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Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

"I’m Allergic To My Partner … & Maybe My Kids!": Skin Issues From Close ContactFeatured

“Connubial or Consort Contact Dermatitis” is thing!

While some skin lesions can be associated with sexual activity (infection, friction, etc.) — which is why it’s so important not to self diagnose! — other types of close contact can cause skin problems.

“Connubial or consort allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the agent causing the dermatitis has not been used by the patient but by his partner or other cohabitants or proxy. Most cases are due to fragrances, cosmetics or topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents.”1

In other words, Connubial or Consort Contact Dermatitis (also called Contact dermatitis “by proxy”) occurs when you experience contact dermatitis due to something that you’re not using yourself but that is being used by someone you come into close contact with or live with. The most common culprits are the top contact allergens.

Connubial contact dermatitis can occur from contact with your partner if they use a soap or lotion that contains your allergens. It can also occur between parents and children when using products with lots of fragrance (which tends to be common in baby products) or other allergens.

It can even occur when applying a cream meant to provide relief from a skin irritation, as in a 2013 paper published in the journal Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology (Exuberant connubial allergic contact dermatitis from diphenhydramine) which reported how a woman applying a topical medication for itching, pain and irritations on her husband’s back experienced contact dermatitis herself.

How else can connubial/consort contact dermatitis occur?

• In close contact sports: allergens from skincare products, clothing, laundry soap, even medications can be excreted in sweat. In fact, heat, humidity, and sweat can increase their reactivity. Wrestling or grappling with a partner who is wearing or using things with your allergens could cause a reaction in your skin, even if they are unaffected.

• Contact during sexual activity with lubricants or condoms that have or are made with materials that you are allergic to.

• Chronic skin issues on a certain side of the face or body could indicate a sensitivity to something your partner is using if that side is where you tend to lean on them when cuddling. This could also be from other issues, of course, such as working next to a window facing that side of your face or sleeping on that side (your pillowcase material or laundry soap could be a factor). Your dermatologist, especially if they are a contact dermatitis specialist, can help determine possible triggers.

Other important things to know:

1. Not all skin problems on the genitalia are from sexual activity. Some can be due to your body wash or laundry soap. Others like Molluscum contagiosum can come from fomites (towels and sheets).

2. You should never be embarrassed about seeking out medical care for a skin lesion bothering you on or in the genitalia. This is what dermatologists are for and they have seen it all.

3. Virgin coconut oil and monolaurin are both safe enough for use on the genital areas. But like all oils, VCO should not be used as a lubricant when using latex condoms.

4. If you have a current infection (bacterial, viral, etc.) that is not normally transmitted through sexual activity or other close contact, you could still theoretically pass it on to another person if they have become immunocompromised due to stress, certain medications, or fighting off another illness.

5. Some skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis can seem contagious but are not. You do not get eczema (atopic dermatitis) or psoriasis from contact.

6. Because people can be allergic to what others around them use, choosing products without the top contact allergens — in everything from your haircare, to your body wash, body lotion, skincare, makeup, and laundry soap — can be safer for you and the people closest to you.

It is therefore not a stretch to say: when you choose allergen-free products, you’re not just looking out for yourself; you’re also looking out for others!

REFERENCES:

1. Teixeira V et al. Exuberant connubial allergic contact dermatitis from diphenhydramine. Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2014 Mar;33(1):82-4. doi: 10.3109/15569527.2013.812106. Epub 2013 Jul 12. PMID: 23848819.

2. Paravina M., Nedeva M., Bajic L. Contact Dermatitis – A review of the literature with the Connubial type in focusActa Medica Medianae 2019;58(4):152-157.

3. McFadden, J. (2014). Proxy Contact Dermatitis, or Contact Dermatitis “by Proxy” (Consort or Connubial Dermatitis). 10.1007/978-3-642-45395-3_10.

4. Ho KK et al. Contact dermatitis: a comparative and translational review of the literature. Vet Dermatol. 2015 Oct;26(5):314-27, e66-7. doi: 10.1111/vde.12229. Epub 2015 Jul 16. PMID: 26184842.


Laura is our “dew”-good CEO at VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister CC and husband Juan Pablo (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about health, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness, and spreading goodness (like a great cream!)

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Skin & Food Allergies Are Not The Same ThingFeatured

If You Can’t Eat It, You Can Probably Still Use It In A Cream.

“I’m allergic to almonds…can I use a cream with an ingredient extracted from almonds?” “I can’t eat coconuts…that means I can’t use coconut oil, right?”

If you have prick tested positive to something, it is more likely than not that you can still use it on your skin.

The main reason is that, while complex, skin and other allergies involve such different cells, systems, and modalities.

 

Quick Breakdown

There are 4 types of reactions that we tend to have. Type 1 and Type 4 are most relevant to prick tests and patch tests.

Type 1: asthma, naso-bronchial allergies, pets, dust mites, pollen, and food

  • Is IgE-mediated and involves antibodies.
  • Is what a lot of us think of when we think about an allergic reaction (the trouble breathing (anaphylaxis), puffing up, urticaria, etc.
  • While there can be some delayed responses, always something happens quickly — within 60 minutes. This reaction is very straightforward because it is IgE mediated and IgE exists in the body.
  • Food is included here but is more complicated (see below)

Type 4: contact dermatitis

  • Is non-IgE mediated and does not involve antibodies.
  • It is T-cell mediated.
  • The response is not immediate as with Type 1. It is delayed because there is more of a process. There has to be a sensitization that then triggers a reaction to occur. This can take a week to many weeks.
  • Instead of being IgE-mediated, this is T-cell mediated.

 

Food Reactions Can Be More Complicated

Food reactions include…

  • IgE-mediated: e.g. strawberries, peanuts
  • Non IgE-mediated: food protein-induced enterocolitis, which is T cell-mediated, does not happen immediately, and is usually outgrown, such as when a baby is allergic to the protein found in cow’s milk.
  • Non-allergic reaction which is metabolic: such as when you don’t have the enzyme needed to break down sugar lactose, i.e., you’re lactose intolerant).
  • Food allergies can be difficult to isolate because there can be many substances at play in one food. This is especially true for drugs. Drugs are made up of so many compounds so it is very difficult to isolate the trigger. This is why drug IgE testing is rare and very hard to distinguish. On the other hand, an allergy to a drug with skin manifestations can be patch tested.
  • Other food reactions include:
    • Adverse reaction (non-immune mediated)
    • Toxic (puffer fish toxin)
    • Conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is not an allergy but has the same symptoms.

 

Where It Gets More Complex for Skin: Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a different type of allergy with many theories still being explored. Inheritance plays a factor. One theory is regarding the presence of over-reactors — in which case, an over-reaction to food may also occur. And contact dermatitis is frequently a factor.

