What are allergens?
Allergens are foreign substances to the body that can cause in some individuals, after contact, an exaggerated response of the immune system, which is an allergic reaction.
There are several types of allergies among the most commonly known are :
- Immediate allergic reactions mainly from food but also aerial exposure to the environment like pollen, or the result of venoms, which can be very severe with reactions that go from skin rashes to anaphylactic shock
- Delayed allergic reactions, or allergic contact dermatitis, which results in skin symptoms (redness, itching...) that are more or less extended around the contact area with the allergen.
Where do they come from?
Allergens are substances that are naturally present in our environment and food. For example, pollen from plants and tree, or dust mites can cause asthma. Peanuts and some dry fruits, shrimp, kiwis are well known to cause potentially serious allergic reactions.
Finally, synthetic ingredients can also be allergenic; this is the case of certain drugs, dyes and perfumes.
Why are they questioned?
Cosmetic products can sometimes cause allergic reactions, mainly what is known as allergic contact dermatitis.
These reactions are rare, generally located where the product was applied and completely reversible when the product use is stopped. They may require a consultation with a dermatologist and an appropriate treatment.
If a dermatologist diagnoses an allergy to one of our products, we provide him/her with the list of individual ingredients in the product, so that it can be tested on the consumer to determine if any component may have caused an allergic reaction. If so, the dermatologist or us can recommend suitable substitute products.
With regards to cosmetics, one study shows that the number of cases of true diagnosed allergy in the general population is estimated at 0.1 - 0.2%.
Why and how do we use them?
The ingredients we use in our products have all been rigorously evaluated regarding their allergenic potential. When we assess the safety of a cosmetic product before it is placed on the market, we check that the ingredients are used in such conditions that they will not induce an allergic reaction.
Our products are also subject to dedicated tests to check the absence of allergic reactions when used. This rigorous evaluation is applied to all the products we develop.
The complete list of ingredients on the package of a product allows consumers who already know they are sensitized or allergic to a specific ingredient to choose products that do not contain it. For some products, we propose a method of detecting a potential allergy before using the product. This is the case for hair dye products for which we recommend consumers test each time to identify a potential allergic reaction 48 hours before using it.