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Hypo-Allergenic or Allergy Tested?


By: Paolo Giacomoni, PhD. Posted: 08/17/2016

An allergy is the consequence of the response of the immune system to molecules recognized as foreign. Though the vast majority of us do not experience allergic responses, some of us do, for instance, to strawberries or rosemary or peaches or sometimes even skin care products.

The allergic reaction comes in two steps:

1-The first contact of our body with the foreign molecule. This is called the “sensitization.”

2-The second time our body makes contact with the foreign molecule. This is called “challenge.”

Broadly speaking, during “sensitization” the immune system “decides” whether the foreign molecule deserves a reaction or not. When this is the case, after the “challenge” the body responds with an allergic reaction.

Cosmetics are applied every day, so the first time one applies a new cosmetic on the skin, one is indeed performing the “sensitization” step. Repeated applications of the same cosmetic constitute the “challenge”, and some cosmetic products might trigger an allergic response. This is often the case for cosmetic products containing fragrances.

The term hypoallergenic is often used by skin care brands in promotion of their products. This term leads consumers to the belief that products labeled as hypoallergenic do not cause an allergic reaction to the skin. But the fact is there are no government standards or definitions that govern the use of the term “hypoallergenic.”

Manufacturers of skin care products labeled as hypoallergenic are not required to submit substantiation of their claims to FDA. Most often if you see “hypoallergenic” on a label, it might mean the maker claims its product causes fewer allergic reactions than other products do, or whatever a particular company wants it to mean. Hypoallergenic does not mean it is allergy-proof or gentler for your skin.

A better indicator is to look for products which have been subjected to an allergy test, called Human Repetitive Insult Patch Test (HRIPT). Conducted under the supervision of a dermatologist, the HRIPT allergy test applies a product every day for six weeks on a group of volunteers to find out whether the product provokes allergy or not.

To provide the best to consumers, all Elan Rose products are dermatology tested, allergy tested, paraben free, fragrance free, and silicone free.