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What is Hypoallergenic?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 21, 2024
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Anyone who has suffered from constant watery eyes, itchy skin, mucus filled sinuses, and sneezing knows an allergy can be disrupting and problematic. These symptoms can be caused by any number of allergens, such as pet dander, plant pollen, tree pollen, bedding, cosmetic ingredients, and foods. Fortunately, a number of manufacturers are well aware of the serious problems allergies can cause and produce hypoallergenic products, which can help decrease the severity of a person’s allergic reactions. For those with pet allergies, there are also hypoallergenic pets to choose from.

Pillows and comforters are often filled with goose down feathers or cotton. A high percentage of adults, teenagers, and children are allergic to down, cotton, or both. The feathers themselves do not cause the allergic reaction. Rather, many goose feathers trap dander, dust, and dirt, all of which can cause allergies to flare up.

Many bedding manufacturers offer hypoallergenic pillows and comforters for those with allergies. Hungarian goose down, for example, is considered to be the cleanest down in the world because it holds little dander or dust. Hungarian goose down is mixed with a plant called Syriaca to produce an airy, hypoallergenic product. Syriaca contains filtering properties that trap and eliminate dirt, dust, and pet dander.

Cotton is a plant, and therefore capable of capturing dirt, dust, and pet dander, which can cause problems for the allergy sufferer. Often, washing a cotton pillow in a baking soda solution can help alleviate allergies. In some cases, however, this is not enough to combat allergies. Therefore, allergy sufferers may need to purchase hypoallergenic bedding products.

Pets are one of the leading causes of allergies. Pet dander, composed of microscopic flakes of skin, often causes severe allergies in certain people. Allergy sufferers can still own a pet if they follow certain steps to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Shedding hair is a major factor in pet allergies. Therefore, a hypoallergenic short haired or hairless animal makes a better choice for the allergy sufferer.

Many people who are allergic to cats do not have problems with a breed known as rex. Rex cats are not truly hypoallergenic, but their extremely short hair helps reduce allergic reactions. For those with dog allergies, poodles are known for their hypoallergenic qualities. Bathing an animal in a baking soda mixture twice a week can also help reduce shedding and pet dander. In addition, limiting pets to certain areas of the house can help alleviate pet related allergies.

Another common irritant to those with allergies are protein hydrolysates, found in many conditioning shampoos, intensive conditioners, and skin creams. These proteins help to quickly add moisture to dry, damaged hair and skin. Unfortunately, they also cause moderate allergic reactions in many people. Therefore, it is best to purchase hypoallergenic products that do not contain protein hydrolysates.

Perfumes in make-up and skin creams can also cause users to break out in mild to severe rashes. Certain metallic compounds in eye shadows can cause the same problem, making it important for those with allergies to look for hypoallergenic cosmetics. Fortunately, many hypoallergenic products exist for those with allergies. Organic markets typically carry exceptional hypoallergenic cosmetics that cost less than name brand products.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Heavanet — On Mar 05, 2014

People with allergies know all to well about hypoallergenic products, because that is the only kind they can use to keep their allergic reactions under control. From hypoallergenic skincare to soaps, at least there are plenty of products available for the more sensitive among us.

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