Is Natural Hypoallergenic?
The short answer: no.
And that really shouldn’t be surprising — think of how many allergy medication commercials you see when it’s pollen season.
But does this mean natural is bad? Absolutely not! Eating natural, less processed foods is a must for your health. Using skin care with more natural, less processed ingredients is also a good idea (chemicals used in processing can be even more allergenic than the ingredient itself). But in both cases, natural does not mean hypoallergenic.
Hypoallergenic means less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Many natural substances, no matter how organic, are top allergens (substances known to cause allergic reactions). If you are allergic to peanuts, dander or pollen, you would avoid eating, touching or inhaling them, no matter how natural or organic they are. If you have sensitive skin, using products with natural ingredients could be making things worse if those natural ingredients are common allergens — tea tree oil, citruses, fragrances, ylang-ylang, lavender, mint are all common allergens.
That said, it helps to know what you, in particular, are sensitive to. Just because something is an allergen doesn’t mean it’s one of your allergens. For example, nuts, lemons and shrimp are allergens but if you aren’t allergic to them, you shouldn’t avoid them (in fact, they’re very healthy foods). Vitamin E and tea tree oil are top allergens but great ingredients. If they’re not your allergens, you might still be able to enjoy their benefits.
To find out your allergens, avoid trial and error, which is highly unreliable. Get a patch test instead — not a prick test or blood test (the correlation between food/bronchial allergies and skin allergies is not cut and dry.)
If your patch test shows you are sensitive to certain ingredients, natural or not, avoid them. If you haven’t yet had a patch test but have sensitive skin, you’re better off choosing hypoallergenic over “natural” to prevent irritations and even acne and chronic dryness.
IMPORTANT: Food allergies and skin allergies operate differently. Lymphocytes are cells related to allergies. There are two types: T cells are associated with delayed response reactions, a good example of which is contact dermatitis. Your body needs to learn to react to the stimulus which can take a while. This is why you can use an ingredient for years without a problem and then “suddenly” become allergic to it. The other lymphocyte type are B cells. They are immediate responders producing immediate allergies such as food reactions, hay fever, asthma, etc.
VMV Hypoallergenics® formulations contain none, or as close to none, of all of the 109 most common allergens (based on over 25,000 patch test results). Our VH-Rating System (the first and still the only sensitive skin “grading system”) shows you at first glance how many allergens are not in a formulation…or, if there is an allergen present, which one (if it’s not one of your allergens, you can use the product with confidence). Plus, we can customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results! Call us at (212) 217 2762 or submit a request on Facebook or vmvhypoallergenics.com.