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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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Tips to Manage Allergies While Traveling

Try these tips for allergy relief when you’re on vacation or traveling on business. Travel Insurance: Check pollen counts at your destination. Pack your own hypoallergenic pillow cover and allergy medicine in a carry-on bag. No Venting: On road trips, keep the air vent closed. You'll breathe recirculated air, not pollen or pollution. Smart Car: Take a vacuum to your car. Pollen and dust mites can easily cling to clothing, bringing more allergens into your home. Cruise Control:...

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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 Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 18, 2014

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