The word hypoallergenic is actually a marketing term that was first used in 1953 and means “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic in order to say that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction then one not labeled as such. People with sensitive skin or those that are prone to allergic reactions need to be cautious when reading that a product is “hypoallergenic.” To be certain that a product is not likely to cause an allergic reaction, it is important to read the ingredients and check against known allergies.
Often products that carry the hypoallergenic label are not less likely to cause allergic reactions or skin irritation, or even cause known allergens, such as Peruvian Balsan or other fragrances or essential oils. Unfortunately, an attempt by the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the term hypoallergenic was over ruled in the courts during the 1980s. As most readers already know, if you are prone to allergies, it is extra important to pay attention to the ingredients of any product consumed or applied topically.
A good rule of thumb is to search for products with the least ingredients as well to make sure that the ingredients are easily recognizable. We, at Co-Soap Cooperative, take allergens and allergic reactions seriously. Our “hypoallergenic” Pure Soap only contains four ingredients. Here they are from greatest quantity to lowest:
- Saponified Olive Oil
- Saponified Coconut Oil
- Saponified Avocado Oil
- Distilled Water
Readers may ask what saponified means? Well saponification is the result of mixing a alkaline (or base) substance with a fatty acid (Oil or Fat). This is how soap is made and one cannot have soap without this chemical reaction. To make bar soap, Sodium Hydroxide is used to mix with oils or fats. By the end of the reaction, no sodium hydroxide remains and the only thing left is soap! If you have allergies consider purchasing our fragrance free soap.
We will have future blog posts to discuss why we use olive, coconut, and avocado oils and what there benefits are. Stay tuned to learn more about our soaps!