There is also “atopic march”: if you had eczema as child, you could be more likely to have asthma and naso-bronchial allergies as an adult.

For more on atopic dermatitis (eczema), check out What Is Eczema.

 

What To Know If You Have Skin & Food Allergies:

1. A prick test is for IgE, involves antibodies, and can be more complicated. Even if you prick test positive to shellfish, for example, your allergist needs to correlate the findings with your history to determine if you really cannot eat shellfish.

2. A patch test is very straightforward: If you patch test positive to something, contact with it will be a problem.

3. If your prick test is positive for something — unless you ALSO patch test positive to it — you can probably use it on your skin because the modalities and systems are so different. For example, if you prick test positive for almonds, the chances are very high that you can use a product on your skin with an ingredient extracted from almonds.

3. If you patch test and prick test positive to something, you need to avoid it in food and in your skin. For example, if you patch and prick test positive to nickel, you’ll react to it when touching it and if it is in your food.

 

Which Test To Get, and From Which Doctor?

For a patch test, see a dermatologist. For a prick test, see an allergist.

Some allergists do patch testing, too. But if you have a long history of stubborn skin reactions, we’d suggest seeing a dermatologist who is a contact dermatitis specialist for your patch testing. They are…specialists! They would have more patch test tray options, can really help identify what you need to avoid, and can identify other possible skin conditions that may also need to be managed. If you also have non-skin allergies, your contact dermatitis specialist can work closely with your allergist.

How to find such a doctor?

  • In the USA: search contactderm.org. You can search by zip code and members of the American Contact Dermatitis Society also use CAMP (the Contact Allergen Management Program) to show you not just the ingredients and substances you need to avoid but brands and products that you can use (where you’ll see VMV Hypoallergenics a lot!)
  • In the Philippines: PM VMV Skin Research Centre + Clinics, where patch testing is a specialty.
  • In other countries: ask your official dermatological society about local contact dermatitis experts who offer patch testing.

 

How Else VMV Hypoallergenics Can Help?

Ask us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results and even possible cross reactants.

Otherwise, use the VH-Rating to shop safely for VMV products! Check out this helpful video on how it works.

At VMV, we make it easy to be guided by your patch test.

1) We practice allergen ommision

As our basis for what to omit, we refer to studies by independent groups of doctors who specialize in contact dermatitis, such as the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies. They regularly publish top contact allergens based on thousands of patch tests done in multiple countries.

2) We do our own patch testing…

…not just of the final formulation but also of each ingredient, raw material, and applicators (and we do allergen reviews of packaging, too).

3) Our VH-Rating System shows how many of the top contact allergens are NOT in a formulation.

If an allergen is included, the VH-Rating is lower and marked by an asterisk which corresponds to the ingredients list — you’ll see the allergen clearly marked with the asterisk and underlined, too. If they’re not allergens that you patch tested positive to, you can still use the product.

The VH-Rating System has been so effective that a clinical study published in a leading contact dermatitis journal showed less than 0.1% reactions reported in over 30 years.

4) We manufacture our own products.

We can ensure that our formulations are not mixed, stored, or handled in containers used for formulations with allergens, or otherwise contaminated by allergens..


Laura is our “dew”-good CEO at VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister CC and husband Juan Pablo (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about health, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness, and spreading goodness (like a VMV cream!)

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Study Review: Coconut Oil, Monolaurin & Other Derivatives As AntiviralsFeatured

Study Review: Coconut Oil, Monolaurin & Other Derivatives As Antivirals

The quick summary:

There are multiple published clinical studies on the antimicrobial properties of virgin coconut oil (VCO) and its derivatives, and they’ve been around longer than you may think.
We asked a leading dermatologist and dermatopathologist, Dr. Vermén Verallo-Rowell, who is a specialist in contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and its secondary infections — and whose regularly-cited studies on virgin coconut oil and monolaurin have helped us understand their clinical, nutritional, and cosmetic applications — for a review of these studies to help us better understand how virgin coconut oil and its derivatives really hold up against some of the most common microbes.
Her review spanned laboratory and clinical disinfection studies on VCO and derivatives compared with alcohol since the 1970s.

It seems that VCO and its derivatives are as effective as alcohol in typical hand sanitizers but with some important differences.

Her detailed review follows below but this simple summary shares the highlights of how coconut derivatives compare against alcohol, the all-time classic against viruses.

1. Alcohol, at very high concentrations, kills viruses

Alcohol is virucidal, significantly so at 85%, less so at 70-80%. Check your hand sanitizer to make sure it that it contains alcohol at these concentrations.

2. VCO and its derivatives are as effective as 85% alcohol, but at much lower concentrations due to how they work

Alcohol works by denaturing the virus’s protein materials. VCO and its derivatives are as effective but they act in a different way: they act on lipids so they directly disintegrate the viral envelope, which destroys the rest of the virus.
Lauric acid monoglyceride as 2% monolaurin has been shown to kill not just viruses but also fungi as well as gram (+) and (-) bacteria, and some of their resistant strains.

3. Pros and cons of alcohol versus VCO and its derivatives

VCO, its derivatives, and alcohol all have immediate effects but alcohol evaporates quickly (is transient). VCO and its derivatives are lipids (fats). They stay longer on surface skin and mucosa, so their antimicrobial effects last longer.
VCO can also be used to gargle with, and our clinic and research center regularly prescribes monolaurin pellets to be taken orally as daily supplements.
A virtually-pure monolaurin (96%) in hand sanitizers and other leave-on products is an excellent alternative. Its studies are so consistent that VMV Hypoallergenics uses monolaurin in the majority of our products as part of our proprietary self-preserving system and to protect skins with compromised barrier functions (such as in psoriasis and eczema) from microbial colonization.
These products are more expensive than alcohol-based ones but their antiviral action on the breakdown of enveloped viruses and other microbes, combined with their moisturizing and longer-lasting effects, are desirable, especially with frequent use. These can be applied to hands and nostrils, including the inside mucosa that can be easily reached.

4. What about price?

If 80-85% alcohol is available, that’s great and usually very affordable. If not, and if clean water is available, a hand or body wash with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laurel sulfate (SLES), is better to use than diluted alcohol. SLS and SLES are relatively cheap coconut oil derivatives made with lauric acid. They are often found as a saponifier in bar soaps (read ingredient labels for its presence) and in some hair and body washes. Just make sure to choose products with lower concentrations of SLS or SLES and with no allergens or irritants in the formulation. While not an allergen, SLS and SLES, just like alcohol, can be irritating (more so SLS than SLES) as their concentration increases.
As an alternative, VCO can be used. When we do medical outreaches, the doctors we work with teach patients to make their own coconut oil, if coconuts are more readily available than other options. We then instruct them to massage the VCO well — rubbing it into the skin — to help the lipases in non-/pathogenic microbes in the skin break down the VCO into its monoglycerides and fatty acids, especially into lauric acid and monolaurin. The slippery feel of the oil disappears quickly because 65% of its fatty acids are short to medium chain.

