One of the questions I am often asked is - "Is your goat milk soap hypoallergenic?"
I admit, I'm always a little bit stumped as to how to answer that question. Why am I stumped? Because the term "hypoallergenic" is pretty meaningless. It is a "made-up" word with no government regulated definition that is used by marketers to make their product sound safer than other products. I did a google search on the term "hypoallergenic lotion". The first response was a product labeled "(name brand) Repairing Moisture Hypoallergenic Lotion". When I looked up the ingredients, I found this:
Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Stearic Acid, Glycol Stearate, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Tapioca Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Stearamide AMP, Carbomer, Isopropyl Myristate, Cedrol, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, PropylparabenWow. Simply Wow. Those ingredients are considered hypoallergenic? Really? Our red label unscented lotion has this for ingredients:
Soybean oil; Beeswax; Sunflower oil; Cocoa butter; Shea butter; Vitamin E.And our orange label unscented lotion has this for ingredients:
Sweet almond oil; Coconut oil; Beeswax; Avocado oil; Cocoa Butter; Mango Butter.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Now, I know that somebody is allergic to those ingredients, so I would never refer to them as "hypoallergenic". After all, since starting Goat Milk Stuff I have come across people who are allergic to everything from goat milk to olive oil. But I would much rather use those ingredients than the ones in the name brand "hypoallergenic" lotion. According to WebMd,
If a cosmetic is labeled "hypoallergenic," it usually means the makers of the product claim that it causes fewer allergic reactions than other products. That doesn’t mean that it is allergy-proof or gentler for your skin. There aren’t any standards for manufacturers on the use of "hypoallergenic" to describe their products. They don’t have to test that specific product to prove it won’t cause a reaction. It's impossible to guarantee that a cosmetic or skin care product will never cause an allergic reaction.
Is Goat Milk Soap Safe to Use if I Have Allergies?
Don't be fooled by the misleading term "hypoallergenic". Instead, recognize that any product can cause an allergic response. Educate yourself, look at the ingredients, and use products from a company that you trust.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we have different recipes with different ingredients so that people with allergies have a choice. We also offer smaller sizes so you can try the different soaps before committing to a larger bar that you know will work for your skin type. And if you're not sure which soap you should try, don't hesitate to contact us and we'll be happy to help.
And remember, whichever soap or skin care product you try, it's always a good idea to test a new product on a small patch of skin first, especially if you have allergic tendencies.