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Recommendation for Manufacturers/Legal Affairs

SCCNFP Opinion on the claim “hypoallergenic”

IKW had already pointed out in a recommendation in 1995 that the claim of cosmetic products as “hypoallergenic” involves a major hazard of misleading consumers which could be avoided by a more detailed explanation of the term. The SCCNFP (Scientific Committee on Cosmetic and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers – a scientific advisory body of the European Commission) has, however, deliberated about the term “hypoallergenic” in connection with the claims on cosmetic products and adopted the following opinion in May 1998 without taking into account the possibility of such an explanation:

"The term « hypoallergenic » should be discouraged in the description of cosmetic products. The literal and popular interpretations differ causing potential confusion to the consumer. It is an inherent obligation of the cosmetics industry to ensure that their products are «safe» for the general population although «idiosyncratic» reactions of the individual cannot be predicted. Individuals with a specific contact allergy can avoid allergens because of information on ingredient listings on cosmetic product labels."


(as of February 2005)

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