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What does “hypoallergenic” mean?

mascara1HypoallergenicMascara

I was out shopping, looking for mascara, and noticed that a lot of products say “hypoallergenic” on them. It got me thinking, what does hypoallergenic really mean? Is it a material that’s used? Is there a certification for it? Less allergic than what? I was surprised at some of the answers I found.

As it turns out, our President Walt knows about this topic.

“Hypoallergenic is a word that was created by a small cosmetic company in the early 1960s, and was quickly adopted by the advertising industry to describe products that produce fewer allergic reactions.

The Greek prefix HYPO literally means “less” or “below,” so when a product is designated as hypoallergenic it means that it will conceivably trigger fewer allergic reactions in people who suffer from allergies.

The term does not relate to chemical exposures. The expression has no medical definition, and there is no certification process or organization that reviews whether a product using the word “hypoallergenic” can prove any lessening of allergic reactions.” – “Sleep Safe in a Toxic World”       page 22.

Hypoallergenic Shampoo 12oz-1

With some further research, I found that the use of the word “hypoallergenic” certainly doesn’t stop at cosmetics. It’s evolved with everything from bedding, cleaning supplies, shampoo even to pets. What a wide array of t items that can potentially be labeled “hypoallergenic”!

The frustrating thin, is that it allows companies to make you believe that you are buying a product that will reduce the severity of allergies or even prevent the chance of having an allergic reaction, when in fact there are no certifications for it. It can be used in any way by companies to market their products, and is one of the most commonly used greenwashing terms out there. (For more information on greenwashing, check out our blog HERE.)What does “hypoallergenic” mean?

“Hypoallergenic” is used to represent synthetic products and materials in a flattering light. For example, a polyester dust-mite cover may be of use in keeping dust mites at bay for allergy sufferer, but that’s only part of the story. Such products can also expose users to chemical offgassing and other hazards. Choose certified materials and products for relief from allergy symptoms and chemical exposure. –Lifekind website (http://www.lifekind.com/index.php/site_organic_products?sub=site_organic_ask)

Next time you see the word“hypoallergenic” on a product, ask yourself, “What makes this product hypoallergenic?” You may find that no measures are actually taken to make this loosely used marketing word true.

Our cozy, cozy Eco-Wool Comforter

It’s officially winter, and with the winter months come those warm blankets. But wouldn’t it be nice to not have to pull out those extras just because it’s a bit chillier? I recently spoke with a customer who was looking for a good solution for her and her husband. The problem is that her husband gets really hot during the night, and she always gets cold. They can never agree on a thermostat setting, much less the number of blankets that should go on the bed.

The OMI Eco-Wool™ Comforter is the perfect solution for this couple. One of the most appealing qualities of wool is that it naturally regulates body temperature. With its ability to retain air, it’s a great insulator, and its wicking properties keep your body from getting hot and sweaty while you sleep. Basically, it will keep you cool during the summer months, and nice and warm during the winter.  Wool is warm yet breathable, which prevents overheating and the accumulation of moisture, mildew, and mold. We designed it with a special quilting pattern to eliminate clumping and hollow spots.

As with most organic products, there are some special considerations to take note of, since you can’t just toss our comforter in the washing machine. It should not be wet washed or dry cleaned. We recommend spot cleaning with a live enzyme cleaner, (a great option is available from our sister company, Lifekind (available HERE) and periodically airing it out in the sunlight to maintain freshness. Sunlight is a natural rejuvinator for wool. It will actually spring the wool fibers back to life and help maintain its loft.

 Comforter_high

To find a retailer near you to order a cozy OMI comforter click HERE.

A Razzle Dazzle Christmas from OMI

Have a Razzle Dazzle Christmas from everybody at the corporate offices of OMI and Lifekind.  We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday this year and a wonderful New Year.

(make sure you tune in after the credits for more holiday fun!)

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