Hypoallergenic Meaning and a beginners guide
What does hypoallergenic skincare really mean?
There are many skincare products on the market being sold with hypoallergenic words on their labels.
Did you know recent FDA statistics listed almost 20% of Americans react to at least one allergen?
Many people are becoming more aware of allergies or even getting tested. They want to know - how do I find out what I am allergic to.
What does allergy-tested mean?
Taking an allergy skin test (you can even do it from home), your skin is subjected to suspected allergy-causing substances called allergens. The next step is then observing your skin for signs of an allergic reaction. Together with your medical history, allergy tests may be able to inform you whether a particular substance you touch, breathe or eat is causing symptoms or adverse some reaction - this is normally carried out by your medical professional - or you can get the test done online here and they are quite a reasonable price.
Because of this overall awareness, a lot of people are becoming more and more interested in hypoallergenic products what they are, and how can they help.
These top hypoallergenic products are important, especially if you suffer from allergies so let’s look at what it means.
What does it mean when a product is labeled hypoallergenic?
The term, “hypoallergenic” is largely thought to have started in the makeup industry. Coming from many years ago when lots of common ingredients in makeup were causing irritation to users’ eyes and skin.
So a hypoallergenic product does not have many of the allergens that inflict skin reactions which are commonly called flareups.
Hypoallergenic products have recently been really well received that there are other sectors and industries making hypoallergenic product lines as well. For example Dogs, Cats and Jewelry all have products that you could purchase with a hypoallergenic label.
There are no Federal standards for a company to declare if skincare or other product is hypoallergenic. However, they will run a number of tests like a patch test. It is carried out on large sample size of people of appropriate subjects and their skin reactions to the product are then monitored and any issues recorded.
It takes a long time and often quite a large amount of money to test and document correctly and carry out their research.
Moreover, because many companies have different methodologies it is not possible to get the true meaning of a hypoallergenic product. Testing will be different from company to another company.
However, the best way is to select a product that has a label declaring it is hypoallergenic is for you to take responsibility and read the label carefully. Look at the ingredient list yourself. This will help to iron out any differences in testing methodology.
How do I tell if a product is hypoallergenic?
Here are some hypoallergenic tips in selecting a product:
- Stinging Skin: Do not select acidic products and products that contain alcohol.
- Acne Skin Hypoallergenic: Do not select isopropyl myristate in products
- General: Do not select products that seem to have a lot of extra chemicals to them - or compounds that you do not understand the names. Look for natural compounds.
- Do not select products with strong or artifical scents.
- Is your Skin Prone to Rashes: Do not select products with cetyl alcohol
- I would never select a product that contains parabens.
Remember if you are not sure, consult your health professional.
can I use hypoallergenic products?
Most people think that you should only use hypoallergenic products if you have bad skin allergies. This Is not correct - anybody can use hypoallergenic products.
So if you do not have a skin allergy why might you consider such a product. One of the main reasons is - a micro buildup of compounds that can cause harm over time. By that I mean there are many additives to products that in tiny tiny quantities are deemed safe. However if year after year you keep adding these to your body - there are limited studies done on the cumulative effects of these additives. So in short - there have been many examples of people who suddenly develop reactions for no reason, and while it can not be proven my advice and motto is to use products that contain the least chemicals possible.
These products are really good for a wide variety of skin types especially if you suffer from a certain skin issue like getting a rash, or itchy skin after you have washed your clothes in normal detergent. Switching to a hypoallergenic product might be just the solution you are looking for to stop that.
Many skin problems like dermatitis can be assisted by using hypoallergenic skin products.
It is also worth noting that a person who has sensitive skin without and the current problem can use hypoallergenic products and not have to worry about irritation. This includes Mom using hypoallergenic products for the kids.
Overall using hypoallergenic products makes us feel safer because there are far fewer allergens and dangerous components in these sorts of products.
How Can I Test a New Product on Sensitive Skin?
If your skin is of a sensitive nature, you should not just buy a 'hypoallergenic' product and trust it immediately. Always take responsibility for your own care and test a new skincare product for a reaction before changing your routine.
Testing a new product on your sensitive body should not have to lead to a painful flare-up. Testing safely new products can prevent you from suffering from a rash. Here's how to minimise your risk.
First Select Low-Risk Products
If you have sensitive skin, do not gamble with ingredients that you have not used before or are known irritants. Everybody is different, so keeping a diary or list of ingredients that have caused skin reactions can be really valuable. I keep mine on my phone so I can easily check when I am looking for a new skin product.
Here is my anti-hypoallergenic list - I am very cautious of products that contain any of these compounds.
- Artificial fragrances (natural I do not mind)
- Metals of any sort
- Aluminum especially
- Alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids like
- salicylic acid
- glycolic acid
Test One Product at a Time
If you have purchased more than one new product - it's tempting to use them at once.
Introduce one new product at a time, waiting about at least 3-4 days before trying the next product.
Watch carefully for redness or itching or any other warning signs.
Do a Hypoallergenic Patch Test
Don't risk an allergic reaction.
Do a simple patch test. Remember that the skin on your face is usually the most part of your skin. So begin with a patch test on an invisible portion of your leg or arm. If it no reaction within 1 day, then you can try it on your face. If you have very sensitive skin I would still proceed with caution though.
Choose a small area of your face such as a corner of your forehead or the under your jaw and just put on a small amount about the size of a quarter. If there's no reaction, the product is probably safe for you to use.
How can hypoallergenic products help me?
Even if you are someone who does not have sensitive skin, you can benefit from using hypoallergenic products. These products have far fewer chemical and unnatural products so right there they are better for you. They also stop tiny amounts of bad ingredients building up in your body over time. Also products containing allergens do present a higher risk for irritating the pores in your skin. Using a hypoallergenic product creates far less risk of irritating your skin.
Also worth noting is that the skin changes over time from aging or variations in our diet, environment, and climate just to name a few things. Therefore, you might not at this time suffer from sensitive skin, but it’s possible in the future. Finding hypoallergenic products now that you know and trust now could be helpful for the future.