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Updated 03 December 2015

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We often see products labelled as "hypoallergenic'", which could erroneously make you believe they won't cause an allergic reaction.

This isn't true – hypoallergenic usually just means that, according to the manufacturer of the product, it causes fewer allergic reactions than other products.

Researchers tested 187 cosmetic products from six different stores to see if they contained any of the 80 most common known allergens, as defined by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group.


All of the products were specifically marketed as being safe for use in children, and all were labelled as "hypoallergenic", "dermatologist recommended/tested", "fragrance-free", or "paraben free".

Overall, 89 percent of the products contained at least one allergen, 63 percent contained two or more, and 11 percent contained five or more. Preservatives and fragrances accounted for 58 percent and 29 percent of the allergens, respectively.

Read up on which products to avoid, and which are best to buy.

Visit our Allergy Centre to learn more about hay fever and other allergies.

 
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