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Can hypoallergenic products still cause allergic reactions?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Are you ready for the crazy inside scoop? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there are no federal definitions or rules that guide the labeling of products as hypoallergenic, and companies are not required to submit proof to the FDA that their product is hypoallergenic. That means that in theory, you could bottle the oil that causes poison ivy rashes and call it hypoallergenic! (Not that anyone would ’cause it wouldn’t sell very well, but you get the idea.) So I hate to say it, whether you have a tendency for allergic skin reactions or have normal skin, hypoallergenic cosmetics, shampoos, or other skin care products can still cause allergic reactions, despite what the label says. That being said, there are some ingredients that may be more or less likely to cause a reaction.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.