What about on 2019-nCoV (coronavirus)?

In January, 2020, The Potential of Coconut Oil and its Derivatives as Effective and Safe Antiviral Agents Against the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV-2019), a study by Professor Emeritus Dr. Fabian Antonio Dayrit and Dr. Mary Newport, explored “the potential use of coconut oil as a safe antiviral agent against the novel coronavirus.” It posed the question…

“Several researchers have been designing drugs to specifically target protease enzymes in coronavirus, but testing for these drugs is many months away. What if there is a treatment candidate against the coronavirus that might already be available and whose safety is already established?”

They continue: “Lauric acid (C12) and monolaurin, its derivative, have been known for many years to have significant antiviral activity. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid which makes up about 50% of coconut oil; monolaurin is a metabolite that is naturally produced by the body’s own enzymes upon ingestion of coconut oil and is also available in pure form as a supplement. Sodium lauryl sulfate, a common surfactant that is made from lauric acid, has been shown to have potent antiviral properties. Lauric acid, monolaurin, and sodium lauryl sulfate (which is also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate) are used in a wide range of products for their antiviral properties.”

How is monolaurin a compelling candidate for novel coronavirus?

Doctors Dayrit and Newport explain lauric acid and monolaurin’s antiviral mechanisms: “first, they cause disintegration of the virus envelope; second, they can inhibit late maturation stage in the virus replicative cycle; and third, they can prevent the binding of viral proteins to the host cell membrane.”

Monolaurin works by disintegrating the virus membrane.

Both the 2020 study and Dr. Verallo-Rowell’s review point to the antiviral studies of lauric acid and monolaurin from as early as 1979. A 1982 study by Hierholzer & Kabara “showed that monolaurin was able to reduce infectivity of 14 human RNA and DNA enveloped viruses in cell culture by >99.9%” with monolaurin working specifically by disintegrating the virus envelope (later validated by further studies; see review).

Because monolaurin works by preventing maturation, it prevents replication.

A 2001 study on fatty acids against the Junin virus (JUNV; the cause of Argentine hemorrhagic fever) showed that lauric acid was the most effective at inhibiting “a late maturation stage in the replicative cycle of JUNV.”
As a result, this may slow down the increase in viral load in the body.

Monolaurin prevents the virus from binding to our cells.

Instead of influencing protein synthesis in the viral membrane, lauric acid prevents binding to the host cell.
Doctors Dayrit and Newport cite a 1994 study showing that lauric acid prevented infectious vesicular stomatitis by preventing the viral proteins from binding to the healthy host’s cells’ membranes. Furthermore, removing the lauric acid removed the antiviral effect.

It is important to emphasize that, to our knowledge as of this writing, monolaurin has not been tested on nCoV-2019 specifically (neither has alcohol). This information is compelling but needs validation on this particular virus. The available evidence seems to suggest similar efficacy to alcohol in destroying enveloped viruses and some coronaviruses. Follow your doctor’s instructions, and rely on trusted sources such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and your country’s department of health. For the study review of VCO, monolaurin and other coconut oil derivatives as antivirals, antibacterials and antifungals, continue reading. 

Study Review: Broad Spectrum Anti-Virals, -Bacterials, -Fungals From Coconut Oil And Its Derivatives by Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell, MD, FPDS, FAAD, FASDP, FADA

Since 2007, Dr. Verallo-Rowell has treated, disinfected, and prevented recurrences on H. simplex Virus 1 and 2, Verrucae, Molluscum contagiosum, and various other skin infections using 96% monolaurin in oral pellets, 2-4% monolaurin in topical preparations, and 1% monocaprin topical preparations, with high efficacy and very rare adverse reactions.
She often combines the use of these monolaurin products with the daily application of cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil (VCO) which, in addition to its broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, has humectant, occlusive, lipid cell membrane and skin barrier repair capabilities, from its unique fatty acids and glycerin.
She also regularly uses 2-4% monolaurin in hand gels and in petrolatum for antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal antisepsis.
The summary of her study review states: “Virgin coconut oil and its derivatives are shown in laboratory and translational clinical studies to have a broad-spectrum, antimicrobial effectivity on viruses, bacteria and fungi. Most of the studies are published in international, a few in regional journals. Still fewer are pilot trials that similarly show these antimicrobial effects against various organism types.”

Introduction to virgin coconut oil and its derivatives

“Like all vegetable oils, coconut oil (CO) is made up of triglycerides which have three fatty acids (FAs) linked to the three carbons in its core glycerin molecule.
Lipase enzymes of non-pathogenic microbes present normally in the skin, and pathogens that may invade it, break down the links, first to a di- then a mono-glyceride, and lastly, into its glycerin and three-fatty acid components.
VCO has about 50% Lauric acid, and 7% Capric acid. The monoglycerides of these two fatty acids have broad-spectrum antimicrobial effects as seen in a few pilot studies; and in laboratory studies and clinical trials published in international and regional journals since the 1970s.
In our studies, we use virgin coconut oil (VCO) that is cold pressed with no heat, certified organic, and freshly harvested to ensure purity, maximum content of important fatty acids, its monoglycerides, fatty acids, and its anti-oxidants .”

