23 Jul What does ‘hypoallergenic’ on a product label mean?
“Hypo” means “under” or “less than,” so “hypoallergenic” means a product is not as likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Many products that we use, such as cleansers and soaps, deodorants, makeup, and even mouthwash, have ingredients that can irritate the skin or act as antigens (substances that act as an allergy trigger). When your skin is exposed to these ingredients (often fragrances and chemicals used as preservatives) they can lead to a condition called contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis appears as areas of redness, itching, and swelling on the skin, and sometimes as a rash or blisters.
Many manufacturers of cleaning supplies and especially cosmetics, now advertise their products as being “hypoallergenic,” meaning the products do not contain ingredients that are known to cause irritation or allergic reactions. These manufacturers are not required to prove the claim that their products are hypoallergenic though.