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Allergies Health Center

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What Does 'Hypoallergenic' Mean?

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.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Food Allergies: Tips for Eating Out

Having a food allergy used to mean dining out was limited to carrying your plate from the kitchen to the porch or, at best, eating at the home of a close friend or relative who could guarantee your food offenders were nowhere in sight. Today, however, eating out is a lot easier -- and safer -- for the 2 million Americans who suffer with a mild, moderate, or even a severe food allergy. One reason: Restaurants are more aware and more prepared. "The awareness of food allergies has definitely increased...

Read the Food Allergies: Tips for Eating Out article > >

To be safe, test a "hypoallergenic" lotion or makeup on your inner forearm for a few days to see if you have a reaction.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 18, 2014

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