Monolaurin, Monocaprin and VCO Anti-Viral Laboratory and Clinical Studies

The antiviral activities of Lauric acid and monolaurin were first noted by Sands and co-worker in 1979. In 1982, monolaurin was shown to be highly antiviral, at times, at 10 times less concentration, than its Lauric Fatty acid. Five years later in 1987, monolaurin is confirmed as highly anti-viral at concentrations 10 times less than Lauric acid. This study also showed that both monolaurin and Lauric acid inactivate viruses by cell membrane disintegration. A 1994 study showed that Lauric acid had a dose-dependent, reversible inhibition of infectious vesicular stomatitis virus production. When Lauric acid was absent, this antiviral effect disappeared. Lauric acid did not influence viral membrane (M) protein synthesis, but prevented binding to the host cell membrane. In 1999, monocaprin was shown to be a feasible mucosal microbicide to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as Neisseria gonorrhea, Chlamydia and HIV.
In the 2000s, studies were published on coconut oil for HIV-AIDS (repeated in 2016 with forty HIV subjects with CD4+ T lymphocyte counts divided into a VCO group and control group (no VCO). The VCO group showed significantly higher average age CD4+ T lymphocyte counts versus control after 6 weeks. Monolaurin for Molluscum contagiosum (a skin virus), and monolaurin in a gel is highly active on repeated high viral loads of Simean immunodeficiency virus in macaques. A study in 2001 on saturated C10 to C18 fatty acids against JUNV (an enveloped virus and the causative agent of Argentine hemorrhagic fever) infection showed Lauric acid as the most active inhibitor. Mechanistic studies from transmission electron microscopic images from 2012 concluded that Lauric acid inhibited a late maturation stage in the replicative cycle of JUNV.
In 2007, monoglycerides were tested on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human parainfluenza virus type 2 (HPIV2) at different concentrations, times, and pH levels, with monocaprin (even as low as 0.06-0.12%) showing the most activity against influenza A virus.
From 2015 onwards, studies show monolaurin’s efficacy in a wider range of viruses, from avian influenza virus in chickens, to the female genital tract in Rhesus macaques. Further studies show coconut oil and its derivatives as safe and effective antiviral compounds in both humans and animals against envelope viruses, causing complete envelopes, plasma membranes, and viral particles to disintegrate, lyse, and cause the death of cultured cells. Because of the antiviral and antibacterial protection that it provides to animals, coconut oil, as well as lauric acid and monolaurin, are used in farm animals and pets as veterinary feed supplements in chicken, swine and dogs.

Studies Reviewed:
  1. Sands JA, Auperin LD, Reinhardt A. Enveloped virus inactivation by fatty acid derivatives. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1979;15(1):134–136. doi:10.1128/aac.15.1.134.
  2. Hierholzer JC, Kabara JJ. In vitro effects of monolaurin compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. J Food Safety 1982;4:1–12.
  3. Thormar H et al. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1987 Jan;31(1):27-31.
  4. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Brown HR, Barshatzky MR, Pessolano T. Inactivation of Enveloped Viruses and Killing of Cells by Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 1987; 31(1): 27-31.
  5. Hornung B, Amtmann E, Sauer G. Lauric acid inhibits the maturation of vesicular stomatitis virus. Journal of General Virology, 1994; 75: 353-361.
  6. Thormar H, Bergsson G, Gunnarsson E, et al. Hydrogels containing monocaprin have potent microbicidal activities against sexually transmitted viruses and bacteria in vitro. Sex Transm Infect. 1999;75(3):181–185. doi:10.1136/sti.75.3.181
  7. Kristmundsdóttir T, Arnadóttir SG, Bergsson G, Thormar H. Development and evaluation of microbicidal hydrogels containing monoglyceride as the active ingredient. Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, 1999; 88(10): 1011-1015.
  8. Dayrit CS. Coconut Oil in Health and Disease: Its and Monolaurin’s Potential as Cure for FOR HIV/AIDS. XXXVII Cocotech Meeting. Chennai, India. July 25, 2000.
  9. Bartolotta S, Garcí CC, Candurra NA, Damonte EB. Effect of fatty acids on arenavirus replication: inhibition of virus production by lauric acid. Archives of Virology, 2001; 146(4): 777-790.
  10. Chua EO, Verallo-Rowell VM. Coconut oil extract 2% Monolaurin cream in the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum. A randomized double-blind vehicle-controlled trial. Scientific Poster presentation Semi-Finalist. In Abstracts, World Congress of Dermatology October 1-5 2007, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  11. Hilmarsson H, Traustason BS, Kristmundsdóttir T, Thormar H. Virucidal activities of medium- and long-chain fatty alcohols and lipids against respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus type 2: comparison at different pH levels. Archives of Virology 2007: 152(12):2225-36.
  12. Li Q, Estes JD, Schlievert PM, et al. Glycerol monolaurate prevents mucosal SIV transmission. Nature. 2009;458(7241):1034–1038. doi:10.1038/nature07831.
  13. Grant A, Seregin A, Huang C, Kolokoltsova O, Brasier A, Peters C, Paessler S. Junín Virus Pathogenesis and Virus Replication. Viruses, 2012; 4: 2317-2339.
  14. van der Sluis W. Potential antiviral properties of alpha-monolaurin. Poultry World. Downloaded from https://www.poultryworld.net/Nutrition/Articles/2015/12/Potential-antiviral-properties-of-alpha-monolaurin-2709142W/.
  15. Widhiarta KD. Virgin Coconut Oil for HIV – Positive People. Cord, 2016; 32 (1): 50-57.
  16. Kirtane AR, Rothenberger MK, Frieberg A, et al. Evaluation of vaginal drug levels and safety of a locally administered glycerol monolaurate cream in Rhesus macaques. Journal of Pharmaceutical Science 2017; 106(7):1821-1827.
  17. Baltić B, Starčević M, Đorđević J, Mrdović B, Marković R. Importance of medium chain fatty acids in animal nutrition. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 2017; 85: 012048.
  18. Verallo-Rowell V.M., Katalbas S.S., Evangelista M.T., Dayrit J.F. Curr. Dermatol. Rep., 2018, 7: 24.
  19. Yan B, Chu H, Yang D, et al. Characterization of the Lipidomic Profile of Human Coronavirus-Infected Cells: Implications for Lipid Metabolism Remodeling upon Coronavirus Replication. Viruses. 2019;11(1):73. Published 2019 Jan 16. doi:10.3390/v11010073
  20. De Sousa ALM, Pinheiro RR, Araújo JF, et al. Sodium dodecyl sulfate as a viral inactivator and future perspectives in the control of small ruminant lentiviruses. Arquivos do Instituto Biológico, 2019; 86. Epub Nov 28, 2019.
Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Another Disinfection Technique: Wash Your Hands, Use Monolaurin…and Virgin Coconut Oil Your Nose!Featured

Another Disinfection Technique

With new bugs and superbugs, we’re looking for more ways to prevent infection. Improving our nutrition and overall well being is important (which includes lessening stress and getting enough sleep). Another is increasing our probiotic intake. Some classic best practices include frequent and proper hand washing, upping your use of hand sanitizer, and wiping down surfaces with alcohol or bleach. But while alcohol isn’t an allergen, it is drying and all that sanitation can cause skin problems, particularly on your hands. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) and its derivatives like monolaurin could be just what you need to stay safer while keeping your skin comfortable and healthy.

Why VCO and Monolaurin?

Lauric acid monoglyceride as 2% monolaurin and virgin coconut oil (VCO) have studies going as far back as the 1970s showing their efficacy against viruses (including enveloped viruses) and comparably so with 85% alcohol.

