigments offer a light, glowing coverage.


RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up, $36;

An excellent coverage concealer that also doubles as foundation when mixed with moisturizer.


RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, $38;

This J.Crew-model staple plays up a healthy looking glow.


Beauty Counter Lip Sheer, $28;

A sheer, moisturizing tint with a natural vanilla scent. The shade Twig is perfect for a polished day look, and I love Scarlet for something a little more fun.

Jin Soon nail polish in Coquette, $18;

A perfect year-round cherry-red, the hue Coquette is formulated without formaldehyde—like all the line’s polishes.

photos: Getty Images, Courtesy