From weepy eyes to death, allergies are serious business. Learn what hypoallergenic and its cohorts actually mean so you can make informed choices!
Hypoallergenic has been confused with non-allergenic a little too often lately. Perhaps this is the fault of all the marketing out there that highlights this word. Perhaps we don’t teach root words and prefixes as well as we once did. No matter the cause, we would like to take a moment to set things straight.
Hypo comes from the Greek word for under, so hypo-performance would mean underperforming. It has come to mean below normal, low, and minimal over the years as well. Hypoglycemic means you have lower than normal levels of sugar in your blood. Hypotension means you have low blood pressure. So, we must conclude that hypoallergenic means there is a low risk of allergies.
This does not mean that there is zero chance of someone being allergic to something that is hypoallergenic. Humans are unique, varied, and stubborn. Some of us will find a way to be allergic to just about anything. Hypoallergenic foods still produce their individual proteins and any foreign protein has potential to be an allergen, but the proteins in hypoallergenic foods are unlikely to cause any problems for the majority of people. Our bodies typically ignore them.
To be safe, it is always a good idea to test new foods in small amounts, pay attention to how they affect you, and eliminate anything you suspect of causing an allergic reaction. You can keep a journal to track what foods you eat and how your body responds.
Sunwarrior uses hypoallergenic ingredients in our products as often as possible. This means the risk of any allergies is extremely low for almost everyone who tries them, but not zero. No natural food is completely allergen free for every human being on the planet. Read the labels of everything you buy. Know what you are allergic too. Pay attention to how your body reacts to foods. Track when, how, and what foods you ate. It can take time to narrow down the exact culprit, but your health and well-being are worth that time.
Just because hypoallergenic does not mean allergen free does not mean you should stop using them. There are still plenty of advantages to buying foods, perfumes, detergents, cleansers, bedding, and other products that are less likely to cause you, your family, your houseguests, or anyone else discomfort. Continue choosing hypoallergenic products, from candles to skin care, as these are still your best bet on living a healthy life, free of pesky or even dangerous allergies, but don’t choose products based on that hypoallergenic marketing claim alone. Look at the label, read the ingredients, compare it to other products, and know what you are truly getting.
This is a false claim as it is impossible to be absolutely certain no one is allergic to something in the product.
This is another false claim that cannot be proven as it’s a great big world out there filled with all kinds of things inside that world that could be considered allergens.
Major Allergen Free
There are eight major allergens recognized by the FDA. These are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. This claim covers these eight and nothing more. Some countries recognize more than eight.
This means it is free of the eight major allergens, but may also be free of many other allergens. Read the labels to know for sure.
This vague claim could include the eight major allergens or more.
This is another false claim that cannot be substantiated.
(Specific Allergen) Free
These are often used to specify one of the major allergens. Nut Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free, and Soy Free are common additions to many product packages. These let you avoid specific allergens that you might be sensitive to.