Hypoallergenic Skin Care is a Myth April 06 2014, 0 Comments

Finding cosmetics can be a nightmare for people with allergies. Just because a product says it is hypoallergenic doesn't mean it is totally free of allergens. 

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

Hypoallergenic simply means that the product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction for the majority of the fragile skinpopulation. Hypoallergenic cosmetics are not, however, “allergy-proof” or “allergen-free” and can mean different things from manufacturer to manufacturer. There is no standard test to prove that a product is hypoallergenic, therefore there is no standard and no guarantee that there will not be a reaction for your skin. You should never assume that you will not react to a product before testing it for yourself.

Try A Little First!

The best way to test a product is to apply a small amount to your inner forearm for a few days. This is called a patch test. If you do not break out or react in any way you are not likely to have a reaction on other parts of your body. The skin on your forearm is very sensitive, so it is not very likely that you will react on another part of your body if you do not react to a patch test on your forearm.

It is important to keep in mind that hypoallergenic products are only relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in comparison to other products from the same manufacturer. With this in mind, you should never take for granted that something is safe for you to use especially if you have severe allergies.

There are also certain allergen "families" that can easily be avoided if you know which allergens irritate you. If you know you can't eat nuts, then avoid using skin care products that contain nuts like she butter for example. Coconuts, however are not a nut despite the name. The part of the coconut used in skin care is actually the fruit and is safe for use by the vast majority of people.

Finally, if you are not sure about a product, you may want to talk to your doctor or dermatologist before using something new to see if you can pinpoint the culprit before you have a problem.