It's a common question: "Are your products hypoallergenic?"
Let's talk about this. Much like "chemical free" and "so safe you can eat it!", hypoallergenic is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
Hypoallergenic. It's a popular, official sounding term, isn't it? It really is meaningless in this industry, however -- doing nothing other than providing customers with a false sense of safety. "Hypoallergenic" implies that a product is less likely to cause a skin reaction, but science tells us that, in many cases, these claims are truly false.
“The FDA does not regulate or define the term hypoallergenic,” says Dr. Rajani Katta, professor of dermatology at Baylor and director of Baylor’s Contact Dermatitis Clinic.
There is NO regulation, nor are there any federal definitions or standards when it comes to hypoallergenic. In fact, hypoallergenic can essentially mean whatever a company wants it to mean.
When a company claims that their product is hypoallergenic, they do not have to submit any research or documentation to substantiate that their product is hypoallergenic.
Myth: Here is a quote from a "hypoallergenic" bodycare brand's website: "Hypoallergenic products do not contain allergens."
Fact: This is nonsense.
"People think 'hypoallergenic' means there are no allergens. That is just not the case," says Stacy Malkan, activist, author, and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
If you have ever had an adverse reaction to a product, you know all too well the redness, itching and irritation associated with that experience. Unfortunately, companies use that as an angle to market their products and provide a false sense of trust that their product is safer for you.
Do not fall for this. Anything can cause an allergic response, even the most natural, typically gentle ingredients . There is no regulation of this marketing buzzword and it is just a gimmick leading consumers to spend more money on their products.
We talk quite a bit about transparency and the importance of being informed consumers. Everyone deserves the best products with the best ingredients. They deserve the truth -- to know that the companies they are supporting are being frank and not glossing over the facts. If we could say, "YES, our products are hypoallergenic", we would. Knowing that even aloe or lavender could be a potential allergen for someone, though, it would not be honest. No one can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that a bodycare product is truly hypoallergenic. We hope that this makes label reading a bit easier for you in the future.
Yours in health & harmony,