General Questions

What is SkinSAFE?

SkinSAFE is a database of skincare products listed based on ingredients that can help you avoid a product that contains your allergen. Its services are for those who suffer from irritant or allergic contact dermatitis.

What is Top Allergen Free?

Top Allergen Free is the new standard for hypoallergenic, backed by science and real patch testing data.

The problem with 'hypoallergenic' as it's used today, is that the term can mean whatever a particular manufacturer or brand wants it to mean. There is no federal standard that governs the use of the term. The word is used mostly used to make a product more marketable. Top Allergen Free is the new standard for Hypoallergenic. It's tied to real research data from thousands of skin allergy sufferers. A 'Top Free' product excludes the top most common allergens, which produces fewer allergic reactions than other products and is gentler to your skin. In fact, research shows that over 45% of contact skin allergies can be avoided simply by using SkinSAFE's 'Top Free' rated products.

Top Allergen Free - The new definition of hypoallergenic

When shopping for hypoallergenic products, look for Top Allergen Free rated products and other high scores to avoid the most common allergy causing ingredients.

What are SkinSAFE's 'Top Common Allergens'?

The list of top common allergens that are included in our Top Allergen Free rating of products reflect Mayo Clinic research around allergen reaction rates from thousands of skin allergy sufferers in ongoing studies. The top common allergens list is periodically updated to reflect the latest results. The Top Allergen Free rating consists of the top most common allergy causing ingredients used in beauty and personal care products.

SkinSAFE Top Common Allergens list

Patients with particularly sensitive skin may benefit from SkinSAFE shopping recommendations that are free of these allergens - products labeled 'Top Free'. Here is a list of the SkinSAFE common allergens based on whether they are a fragrance, preservative or other type of common allergen:

  • Fragrance (Parfum) - Also excludes the most common allergy causing botanicals such as balsam of peru, cinnamic aldehyde, propolis (bee glue) and many more
  • Formaldehyde - Also excludes the most common allergy causing preservatives such as quaternium-15 and many more
  • Benzalkonium Chloride
  • Methyldibromo Glutaronitrile
  • Methylisothiazolinone & Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Benzophenone 4
  • Potassium Dichromate
  • Bacitracin
  • Cobalt Chloride
  • Neomycin
  • Nickel

Are All 'Top Free' Rated Products Safe for Me to Use?

Top Free and SkinSAFE's associated scoring system is simply a recommendation to help you avoid the top most common allergy causing ingredients - and thousands of related ingredients shown to cause the same allergic reactions. This is a general recommendation meant to provide safer choices to health conscious consumers who prefer to not use potentially allergy causing ingredients on their skin.

If you're a skin allergy sufferer and have specific allergens that cause skin irritation, Top Free scores are not intended for you. With a Personal Allergy Code (PAC), SkinSAFE becomes a personal shopping list of just the products that are safe for you to use. Your PAC contains a list of your known allergens and tells the SkinSAFE system which ingredients to avoid. Ask your doctor or skin health professional to create a PAC for you to use with your SkinSAFE account.

How do I sign up and get started?

To get the full benefits of SkinSAFE register here. You'll be able to set up a personal profile, track products and ingredients and stay up to date with your doctor if he/she is also a SkinSAFE member.

How do I know if SkinSAFE is right for me?

SkinSAFE is designed for health conscious consumers and skin allergy sufferers of contact dermatitis. If you suspect you have skin sensitivities or skin allergies, using SkinSAFE can help you to avoid common allergens found in many skin care products today. If you have been patch tested and your doctor has generated a PAC (Personal Allergy Code) for your specific allergens then you can personalize SkinSAFE to generate a 'Safe for Me' product list just for you.

How much does SkinSAFE cost?

SkinSAFE is free for all general users and patients. Sign up today and check it out!

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. There are two types of contact dermatitis: irritant or allergic.

What is a patch test?

Patch testing is a diagnostic test that may determine which allergen is causing the skin to become irritated.

What devices can download the SkinSAFE app?

The following devices are supported for patients: a web browser, an iPhone, an iPod Touch, and an iPad.

Can I still use SkinSAFE if I don't have a smartphone?

Yes. If you don't have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or an iPad, the SkinSAFE database is also available online. There you can access all product information, as well as create your personalized list of safe skin care products.

How often is the database updated?

The SkinSAFE product database is updated every day. We make every effort to make sure that we are up to date on current ingredients.

How many products and ingredients are in the database?

There are tens of thousands of ingredients that are contained in the thousands of commercially available skin care products in our database. These numbers are growing every day.

Are there any product types not available on SkinSAFE?

Currently, SkinSAFE does not contain any fabrics and non-topical products.

How does SkinSAFE protect my privacy?

SkinSAFE licensed the technology that supports the SkinSAFE system from Mayo Clinic. The SkinSAFE app and data usage fall under the SkinSAFE Privacy Policies and is a HIPAA compliant service.

PAC Questions

What is a PAC?

PAC (Personal Allergy Code) is a code given to you by your physician after you get patch tested and receive your list of allergens. You may enter this code into the SkinSAFE app to automatically download your customized database of safe products.

Do I have to have a PAC in order for SkinSAFE to work?

No. Without a PAC SkinSAFE will display products that are rated for general safety - Top Allergen Free - Free of the top common skin allergy causing ingredients. All SkinSAFE listed products are rated against these Top Common Allergens and receive a Top Free Score. If you'd like SkinSAFE to display products based on your unique allergy causing ingredients see your physician to get patch tested in order for him/her to generate your PAC.

How do I get/generate a PAC

In order to get your own PAC, contact your local physician, dermatologist or skin health professional to see if he/she may generate a PAC for you. If they do not have a SkinSAFE Provider account, they can register for a free 30-day trial. Note: SkinSAFE cannot provide this to you

Can I get my own PAC?

The PAC needs to be generated at the request of a physician or skin health professional, once you have been tested to determine your allergens. So, unfortunately you may not get your own PAC.

How do I know if my physician has generated my PAC?

Your physician should contact you when they have generated your PAC. They are also able to send you an invite to sign up for SkinSAFE that automatically associates your PAC with your new SkinSAFE account.

Medical Professional Questions

How do I sign up as a physician?

To join SkinSAFE as a medical professional register here. For a low monthly fee you'll be able to generate product shopping lists, patient PAC's and easily manage your list of patients with SkinSAFE accounts.

How do I generate a PAC for my patients?

Once you have registered with SkinSAFE as a medical professional you will have the opportunity, via your SkinSAFE account, to enter an ingredient list for your patient based on the results of their patch test, and then generate the PAC code, send your patient a customized shopping list and easily keep your patient's ingredient list up to date.

What is SkinSAFE's Trusted Choice Program?

Products which display the Trusted Choice mark are committed to going beyond the label to help consumers, shoppers, and clinicians make decisions about the products they choose to use. Companies provide additional published and unpublished information to support product safety. Each product then undergoes a rigorous review and independent scientific evaluation by SkinSAFE. The outcome of this review process is then reflected in the overall SkinSAFE score.
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