Its Hypoallergenic

This Consumer Myth Can Actually Be Making You Sick…

In Australia and the USA, the cosmetic industry is largely self regulated. This can mean no regulation or very minimal.

Therefore, when I see the term hypoallergenic on a label, I question what it really means.

As a consumer, we have the right to trust what is written on a label as we feel the regulatory bodies have a good handle on it.

Reading the term “Hypoallergenic” on a label makes you feel like you are choosing a product that is less likely to cause allergic reactions, gentler and safer for you and your family and particularly safe for those with sensitive skin.

It is on the shelf, it must be OK.

However, I could not find a medical definition or published industry or public standard regulation. Yet the term has been used, according to Wikipedia (2012), since 1953 by the cosmetic and fabric industry, at the discretion of the manufacturer. According to Katta (2008) there are neither concrete federal standards nor unequivocal definitions that govern the use of the term hypoallergenic.

According to the US FDA (2000), manufacturers are not required to submit substantiation of hypo-allergenic claims to the Federal Drug Administration USA.

The term has no meaning, it means whatever a particular company wants it to mean.

It may sound and feel strange, but basically if you see the word Hypoallergenic on labelling, it should not affect your choice of product.

Sources:

US Food and Drug Administration (18 October, 2000), Hypoallergenic Cosmetics, (Online), Available: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/CosmeticLabelingLabelClaims/LabelClaimsandExpirationDating/ucm2005203.htm, [3 January 2013].

Wikipedia (November, 2012), Hypoallergenic, (Online), Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoallergenic, [3 January 2013].

Dr Katta, R (2008), ‘Common Misconceptions in Contact Dermatitis Counseling’, Dermatology Online Journal, vol. 14, (4): 2, (Online), Available: http://dermatology-s10.cdlib.org/144/commentary/contact_dermatitis/katta.html, [3 January 2013]

We’re glad you’re here. We’re Carol and Tony, founders of one of the longest running Healthy Home Blogs in the world, Mitey Fresh Australia. We’ve been on this journey for the last 25 years and are passionate about helping families sift through health hazards and triggers like allergens, mould, water damage, chemicals and EMFs, to get clarity about what’s toxic and what’s not so they can create a healthy and happy home for their family they love. Each month, people visit this blog seeking focus on the health and wellbeing of their loved ones, sustainable and effective practice tips and guides, to help create and manage healthier indoor spaces, improve the built environment that is pleasing to the senses and support healthy living and nature, every day. Starting this blog was to help change people’s lives, one family at a time, and we can’t wait to share how its allowed us to stand next to you and show you how interpreting these synergies between buildings and the environment they are built in will impact upon the health and well-being of those who occupy them. Find out more about Healthy Homes and what this blog can do for you!

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