Hypoallergenic: What Does It Mean & Why Is It Important?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  August 29, 2022
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Hypoallergenic, meaning “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic, was used in a cosmetics campaign in 1953.

It is used to describe items (especially cosmetics and textiles) that cause or are claimed to cause fewer allergic reactions.

Hypoallergenic pets still produce allergens, but because of their coat type, absence of fur, or absence of a gene that produces a certain protein, they typically produce fewer allergens than others of the same species.

People with severe allergies and asthma may still be affected by a hypoallergenic pet. The term lacks a medical definition, but it is in common usage and found in most standard English dictionaries.

In some countries, there are allergy interest groups that provide manufacturers with a certification procedure, including tests that ensure a product is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.

Still, such products are usually described and labeled using other similar terms.

So far, public authorities in no country provide an official certification that an item must undergo before being described as hypoallergenic.

The cosmetic industry has been trying for years to block an industry standard for use of the term; in 1975; the USFDA tried to regulate the term ‘hypoallergenic”, but the proposal was challenged by cosmetic companies Clinique and Almay in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which ruled that the regulation was invalid.

Thus, cosmetic companies are not required to meet regulations or do any testing to validate their claims.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.