Hypoallergenic is kinda made up.
There’s no official body that regulates “hypoallergenic” so even if a brand says it is, it may not be safe for sensitive skin.
Yup. Basically, “hypoallergenic” means the ingredients used to make the product will not cause an allergic reaction on your sensitive skin. Truth bomb: this does not automatically mean that it’s allergy-proof. In fact, there’s no official body that regulates “hypoallergenic” so even if a brand says it is, it may not be safe for sensitive skin.
The term “hypoallergenic” means whatever a company wants it to mean. They don’t even have to do tests to prove it won’t cause a reaction. At Yours Only, on the other hand, we test on real humans for 8 weeks straight to see if their skin gets pissed off. But even before that, we use Human Repeat Insult Patch Testing, which means a small sample of our product is applied to a target area of the back. Patches are applied over the product and after a certain amount of time removed, and skin responses are assessed. This type of study results in certification by a qualified Dermatologist. That’s where “dermatologically tested” comes in and is basically what you should be looking for. You can read more on that whole process here.
Anyway, since “hypoallergenic” can easily fool you amongst many blasé marketing claims, we thought we’d break this one down for you so you get the full picture.
When testing if something is hypoallergenic, it’s tested on a person, right? If they’re not allergic to the proteins in the product , all the ingredients are deemed hypoallergenic. So, if you’re not allergic to, let’s say, peanuts, – all brands of peanut butter tested are going to be labelled as hypoallergenic. Catch our drift?
Okay, now let’s talk “hypoallergenic” laundry detergent. This doesn’t mean that it removes allergens. It means that the common ingredients used that cause allergic reactions, like fragrance (eek) and dye (ouch), have been eliminated. What they don’t tell you, is that the most allergic reactions to detergent happen because of the enzymes used to break down soil. Long story short, you can still have an allergic reaction if you’re sensitive to enzymes, even though it has no fragrance or dye.
Now, we want to discuss our furry friends. We love our pets, but if someone tells you a cat or dog is hypoallergenic, they’re telling you fibs. Does your pet create urine or saliva? Well, yup that means they produce the allergy-causing protein, because the protein that causes allergic reactions comes from their saliva and urine. Have you ever been told that pets that don’t shed, don’t create allergens? Well yeah, that’s a big fat lie also, because allergens spread from their saliva and urine to their hair and although those that shed less may spread less allergen, they still produce the allergy-causing protein.
Now that you’re getting your head around this kinda-made-up term, it’s time to get to know your ingredients and actually read your labels. We promise it’s worth it and will change your life forever. Whether it’s a hand wash, a deodorant or your spray and wipe bottle, just read the damn label. Even if it says “hypoallergenic” on the front, check out the label on the back for all the not-so-fun things we’ve mentioned and more.
Here’s a list of what to watch out for on your labels and to avoid for sensitive skin:
– Formaldehyde releasers (such as quertinum-15).
– “Green” products are soy-based, so if your body doesn’t agree with soy, avoid!
– For personal care items, brands use dyes and fragrances to make them look and smell good
– Masking fragrances are also used to conceal the odor of other ingredients
– Read the labels of all packaged, prepared, and precooked foods
– Always ask why, when you’re presented with the word “hypoallergenic”
In conclusion, it’s basically impossible to guarantee that a product will never cause an allergic reaction. Forget “hypoallergenic” and start looking for “dermatologically tested”. So, now that you know what to watch out for, it’s time to start purchasing smarter, asking the right questions and really getting to know the types of ingredients that you’re putting on your skin and in your body.
Our final note: by ridding your body and home of allergy-causing substances, you may save yourself lots of dollars in not-so-nice products and medical bills!