Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

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

Fragrance Allergies: A Sensory Assault

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? You catch a whiff of a co-worker's new fragrance, and within minutes, you have a whopper of a headache. You pop open that new bottle of dish-washing liquid, and by the time you've washed the pots and pans, your hands and arms are covered in hives. You walk into a friend's home and smell freshly baked pumpkin pie. Only after you start sneezing uncontrollably and feeling dizzy, weak, and sick to your stomach do you learn she hasn't been baking...

Read the Fragrance Allergies: A Sensory Assault 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 Louise Chang, MD on November 05, 2012

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

woman sneezing
Slideshow
Bottle of allergy capsules and daisies
Article
 
Urban blossoms
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Tools
woman with duster crinkling nose
Quiz