More Meaningless Marketing Terms

Jessica Newport

I've already done a previous post on marketing terms commonly used in essential oil vernacular, and the FACT that there is no standard for their regulation or use.  Here's another fun term that I get asked about:

"Hey, I only use hypoallergenic blah blah blah.  Is your blah blah blah hypoallergenic?" 

Uh, no and neither is the blah blah blah you've been using. 

Did you know that the term "hypoallergenic" is really just a marketing term? 

In the seventies regulation was posed to require cosmetics manufactures to provide proof of their claim that their product was hypoallergenic, but that was shot down, as the FDA doesn't set any parameters for quantifying the term "hypoallergenic".  Simply put, the FDA refused to regulate an undefined term, so they just leave it up to the consumer to fend for themselves when companies throw the word around with abandon. 

The term hypoallergenic is commonly used to describe a product as having less likelihood of triggering an allergic reaction than a similar conventional product (although some people believe it means there is no possibility of allergy, yikes).  But what exactly is being compared?  How many studies have been done to prove this claim?  If any, were they peer reviewed?  What do you think?  Here's an excerpt from the FDA website, which I've linked below, on the subject:

"FDA knows of no scientific studies which show that "hypoallergenic" cosmetics or products making similar claims actually cause fewer adverse reactions than competing conventional products."

As an industry professional I dig into these terms, their use, regulation, and try to pass this information along to you.  Unfortunately people are often affronted when I tell them that a term is actually as valuable as monopoly money.  I encourage you to click the link below or do your own search regarding the term and come to your own conclusions.  It can be difficult to let go of something that we believed in, but there's humility and grace in learning and doing better.

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