VCO and its derivatives, even at lower concentrations, directly disintegrate the viral envelope which destroys the rest of the virus (alcohol denatures the virus’s protein materials). While both act immediately, alcohol evaporates quickly (is transient) while VCO and its derivatives, being fats, stay longer on surface skin and mucosa, so that their antimicrobial effects last longer. And, unlike alcohol, VCO and monolaurin do all this while moisturizing the skin instead of drying it out.

Furthermore, VCO and its derivatives kill not just viruses but fungi as well as gram (+) and (-) bacteria — and some of their resistant strains — so you get broad-spectrum protection that feels yummy on the skin.

That yummy feeling isn’t just for pleasure, either. VCO and monolaurin have important anti-inflammatory effects.

Try This Technique

As with all things related to health and infection, consult your doctor and refer to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1) Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Ideally, use a wash that contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laurel sulfate (SLES) which are made with lauric acid from coconut oil. Just make sure to choose a product like Superwash that has lower concentrations of SLES (less irritating than SLS) and that has no allergens or irritants in the formulation. While not an allergen, SLES and SLS, just like alcohol, can be irritating (SLS is more so) as their concentration increases. If you do not have an SLES or SLS-cleanser handy, soap is fine. Wash your hands well, covering all surfaces and scrubbing under your nails. If you’ve been commuting or out in a crowd, wash until your elbows.

2) Wash Your Face

This isn’t always necessary but if you’re concerned about contagion, are immune-compromised, or are feeling vulnerable, get a gentle SLS facial cleanser like any SuperSkin Care Cleanser and wash your face, too. Besides your face being almost as exposed as your hands, we tend to touch our faces a lot more than we think.

End of the day?

If you’re home and staying put, go ahead and take a full shower. Use Superwash and your SLS-cleanser.

3) Snort Your Coconut Oil

Ok, while you could, in fact, snort it, it’s more comfortable (and less messy) to rub it in there instead. Pour some VCO onto a cotton swab or tissue. If your tissue or swab is new and real clean, you can also dip one end of it into the oil. Swipe the oil all around the insides of your nostrils. Massage well: this helps the lipases in the skin break down the VCO into its monoglycerides and fatty acids, including the awesome antimicrobials lauric acid and monolaurin. Throw the swab or tissue away properly.

Pro Tip 1: Want extra protection?

Try Oil’s Well which has only those two magical ingredients: virgin coconut oil and monolaurin.

Pro Tip 2: Dry, painful nostrils?

If you’ve been blowing your nose a lot, or they’re raw from allergies or cold weather, use Boo-Boo Balm in your nostrils instead. It contains virgin coconut oil and monolaurin but in a balm for quicker healing.

4) Hand Sanitize with Monolaurin

Rub monolaurin hand sanitizer all over your hands, including under your nails. Don’t wipe it off: let it air dry (it takes just a few seconds).

Pro Tip 1: We love multitaskers

Both Id Monolaurin Gel and Kid Gloves Make-It-Cleaner Hand Gel are multipurpose, with lots of great skin benefits from sweat acne to mattifying skin, and keeping you feeling cool and fresh (you can even apply them on your underarms to control odor or if the stress of the day has made things extra sweaty).

Pro Tip 2: You’re spoiled with a choice

You’ve run out? Not a problem! Use virgin coconut oil alone or a product that contains VCO and/or the right percentage of pure monolaurin — like any of our moisturizers and hand lotions. They’re great stand-ins!

It is important to emphasize that, to our knowledge as of this writing, monolaurin has not been tested on nCoV-2019 specifically (neither has alcohol). This information is compelling but needs validation on this particular virus. The available evidence seems to suggest similar efficacy to alcohol in destroying enveloped viruses and some coronaviruses. Follow your doctor’s instructions, and rely on trusted sources such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and your country’s department of health. For a study review of VCO, monolaurin and other coconut oil derivatives as antivirals, antibacterials and antifungals, click here.


Laura is our “dew”-good CEO at VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister CC and husband Juan Pablo (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about health, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness, and spreading goodness (like a great cream!)

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Skin and Nutrition: 5 Foods To Add For Healthy SkinFeatured

Beauty is within…

The phrase “beauty is within” may seem spiritual or philosophical but it is evidently true in science and our physical well being.
There has been an explosion of fortifying food, beverages, and even beauty products with vitamins and minerals (natural additives) intended to enhance a product’s effectiveness. Assuming they are present in the stated concentrations, how can these so-called natural additives improve effectiveness? These natural additives are essential components for the efficient functioning of each cell in our body. The possible result, therefore, in a particular product fortified with these natural additives is that the product could be more effective than others without them. But nothing beats eating foods that are naturally rich in these vitamins and minerals.
Each of our cells is a vital part of a larger organ and each cell in our body thrives on proper nourishment and protection to ensure its optimal function. Of all the organs in our body, the skin is the largest. This beautiful armor encases our body to house other organs, protects our body from harmful things we come in contact with in our environment, helps us regulate our bodily temperature, and allows us to interpret sensations (pain, wet, soft, etc.). The skin is also a mirror of our nutritional status. Give your body the proper nourishment and it shows, beautifully, on healthy, glowing skin. Add these 5 food essentials to your daily diet for a inside-out health:

CITRUS FRUITS


While common contact allergens, citrus fruits are important to eat (just take care to avoid skin contact if you’ve patch tested positive for them). They are well-known good sources of vitamin C, which aids in the production of collagen (the protein that forms the basic structure of the skin). A study on over 4,000 women aged 40-74 published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition linked nutrient intake and skin aging. The study found that women who had a higher intake of vitamin C were less likely to have dryness of the skin and wrinkles, and more likely to have better skin-aging appearance. Citrus fruits are also abundant in antioxidants that prevent skin from cellular damage. So for smooth, taut skin, add citruses to your salad, eat them as snacks, or drink them!
Good sources are: oranges, cantaloupe, kiwi, guava, pomegranate, lemon, lime.

SEAFOOD


The sea contains treasures far beyond pearls. Fish and shellfish are rich sources of zinc and the important fatty acid omega-3.
Zinc is an essential mineral that can help combat acne since it is involved in metabolizing testosterone which affects the production of sebum, the oily substance that is one cause of a certain type of acne. Zinc can also facilitate the sloughing of dead skin cells by boosting new-cell production.
An increase of omega-3 in the diet can significantly reduce inflammation and dryness of the skin. Inflammations can hasten the skin aging process and are linked to many skin problems.
For youthful and glowing skin, fire up your grill with salmon, tuna, halibut, or prawns, or tame your hunger pangs with a warm seafood chowder. If you are more adventurous, shuck some fresh oysters or whip up an enticingly spicy Ceviche!
NOTE: seafood can be rich in iodides so control your intake if you have halogen acne.

