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whentaniatalks: 'Hypoallergenic' - What Does It Actually Mean?

Monday, 9 June 2014

'Hypoallergenic' - What Does It Actually Mean?

Hi Everyone!

Ok, so many people are aware of food allergies - but how many have considered the impact these can have on a person's skincare and make-up choices?

Take someone who has an anaphylactic reaction to eggs (click here for definition of allergies & anaphylaxis). Many products, especially make-up state in the ingredients that they contain 'lethecin'. There are three main types of lethecin - egg, vegetable and soya. Without companies being more specific about the source of their lethecin it can make shopping for products very difficult for those with an egg allergy, especially one that is life-threatening.

To dispel a belief that is growing to almost mythological proportions - 'hypoallergenic' does not mean that a product, or range of products is any more suitable for allergy sufferers than one that does not make these claims. Indeed, products deemed 'hypoallergenic' have been known to contain nuts, one of the most common and well known allergens to cause a severe reaction. So what is the definition of 'hypoallergenic'? Well, this is ambiguous. nothing more than that the company wishes to tell it's consumers the product is less likely to cause a reaction. But less likely than what? There is no set criteria that companies have to adhere to, with the term 'hypoallergenic' being useful in the promotion of the respective product. It is however, a requirement that companies list the ingredients used in their products to allow consumers to make an informed decision on their purchases. As I'm sure will be seen in future posts, this does not always occur & can make it particularly difficult for someone with allergies to purchase cosmetics.

I will be compiling a list of products containing specific allergens (wheat, nuts, lethecin, sesame, shea butter & anything else you want me to!) as a point of reference for those who suffer with allergies.

Tania Xx

Useful Resources - 

http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmeticlabelinglabelclaims/labelclaimsandexpirationdating/ucm2 005203.htm (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Margaret Morrison, http://www.fda.gov, Page Last Updated: 02/25/2013, Last viewed: 03/24/13)


At 11 August 2014 at 22:53 , Blogger Emily Danson said...

Fantastic post. Personally, I believe that under the trade description act using the term "hypoallergenic" shouldn't be allowed at all. It can cause so much confusion, just like it did for me.

At 23 August 2014 at 14:56 , Blogger Tania Jayne said...

Thanks Emily! I completely agree with you! I'm sorry to hear that you had problems as a result of the use of the term 'hypoallergenic'. Xx


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