It’s Hypoallergenic!

The US Food and Drug Administration (2023) defines hypoallergenic cosmetics as goods whose producers maintain that they cause fewer allergic reactions than other cosmetics. Is it possible for consumers to think that these goods will be kinder to their skin than non-hypoallergenic cosmetics, both those with “normal” skin and those with hypersensitive skin?

So what does it mean when the word “hypoallergenic” appears on a label?

Basically, if you see the word Hypoallergenic on labelling, it should not affect your choice of product. Really!

The term has no meaning, it means whatever a particular company wants it to mean.

According to Wikipedia (2012), the phrase has been used since 1953 by the textile and cosmetic industries at the manufacturer’s choice. According to Katta (2008), the phrase “hypoallergenic” is not subject to any clear-cut federal regulations or definitions.

Manufacturers are not required to submit evidence supporting hypo-allergenic claims to the Federal Drug Administration USA, according to the US FDA (2000).

The phrase has no meaning; it can be interpreted in any way that a manufacturer desires.


US Food and Drug Administration (18 October, 2000), Hypoallergenic Cosmetics, (Online), Available:, [3 January 2013]. [Content updated: 9 May 2023]

Wikipedia (November, 2012), Hypoallergenic, (Online), Available:, [3 January 2013].

Dr Katta, R (2008), ‘Common Misconceptions in Contact Dermatitis Counseling’, Dermatology Online Journal, vol. 14, (4): 2, (Online), Available:, [3 January 2013]


  • Carol Parr

    We’re glad you’re here. We’re Carol and Tony, founders of one of the longest running Healthy Home Blogs in the world, Mitey Fresh Australia. We’ve been on this journey for the last 25 years and are passionate about helping families sift through health hazards and triggers like allergens, mould, water damage, chemicals and EMFs, to get clarity about what’s toxic and what’s not so they can create a healthy and happy home for their family they love. Each month, people visit this blog seeking focus on the health and wellbeing of their loved ones, sustainable and effective practice tips and guides, to help create and manage healthier indoor spaces, improve the built environment that is pleasing to the senses and support healthy living and nature, every day. Starting this blog was to help change people’s lives, one family at a time, and we can’t wait to share how its allowed us to stand next to you and show you how interpreting these synergies between buildings and the environment they are built in will impact upon the health and well-being of those who occupy them. Find out more about Healthy Homes and what this blog can do for you!

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