What Does 'Hypoallergenic' Mean?

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 11, 2020

If you see "hypoallergenic” on makeup or a skin care label, it means that that maker claims its product causes fewer allergic reactions than other ones.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it is allergy-proof or gentler for your skin.

The U.S. government doesn’t have standards that products must meet in order to put “hypoallergenic" on the label. The maker doesn’t have to do tests 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.

To be safe, test any new lotion or makeup on the inside of your forearm for a few days to see if you get symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference



American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

American Academy of Dermatology.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

FDA: "Hypoallergenic Cosmetics."

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