RED & GREEN VEGETABLES


They add color to any dish but more importantly, they are rich sources of vitamin A and beta-carotenes.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that facilitates the removal of dead skin cells on the outer layer of the skin. It helps in collagen production and in thickening the dermis (the layer of the skin that contains collagen, which is an important protein that hydrates the skin and keeps its elasticity).
Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals. Furthermore, it helps reduce sun-induced skin damage and may help improve melasma. German researchers found that as little as 30 milligrams a day (the equivalent of 11/2 cups of cooked carrots) can help prevent or reduce the redness and inflammation associated with sunburn. “Beta carotene accumulates in the skin, providing 24-hour protection against sun damage,” says Ronald R. Watson, Ph.D., professor of public health research at Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson. Its use for skin protection is a reason why it is added in many supplements and topical creams.
For radiant-looking and smooth skin, enrich your diet with vitamin A- and beta carotene-filled colored fruits and vegetables such as mango, apricot, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash and collard greens.
NOTE: while vital to your health, beta carotene-rich foods cannot replace the daily use of sunscreen.

NUTS & SEEDS


These alternative sources of protein have the added bonus of being rich in the cleansing substance, fiber. Fiber is important to rid the body of waste and impurities. Nuts and seeds also contain a highly effective antioxidant in vitamin E.
Protein helps repair cells that have been damaged by free radicals. When protien is digested it is converted into amino acids, the building blocks of cells, which helps speed up the repair of skin cells and collagen.
Vitamin E is another top contact allergen but excellent fat-soluble vitamin that inhibits further damage of cells caused by free radicals — so if you have sensitive skin, eat it instead of spreading it on in a cream. It works together with other groups of nutrients like vitamin C, gluthathione, slenenium, and vitamin B3 to counter oxygen molecules that become too reactive (highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules damage the structure of the cells surrounding them).
Aging may be inevitable but having youthful, soft skin is attainable. Try sprinkling some nuts and seeds on your favorite dishes and salads and (with proper skincare and daily sunscreen use) watch those age lines ease up on you! Choose from walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, macadamia, pecans, brazil nuts, sunflowers seeds, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
NOTE: as always, follow your allergist’s instructions.

WHOLE GRAINS


“Whole” grains simply means: grains that did not undergo the extensive processing to remove their harder covering…which actually is the part containing the nutrients our body needs. Whole grains are rich in rutin and vitamin B.
Rutin is a bioflavonoid, found abundantly in buckwheat, and may be considered as an antioxidant working synergistically with vitamin C. One of its main functions is the proper absorption of vitamin C in the body. Rutin helps prevent vitamin C from being metabolized, which in turn enhances its benefits in the immune system.
Vitamin B is linked to acne (truer more for vitamin B12 but also for vitamin B6) but is very important to your body’s health! It strengthens the skin’s barrier by hydrating cells and acts as an anti-inflammatory, preventing redness and irritation of the skin. It aids in healthy skin-cell turnover. It is also said to help metabolize macronutrients and the absence of vitamin B renders the skin susceptible to skin lesions and light sensitivity.
For fresh, clear and more moisturized-looking skin, have a slice of your favorite buckwheat, whole wheat, rye, or multigrain bread! If you’re not fond of bread, brown rice or whole-wheat noodles might do some vitamin B goodness. Just go easy on the portions please!
NOTE: do not automatically assume that vitamin B is causing your acne. There are many types of acne and many possible causes, and vitamin B is too important to your health to avoid without your doctor’s ok.

This list is a helpful guide and by no means the only food that is helpful to the skin. Our skin needs protection and nourishment for it to be at its best. The bottom line on nourishment for our skin is still to have a diet that is nutritionally dense, varied, balanced and well-proportioned, plus engaging in physical activity that ensures the proper distribution of these nutrients throughout the body.

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Check out the other posts related to skin, exercise, and nutrition:

Eat Right, Exercise, Daily Skincare Regimen: Healthy Habits to Look & Feel Your Best
Your Skin Wants You To EAT Your Antioxidants
Your Skin Wants You To Exercise Daily: 30-Day Healthy Skin Challenge


Nutrition & Lifestyle Counselor Ginny Sinense-Marksl, RN-D, is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman and a member of National Kidney Foundation in the USA. She’s been an avid student and practitioner of health and nutrition her entire adult life — professionally, for 20 years. Her passion is for overall wellbeing, other than just health and fitness, and she is a frequent speaker at corporate wellness events. She believes health is our life power and that we should take any chance that we get to optimize it!

Beauty, Healthy Living, Skin, Tip of the Week

Top 40 Skin, Makeup, Health & Happiness Tips!Featured

Pause, please. 

40 years of published and awarded research on skin, hypoallergenicity, and clinically-effective care has led us more and more to this fact: what affects the skin is far more than what is applied on it.
Science is showing just how interdependent — how linked — all aspects of our health are. The care of skin cannot be separated from what we eat, how often we exercise, underlying health conditions, and how well we sleep and manage stress.
It’s time to pause, review, and share some of the most proven ways to care for all aspects of health — skin, body, and mind.

Healthy Living, Skin

Top 10 Gifts NOT To Give Someone With Sensitive SkinFeatured

The No-Go Gift Guide For Your most “Sensitive” Friends

Choosing a gift can be fun — who hasn’t smiled instantly at finding the perfect gift for someone they love? But shopping for people with very sensitive or allergic skin can be difficult. What was a thoughtful gesture can morph into the cause of an angry rash or trigger an eczema flare-up. You want your gifts to put smiles — and only smiles — on their faces! Here are the top 10 things NOT to give your most “sensitive” friends.
For alternatives and other safe gift ideas, check out The Best Gifts To Give Someone With Sensitive Skin.

1. Perfume; Scented Soaps, Lotions, Makeup

Perfume might be the most classic present of all but it’s also the most classic no-go gift for anyone allergic (skin or otherwise). Perfume is one of the most common contact allergens.
It’s not just bottled perfumes that can cause problems but anything that contains scents of any kind…no matter how natural or organic. Keep in mind that fragrances can be hard to spot in ingredients lists and some products that say “unscented” could still have fragrances in them, just under a different name. One way to check is to sniff: an obvious floral, fruity, mossy, musk, or perfume-y scent is a dead give away but so is a “nothing” smell. Most truly unscented makeup and skincare products will have a more lab-like odor.

2. Essential Oils, Aromatherapy, Incense, Scented Candles, Room Sprays

Airborne contact dermatitis is a thing. Even if a product isn’t spread on the skin and is instead diffused or sprayed in a room, its particulates can cause problems when they settle or are inhaled.

