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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.

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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 Louise Chang, MD on November 05, 2012

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