The Shocking Truth About Hypoallergenic Skin Care Products

Today’s guest post is about a topic I’ve been wanting to address for some time now! Many people think a product with a “hypoallergenic” label means it’s completely safe and free of irritating skin chemicals. More often than not, this is far from the truth! Read on to discover why you need to take care when selecting sensitive skin care products.

hypoallergenic skincare for sensitive skin

Can this label really be believed?

The Shocking Truth About Hypoallergenic Skin Care Products

by MRochelle

Healthy and beauty products with the label of hypoallergenic are designed to make us feel good about the products we purchase because we tend to have a level of trust for any item that has that particular label, right?

The sad truth is that no manufacturers of our personal care products or makeup products are held to any kind of industry standard in order to label their items as hypoallergenic. They are not held accountable for the ingredients they use. They can do something as simple as removing the fragrance [Robin's note: fragrance free does not means it's a safe product, in fact, other chemicals may be added to "cover" the fragrance!] from their item enabling them to market it to people who struggle with acne-prone skin or sensitive skin.


The unfortunate result of that is that people with sensitive skin can actually experience more irritation or breakouts after using these types of shampoo, conditioner, cosmetics, toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, and fingernail polish.


How can you know which products are safe for your sensitive skin?


Reading the label on any item, especially ones labeled as safe or hypoallergenic, is a skill every person should master.


Which Ingredients Can Be Harmful to My Skin?


This list of ingredients contains the names of potential irritants or toxic chemicals that your allegedly safe health and beauty products could have in it, which means you could experience more skin problems as a result. It’s not a comprehensive list, so continue to do research on what could potentially cause your skin to break out.


  • Fragrances
  • Parabens
  • SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Petroleum by-products or petroleum
  • Mineral oil
  • Triclosan – found in many anti-bacterial soaps and gels
  • Preservatives with formaldehyde base
  • Propylene glycol
  • Animal by-products
  • Phthalates
  • Mercury preservatives
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Denatured alcohol
  • TEA – Triethanolamine
  • DEA – Diethanolamine
  • Toluene
  • Rancid natural oils
  • Salicylates
  • Aluminum
  • Botanicals – some people with sensitive skin react to even these natural ingredients

What’s the big deal about these ingredients?

[Some of them are potential carcinogens; some of them have a toxic effect on the organs of the body, and others can cause irreparable harm to the immune system. Still other ingredients have shown potential harm to the reproductive system over time.]

No matter what the side effects of these things could be, do you want to risk it? The time it takes to find truly safe cosmetics, shampoos, facial cleansers, etc. isn’t much when you consider the long-term health benefits of switching to safer ingredients.


Don’t Lose Heart


Once you begin to examine the labels of your favorite shampoo, conditioner, foundation, lotion, deodorant, or toothpaste, you might feel as though it’s impossible to find safe cosmetics and health and beauty items on today’s market.


The good news is that there are safe products out there! A few companies manufacture truly hypoallergenic and safe items that you can trust will not irritate your skin or cause a rash, even after repeated use. [Robin’s note: Check out my review of Pai Skincare, designed especially for sensitive skin.]


Look for short ingredient lists on anything you are considering purchasing – the shorter, the better. Hopefully you can pronounce all the words too!


Try samples of a new skin care line before investing in the entire line so you’ll know if the products will work for you. [Robin’s note: I just signed up for Goodebox, where you receive samples and sometimes full sized beauty products once a month-great way to discover new brands!] As you may know, sensitive skin varies from one person to the next, so ingredients that make one person break out may not affect another.

About the Author: MRochell is the creator of My Sensitive Skin Care which offers a free eBook on how to create radiant, healthy skin using safe and natural methods, including how to find safe and non-toxic hypoallergenic skincare products.


Robin started her career as an educator of children and has now become an educator for adults everywhere who want to know the truth about what they put into their bodies through the skin. She is passionate about educating people to make better health and beauty choices.
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  • kimberlyloc

    great post! so good to have that list of harmful ingredients, too. we need an app for that!
    kimberlyloc´s last blog post scoop | vapour organic beauty siren lipstick

  • Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

    I use products with Tea and Dea in small quantities meaning they have to be at the very end of the ingredient list. I gave sensitive skin and there are some hypoallergenic labeled brands that are irritating and others that aren’t like Clinique
    Either way it’s good to be informed and understand how to decipher that I ingredient label
    Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty´s last blog post ..Doctor Oz’s 4 Cancer Fighting Foods

  • Robert

    I agree with you. The problem with companies is that they coin up terms that are not likely to be verified by the government. The bad news is that people readily believe such claims.
    Robert´s last blog post scrub sets