Your Hypoallergenic Beauty Products Aren't Regulated By The FDA & Could Be Responsible For Skin Irritations
When you deal with sensitive skin, it's hard to find beauty products that don't cause itchiness, dryness, or a breakout. It's natural to assume that beauty products labeled "hypoallergenic" will be more gentle on your skin, right? Wrong — it turns out hypoallergenic beauty products aren't actually regulated, so nothing stops companies from giving products the labels.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the term hypoallergenic has no official definition or standards. When hypoallergenic products first became popular in the 1950s, the FDA tried to regulate the term. However, it was too difficult to hold companies accountable for conducting their own testing. Now, "the term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean," according to the FDA website.
Almay, a beauty company that markets itself as all-natural, has a whole page about its hypoallergenic products, which it says contain no fragrances or sensitizers. Although the page is also full of beauty industry lingo that can be hard for normal people to understand, the brand deserves a lot of credit for attempting transparency because there's no regulations. It would be easy for any beauty company to label its beauty products hypoallergenic without actually testing them.
So, what are you supposed to do if you have sensitive skin? Test out different products until you find the ones that work for you. Take note of the ingredients in products that cause a reaction and avoid those ingredients in the future. If you find a department store brand that works for you, don't feel bad about splurging on the products you use every day. You can always save money elsewhere. And above all, be wary of products labelled hypoallergenic — do your research first.