For those of us with extra sensitive skin, picking out makeup or skincare products can be quite the challenge. I mean, skin rashes and other allergic reactions are not exactly fun; especially if it’s because of something as innocuous as body lotion. Thankfully, you can easily find something that won’t require you to keep anti-histamine tablets ready by looking for a friendly ‘hypoallergenic’ tag… right?

Now, the word ‘hypoallergenic’ does mean “having a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction”; in other words, save for consumers who are allergic to non-hypoallergenic versions of a product. The problem is that there are restrictions, regulations, guidelines, or even a common standard for determining what a hypoallergenic product actually entails.

Basically any company can claim that a product is hypoallergenic even if it is proven to contain ingredients known to trigger allergic reactions—simply because there are no rules against this practice. The same thing goes for other buzzwords such as ‘dermatologist-tested’, ‘medical grade’, or ‘cosmeceutical’; all of which imply superior quality and medicinal properties.

Unfortunately, ‘imply’ is never the same as ‘fact’.

So, if you’re interested in a new product, ignore the fancy buzzwords, and focus on making sense of what the ingredients mean to you.

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January 2017
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