‘Hypoallergenic’ products could still cause harm to the skin, finds new study

‘Hypoallergenic’ products could still cause harm to the skin, finds new study

A new US study has found that products labelled as ‘hypoallergenic’ or ‘fragrance free’ could still contain toxic chemicals, causing irritation to the skin despite their product claims.

With 175 products tested from the likes of Amazon, Target and Walmart, researchers looked into whether they could still cause an allergic reaction, with only 21 percent coming out as free of allergens.

Indeed, the study found that around 83 percent of moisturizers advertised as ‘hypoallergenic’ actually contained at least one ingredient known to cause allergic reactions, while 45 percent of products said to be fragrance-free actually contained a botanical ingredient or fragrance.

Lead study author Dr. Steve Xu of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told Reuters, “Ultimately, there is no such thing as a zero-risk cosmetic product.
For moisturizers, white petroleum or pure shea butter are lower risk, but trusting the labels is not enough. Making sure there are as few ingredients as possible is also a good thing to double check.”

With many products containing parabens and tocopherl, both said to cause harm to the skin and aggravate condition such as eczema, it was found that patients should be wary of claims such as ‘hypoallergenic’, ‘fragrance-free’ and ‘dermatologically tested.’ Indeed, not only did many of these products fail to live up to their claims, they are often sold at a higher price point.

Ivory raw unrefined shea butter, Vaseline original petroleum gel and Smellgood African shea butter were the top three affordable products found to not contain North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) listed ingredients. 

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