“The word hypoallergenic is a cosmetic marketing term that is not regulated by the FDA. It’s designed to make people feel confident that something won’t have common allergens, but it’s a bit of an oxymoron because allergies are anything but common, says Weeks. “In 20 years of beauty, I’ve seen allergies to everything from aloe, rose, avocado, cornstarch, carmine, castor oil, vitamin B – you name it, I’ve seen it. And you really just can’t say a product is going to be hypoallergenic because allergies are so specific and unique. ”
Typically, hypoallergenic makeup products are free of some common allergens such as fragrances, parabens and dyes, explains cosmetic chemist David Petrillo.
“People often report contact dermatitis due to fragrances in moisturizer, lotion or even soap,” says Petrillo, founder of Perfect Image skin care brand. “Parabens can cause allergic reactions, especially if the consumer has inflammatory conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Dyes are often used in hair products and can definitely cause allergic reactions due to the ingredient usually present in its composition. This ingredient is called paraphenylenediamine and it is a colorless chemical that can be toxic. Sulfates, benzyl alcohol and substances like citronellol, which is used in rose fragrances, can also be a problem.
But since the FDA does not regulate this product, you can never be sure what is in a hypoallergenic cosmetic product without looking at the ingredients list. “There are no strict scientific standards for the use of this term,” says Petrillo. “Research shows that many foods labeled as hypoallergenic still contain allergens in their formulas.”
If you are looking for products that work well for your skin, first find out if your skin is really sensitive or just sensitized by the specific products you are using. Weeks says it’s helpful to go back to the basics completely and then gradually bring more variety back into your daily routine.
“It’s not so much about the label on the product as about reducing the amount of active ingredients and ingredients. It’s almost like an elimination diet for your skin, Weeks says. “Do really simple things for a decent amount of time until you no longer feel so sensitive, be very careful with your sunscreen. And then you can gently start adding things back in once your skin is back to normal when you do this.” don’t feel. sensitive. ”
When adding products back, she advises doing a patch test before applying them all over your face. “Before you go shopping, order a sample and patch on the inside of your hand, wait 24 hours and see if that affects any reaction,” she says. “Add products to your routine very slowly, manage them well, don’t get too carried away with sales.”
After all, Vickes says the best thing you can do is consult with a board-certified dermatologist to figure out the source of your irritation. Are you allergic to certain ingredients? Is your skin getting sensitized from overuse of retinols or AHAs and BHAs? “If you have a negative reaction to several products, it is worth going to a dermatologist and sort it out,” she says.
Oh, hi! You are like someone who loves free workouts, discounts on iconic wellness brands, and exclusive Well + Good content. Sign up to Well +, our online health community, and receive your rewards instantly.