Little more than a nonsense word meant to make products seem safer or somehow better for sensitive or allergy-prone skin. There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic. A company can label their product “hypoallergenic” because there is no regulation that says they can’t, no matter what proof they may point to—and what proof can they provide given there is no standard to measure against? Given that there are no regulations governing this supposed category that was made up by the cosmetics industry, there are plenty of products labeled “hypoallergenic” that contain problematic ingredients and that could indeed trigger allergic reactions, even for those with no previous history of skin sensitivity. The word “hypoallergenic” gives you no reliable understanding of what you are or aren’t putting on your skin (Sources: www.fda.gov; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, May 2004, pages 325–327; and Ostomy and Wound Management, March 2003, pages 20–21).