3. Stuff With Preservatives

If you’re giving food, makeup, or skincare, look for preservative-free options. Several preservatives like parabens and MCI/MI are top allergens.

4. Fresh Flowers, Herbs, Plants, Fruits

These are gorgeous gifts that bring nature into the home and are completely biodegradable (even yummy)…but so many flowers, herbs, plants, and fruits — even faves like lavender and citruses — are top triggers for contact allergies.

5. Jewelry; Metals

Nickel is regularly the top contact allergen overall and is very common in anything metal: earrings, watches, eyeglass frames, laptop and phone cases, pens, belt buckles, and more. Gold is a common contact allergen, too. If you’d really like to give jewelry, try options from our sensitive skin-safe gift guide.

6. Leather

Leather” as such isn’t listed as a common contact allergen, but a lot of the things that go into its processing are.

7. Brightly Colored Fabrics; Denim; Stretchy or Rough Textiles

Clothes, towels, and linens are great gifts but for someone with very sensitive skin, there are hidden dangers such as preservatives, dyes, latex, elastics, and chemicals called “mordants” (related to metal) that help colorants bind better to materials (particularly synthetic materials). Stretchy, tight fabrics and rough textiles can cause irritations.

8. Rubber Things

Flip-flops, sandals, and rubberized phone cases or travel mug handles can be a problem for those allergic to rubber and its cross-reactants.

9. E-Cigarettes/Vapes

Besides other issues, the liquids used in vaping contain common allergens like preservatives.

10. Brightly-Colored Stationary and Office Supplies; Paints, Inks; Ceramics and Clay (for Crafts)

Bright colors are often indicative of the presence of dyes. This can be a problem in papers but also in paints, inks, and even vividly-hued plastic items that may contain benzophenones or other allergens that help keep the colors bright over time. Ceramics and clay are actually pretty safe when dry but avoid them in gifts where you have to handle them wet, such as in crafts kits.
That may seem like a lot to avoid, but not to worry: The Best Gifts To Give Someone With Sensitive Skin has lots of safe gifting options for your sensitive-skinned loved ones!
Curious about what’s an allergen and what’s not? Check out our popular Allergen-Not An Allergen section.


Our team of “dew gooders” at VMV Hypoallergenics regularly shares “skinsider” tips! Follow us on Instagram for more of their hacks, “skintel” and tutorials!

Healthy Living, Skin

Less Is More In Skincare, Too!Featured

Less Is More In Skincare, Too!

SIMPLIFY.

“Less is more” is a healthy philosophy for pretty much everything in life.
In food, less processed means more nutrients and less junk. Studies show that mindfulness — clearing the mind of clutter and focusing on the now — has significant health benefits for the brain and aging. In skincare, simple formulations with as few ingredients as possible minimize the risk of cross reactions — it’s a golden rule of hypoallergenicity. Plus, sticking to fewer products from fewer brands means there’s less guesswork involved when identifying what could be causing a reaction or acne.
“Less is more” helps doctors more easily identify what could be the cause of a problem. Frequently, the first step of allergy or contact dermatitis management (often, along with a patch test) is an “elimination diet” (our popular, ultra-reliable 7-Day Skin Fast). In the Skin Fast, you’re asked to stop using all products — except a very, very controlled few — for 7 days. This helps skin return to its most non-irritated state, so that when new products are slowly introduced (one every three days or so), problem products can be more accurately isolated.
The same applies to acne: acne can have several causes and certain types of acne can take days to develop…making it almost impossible to accurately identify which product is causing the acne when using many different ones.
Having fewer ingredients in a formulation is a best practice in hypoallergenicity…so much so that one of the quickest ways to spot a high-risk product is to look at how many ingredients it has: the longer the list, the higher the likelihood of reactions.
In addition, using multiple products can lead to over-treatment and drying of the skin…getting it to a borderline-irritated state so that anything new applied (whether or not you are actually allergic to it) could trigger a reaction.
This is why doctors tend to recommend sticking to few products and, ideally, from the same brand. It is impossible to ensure how products are made from one brand to another, ingredients can have different raw materials (some pure, some with additives such as trace amounts of preservatives or allergens), and many formulations are outsourced to third-party manufacturing facilities where vats can be used for mixing many different formulations, including those with allergens. Check out Why Sticking to One Brand Is Safer (an interview with EczemaBlues.com) for more on why using products from different brands can make the management of complex skin conditions difficult.

For more on hypoallergenicity and how less is more, check out:

HYPOALLERGENIC: What is it Really?
Why Sticking to One Brand Is Safer

For more on reactions:

Reactions: About, Allergic, Irritant, Sudden, Prevention, Using VMV & Other Products, etc.
Mythfoliation: If I Get a Reaction, The Last Product I Applied Is The Problem

Beauty, Healthy Living, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Skincare To Swipe Right On

Skincare To Swipe Right On

You’re so good about eating well (your friends say you should start charging for tips), exercising daily (people call out your name when you walk into the gym), sleeping more, controlling stress, and being happier (your new nickname is sensei). For your skin, you’ve done your research (you’re on a first-name basis with beauty bloggers), you’ve become a formidable “skintellectual” and have your alpha hydroxies and antioxidants down (your dermatologist asked for your opinion about a new sunscreen). And you’ve finally, carefully chosen a skincare partner. This is the moment of truth: you’ve hit the end of what you can control. Your skin is now largely in the hands of the products you’ve selected to deliver on their promises and (please!) not cause damage you’ll have to correct later. Your power over your skincare product ends as soon as you put it on. Will it do what it says it does? Is it as safe as it says it is?

Skincare As Dating

We use the word “partner” for a reason. When dating, you work on you, scope out the options, identify a possibility, do some background checking, gauge his or her friends and then…you wait and see. Sometimes that trust is well placed and leads to a rewarding relationship. Other times, you’re let down. You might get hurt. You need time to recover. You’re left with scars.
Luckily, skincare needn’t entail as big a leap of faith as love. There are well-established standards of proof that are far more reliable than, “but he seemed so nice!”

Beauty is “Proof,” Proof Beauty

Slightly tweaked, Keats’ famous lines are an ode to that gold standard of scientific validity: the randomized, double-blind, evidence-based clinical study — which we at VMV Hypoallergenics have always done. Our investigative studies are scientifically robust and impressively so. One published study is eyebrow-raising; we have over 75. In the hyperbolic world of cosmetics, true beauty lies in evidence. Putting your faith in the double-blind study is far better than flying blind.

