Many cosmetics currently on the market boast that they're hypoallergenic, particularly those new mineral powders that are selling like crazy. But who exactly should use hypoallergenic products? What does the term even mean? It sounds like something we all should invest in - cosmetics that won't evoke an allergic reaction. But really, any cosmetic can use the word "hypoallergenic" on their labeling because it doesn't mean much. In fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no standards exist governing the use of the word, like there is with words such as "organic." Back in the 1970s, cosmetic companies had to carry out their own testing to see if their products elicited an allergic reaction, but it was eventually ruled invalid. Years ago, harsh ingredients such as harmful metals like lead and mercury increased the need for more gentle products.
However, nowadays, most cosmetics use far gentler ingredients, and the FDA claims that the ingredients used in makeup are the same throughout the industry. Certainly, if your skin is sensitive, it's important to examine the labels of products that irritate it in order to avoid purchasing products that contain the irritants in the future. Likewise with skin allergies - check the label and avoid ingredients that cause problems. There are certain brands that use fewer ingredients than others, and fewer ingredients mean less of a chance that your skin will react badly. Give Origins, Almay or Philosophy a try if you have trouble with skin reactions. Many mineral makeup brands, such as BareMinerals, are also great options. Just remember that different skin types react differently to cosmetic ingredients, regardless of what the label says.