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Hypoallergenic Skincare. Is it?

Hypoallergenic Is It Even Real

We have all seen the labels and the marketing material stating that a product is hypoallergenic. What makes it so, what does that mean, and why say it? It's a marvelous word signifying the product is less apt to cause an allergic reaction.  It sounds so clinical, official and sterile. Like nothing bad could happen to you if you used this product.  The word hypoallergenic makes you think that this is skincare you can trust.

Invented By Marketing

In fact, there are no definitive tests or standards to test for such a thing. It is not a medical or scientific term, it was a term coined by a cosmetic company in the 1950's. They wanted to convince consumers that the product was less likely to cause an irritation than the other product. It sounded good from a marketing angle and lots of folks grabbed a hold of it from there and ran with it. Many people think that it means that the products will not cause allergic reactions but with the complexities of allergies it is impossible for any manufacturer to make a claim of “no allergic reaction” or “allergy free” .  To claim a product is hypoallergenic means that the manufacturer is claiming the ingredients are less apt to cause an allergic reaction than others.

Word Play

So let us run a hypothetical situation. Let's pretend that you are a manufacturer of cosmetics. You make a line of foundation make up. You have a long list of ingredient compounds that go into this foundation product. Say you start getting feedback that there is a part of the population that is having an allergic reaction (usually slight redness, heat, or itchiness). You want happy customers! So you go back to your lab and you isolate the compound that may be the perpetrator and you either change your formula a bit and re release as “Re Formulated” or you run a new line with a new set of compounds and call it “Hypoallergenic”.

I have often been perplexed by cosmetic companies who have a “hypoallergenic” line. As opposed to what? a High Allergy line. But then, I am a boutique and I carry one line, an all natural line. I can see though, why large manufacturers would want to use the term and I like to try not to be cynical and believe they are trying to create a more gentle line rather than using hype to deceive the consumer.

Keep It Simple, Keep It Natural

With Très Spa, we feel natural plant based is the best for you and for the planet. So we create products in Harmony with Nature and we disclose all of the ingredients on our website as well as our labels. Très Spa products serve a broad spectrum of customers and some that suffer from allergies to various ingredients as well as those with particularly challenging skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. So even though Très Spa products could be considered hypoallergenic, we choose not to actively market that. We feel it is far better to use natural and botanical ingredients in our formulations and disclose what each ingredient is then let you, the consumer, choose what works best for you.  After all, you know what you are allergic to.