Research Terms To Swipe Right On

“Clinically tested” can mean lots of things. Some tests are more subjective, mainly consisting of people sharing their thoughts about a product (“99 out of 100 women say they saw an 80% reduction in wrinkles”). There is nothing wrong with this type of test, but it does rely primarily on the test subjects’ own opinions of what they see in the mirror, how they feel, and even how much they like the brand and the type of product they were given. Other tests use qualitative data like before-and-after photos. While helpful, these photographs are generally considered to be less conclusive than quantitative data such as objective measurements of certain biological aspects of the skin using specialized equipment. Rare in cosmetics, double-blind (meaning the subjects never know what they’re using). “Evidence-based” means randomized, double-blind trials with quantitative data — which is standard in prescription pharmaceuticals, and at VMV.

A Well-Rounded Partner

“Evidence-based” is in our safety as much as our efficacy. A study on our VH-Rating System, the only hypoallergenic “grading” system of its kind, was published in one of the leading journals on contact dermatitis and is proven to be effective at increasing customer safety, showing less than 0.1% reported reactions in 30 years. A new patch test study with multiple VMV products on hundreds of subjects showed zero irritant and allergic reactions, even in conditions allowing for greater contact of products on the skin and expected to produce reactions earlier and faster than normal. Another study on the non-comedogenicity of virgin coconut oil was presented at the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) meeting.
Our research includes investigative and case studies, too, and not just for cosmetics. Our research covers issues as diverse as nutrition and acne, psoriasis, pemphigus vulgaris, and mycosis fungoides (a type of cancer of the immune system). Such research is not cosmetic, but adds to our understanding of the skin, diseases, treatments, and treatment mechanisms. This knowledge contributes directly to how we develop all our products — from cosmeceuticals to basic care and even makeup.
One published study is a major achievement, unusual for cosmetics. We have over 75. We might be a skin health and beauty brand, but proof is our business.
proof
100% Skin Love
These medical measures are objective, well-proven, consistent and replicable. They reduce the risk of disappointment and adverse effects significantly.
It’s a pretty awesome thing, actually: unlike some dates, skincare that looks this good — this scientifically, objectively robust — “on paper” can be relied on. It will keep its promises. It will deliver. It’ll help you feel good, too. It’ll boost your confidence. It’ll never judge you, just help you. It’ll never ask you for anything in return. It’ll love you for life. It’ll love your friends and family. It’ll protect you. It’ll be loyal, and it’ll get more rewarding the longer you stay with it.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. It can show signs of internal problems before even a blood test, MRI or x-ray. Our skin is fundamental to how we live in the world. It controls our temperature, it expands and contracts as we need it to, it protects us. It is vital to how we sense fear and love. So much of intimacy and sexual attraction is about skin and touch. Skin-to-skin contact is important not just for sensuality but for us as humans  — studies have shown that babies suffer developmentally and physically by not being held enough; doctors advocate skin-on-skin contact between mothers and newborns for improved bonding, physical and emotional development and healing (even improved survival rates from body warmth). And our skin’s health is how we present ourselves to the world. Clear, healthy, vibrant skin is a great ingredient to that happy stew of goodness that helps you feel good about yourself.
Your relationship with your skin is not something to be taken lightly. At the very least, skincare should be expected to keep the promise built right into its name: care.
More Resources:
For more on testing at VMV, see About VMV: Our TestingAbout VMV: Clinical Studies, Published Articles, References or search skintelligencenter.com.
To shop our clinically-proven safe and effective products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. For help putting together regimen to help you achieve your skin goals, or for recommendations customized to your patch test results, ask us at (212) 217 2762.

Beauty, Brand Ambassadors, Healthy Living, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Jess Arnaudin, Green Beauty and Travel WriterFeatured

Jess Arnaudin

Green Beauty and Travel Writer
New York, NY

Instagram-AxisArtistry-ApplyMakeupAdrienne-June2015-20150711
Jess Arnaudin is an expert skin therapist, makeup artist, beauty writer and adventure seeker on a mission to examine beauty beyond boundaries. Jess combines her 6+ years of experience within New York City’s spa industry with an insatiable curiosity to find the best eco-beauty experiences around the world and share them with YOU! Join Jess on her #beautyadventure and find out firsthand why travel is so incredibly important for your skin and your soul!
Contact Jess for a spa session, or your bridal or special-event makeup.

Follow Jess for eco-conscious skin, beauty and healthy living tips now on JessArnaudin.com!

  JessArnaudin


 
Beauty…
“Gorgeous training today with the @vmvhypoallergenics team — lots of laughs & good energy all around. Thank you, @ccvr3 @lauraatvmv @vmvhypoallergenics! #hypoallergenic #hypoallergenicmakeup #skinsafe #fragrancefree #highlight #contour #training #makeup”
Instagram-AxisArtistry-ApplyMakeupCCVR-20150711 

Health…
“It’s a #superfood kind of morning! Berries are sky high in vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) which is the key to #collagen production! It’s also vital in repairing skin’s barrier function. Grab a handful of fresh berries & join me in this colorful carnival of vitamin C! ? (Bowl from @Anthropologie) #powerfood #beautyfood #morningessentials #greenbeauty #vitaminc”
Instagram-AxisArtistry-BerriesSuperfoods-June2015-20150711
“Matcha energy balls ???Thanks @bysaber & @glowleanrecipes for the inspiration! I made substitutions: (strawberry & honey filling instead of raspberry, and added coconut shavings to matcha powder for coating) and love the result. Best when eaten frozen / chilled! #matcha #matchamadness #energyfood #glutenfree #greentea #greenteapowder #glowlean #coconut #strawberry #cleaneating #skinhealth #caffeine #happysunday #sundayfunday” Instagram-AxisArtistry-MachaBalls-June2015-20150711
Good Living…
“January 15th. Half-way through the first month of the year. How go your resolutions? Every day is a new chance! Take a deep breath. Smile. And start again! Mine is spending more time with a gratitude journal. Totally changes my perspective! #attitudeofgratitude #gratitudejournal #resolutions #pulsecheck #accountability #newbeginning #newopportunity #dreambig #workhard #givethanks #greenbeauty”
Instagram-AxisArtistry-ResolutionJournalJan2015-20150711
“Sending love & light today! We all need a little healing sometimes. ✌️Speak life. Speak love. See light. #gratitude #mindovermatter #love #light #life #healing #energy #peace #mindovermatter #positivevibes”
Instagram-AxisArtistry-LoveLightVMVMottsparoom-June2015-20150711


Get skinspired!

Our Brand Ambassadors inspire their community with their artistry, spirit, guidance and goodness. 

Artists, athletes, makeup artists, and more who love what we “dew” as much as we love their contributions to the world.

At VMV HYPOALLERGENICS, we support Brand Ambassadors who spread goodness and “skinside-out” health.
Meet more of our Brand Ambassadors VMV Hypoallergenics Brand Ambassadors!