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Posted by Chris1 on November 11, 2000 at 23:25:51:

In Reply to: Question for "Mac" (or anyone else) re the terms "non-comedogenic " and "non-acnegenic" posted by Lenore on November 11, 2000 at 18:21:00:

People who have had allergic reactions to cosmetics may try hypoallergenic or allergy-tested products. These are, however, only a partial solution for some and no solution at all for others.

"Hypoallergenic can mean almost anything to anybody."

"Hypo" means "less than," and hypoallergenic means only that the manufacturer feels that the product is less likely than others to cause an allergic reaction. Although some manufacturers do clinical testing, others may simply omit perfumes or other common problem-causing ingredients. But there are no regulatory standards on what constitutes hypoallergenic.

The claim "dermatologist-tested" on some cosmetic products only means that a skin doctor has tested the product to see if it will generally cause allergenic problems. Other label claims that carry no guarantee that they won't cause reactions include "allergy tested," "sensitivity- tested" and "non-irritating."

Like hypoallergenic, "natural" can mean anything to anybody.

"There are no standards for what natural means". "They could wave a tube [of plant extract] over the bottle and declare it natural. Who's to say what they're actually using?" "Natural" ingredients are extracted directly from plants or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically. Natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions. If you have an allergy to certain plants or animals, you could have an allergic reaction to cosmetics containing those ingredients. For instance, "lanolin," extracted from sheep wool, is an ingredient in many moisturizers and is a common cause of allergies.

There are no official, government definitions for these terms:

- fragrance-free
products so labeled may still contain small amounts of fragrances to mask the fatty odor of soap or other unpleasant odors

- hypoallergenic
cosmetics that are less likely to cause allergic reactions

- natural
ingredients extracted directly from plants or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically

- non-comedogenic
products so labeled do not contain common pore-clogging ingredients that could lead to acne


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