We didn’t pick the most outrageous bunk claim per se, but these ones are very sneaky. An average consumer will pick a skincare product based off of advice from a store clerk or based off of product labels. The terms listed on the post can be found on an increasing number of skincare product labels these days. And yet, few of them actually mean anything.
The claim we will mainly focus on is “hypoallergenic”. Anyone can add this label on a product without fear of retribution from regulators—because there is no binding definition of the term. A lot of these products actually contain fragrances. Fragrances are among the top allergens in cosmetics
Years ago, a team of researchers surveyed products sold by California retailers and marketed as being for “sensitive skin”. Of the 187 products surveyed, 167 contained at least one contact allergen. That’s 89 percent. And 11 percent of them contained five or more allergens
On top of that, the European Commission estimates that 16% of people are diagnosed with eczema, and 1-3% of the general EU population are allergic to fragrance. So nope, these products aren’t hypoallergenic (and no product can fully be because people can get allergic to anything!)
So what to do? Ignore all claims that marketers use to exploit the thriving market of people who believe they have sensitive skin. Know your skin, what it can tolerate and what you need to avoid, and read the ingredient lists - it may seem daunting but there’s a big skincare science community out there, there’s no shortage of help!