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Featured, Skin

Natural Flower Extracts Can Be Allergenic?

Gorgeous as these flowers are, it’s important to remember that if you have very sensitive skin, even the most natural extracts and oils of flowers, fruits, and various plants can be allergenic. Many flowers are on published allergen lists — individually, or as part of Fragrance Mixes. Other flower or plant oils are comedogenic, too (to learn about some allergen flowers and plants, check out the Allergen, Not An Allergen tab on VMVInSKIN.com).

But isn’t natural safe?

“Natural” is so frequently associated with “safe” that it may sound counterintuitive…but if you have a history of skin reactions, you might actually need to avoid natural skin products and cosmetics.
Less processed and organic foods are certainly healthier than their counterparts. But allergens can cause problems no matter how natural their origin. Food and skin allergies don’t work in the same way (different cells are involved) but in terms of natural origin, the same warning applies: if you’re allergic to a food (say, peanuts or strawberries), you should avoid it no matter how organic it is. In skincare or makeup, if you’re allergic to lavender, rose, or fragrance mixes in patch tests (which include moss and other plants), you should avoid them no matter how organic they are.
But I love natural things (sad face)…
Don’t we all! Blooms are beautiful to look at and be around, and it would be a shame to avoid them if you don’t need to. If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test instead.

If your patch test does show a sensitivity to flowers and flower-related ingredients, you don’t need to give up indulgence entirely. Our clinically-valid spa treatments are as “skindulgent” and sublime as they are therapeutic. And our skin-safe Skintelligent Beauty Makeup delivers beautiful, high-performance pigments that wouldn’t be out of place at the botanical gardens (without sacrificing your skin’s health). All that soothing care, vibrancy, and color sans the rashes, acne, and hyperpigmentation? Now that’s beautiful!

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

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Beauty, Skin, Uncategorized

Lip Service: 8 Ways To Pamper Your PoutFeatured

Did you know lip care is skin care?

Like the rest of your skin, your lips have a stratum corneum (the skin’s outermost layer) — but this protective layer is thinner on lips than on any other skin on your body. Combine that with a lack of oil glands (lips rely on saliva for moisture), absence of melanin (your skin’s natural pigment and protection against UV rays), and you’ve got one sensitive organ.
Your skincare just isn’t complete without lip care. Here are 8 ways to pamper your pout:
 

Beauty, Brand Ambassadors, Healthy Living, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Jess Arnaudin, Green Beauty and Travel WriterFeatured

Jess Arnaudin

Green Beauty and Travel Writer
New York, NY

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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”
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“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!

Brand Ambassadors, Family Blog, Skin

Skinthusiast Mariza Hourani: My Life Has Been a Fairytale :)

Did you know that most VMV Hypoallergenics models are family members, good friends, work colleagues and real fans of the brand?

Meet Mariza Hourani, a Lebanese-British-Spanish-Philippine stunner who’s also my longtime bootcamp trainer’s daughter. Her dad’s seen me balloon through pregnancies and work myself to a purple-faced mess to get fit again. He trained my dad through his recovery from stem cell transplants and chemo, and still trains my energizer-bunny of a mother in her 70s. Mariza’s mother is one of the nicest, most creative women I know and does pretty much all my kids’ birthday parties plus crazy-good, crazy-healthy eggplant salads and hummus.

We’ve been friends, is what I’m saying, and I’ve been witness — often through stories shared mid bootcamp (usually when her dad’s trying to distract me from my lack of oxygen) — to Mariza’s growing up.

Mariza was also my now-3yo son’s first crush. The photo below shows him at a few months old clinging to her. Seriously, this continued a good, long time. He refused to be removed from this happy hugging. And who can blame him?

image

LAURA: Your dad’s punished me for years and I still remember our first workouts. When did you first “meet” VMV?

MARIZA: VMV has been a part of my life since I was a kid as I had very sensitive skin growing up and most other brands didn’t have anything hypoallergenic! I used to have the worst lip problems — I couldn’t even smile without them bleeding. Without VMV, I really don’t know how different my life would be.

L: Ouch (the bleeding) but nice to hear (that we could help 🙂 What are your biggest skin concerns or skin goals?

M: As a  model, I’m always concerned about my complexion. I do have to be in makeup quite a lot so it’s the biggest relief to be able to use VMV products that don’t make me break out! I think my biggest skin goal would be to stay as youthful as can be for as long as possible. My career kind of depends on it, ha ha!

L: We can help there, too, I’m sure. Which VMV products do you use?

….. What don’t I use?

L: Ok, which would you consider your faves?

M: I’m white as a snowball. It’s so bad that I’ve used the lightest shades of other makeup lines as BRONZERS. That being said, hands down my favorites are the Skin Savvy Foundation and Illuminants Powder — you actually have my shade!!

L: What do you like about this very bare, very natural look for spring?

M: I’ll correct you right now and point out that I not only like it, I LOVE IT. So many people have the wrong idea about makeup; it’s not supposed to cover up your features, it’s supposed to enhance them. That’s exactly what this look is all about. I feel so preeeeetty

L: I stand happily corrected. And for days when a bare look just won’t cut it, what makeup looks get you jazzed?

M: I’ve always been into the pin-up look. Sexy, classy and timeless all in one.

L: Taking note of that for a future shoot. How would you describe your personal style?

M: Can we skip this question? #identitycrisis

L: Wait till you’re in your 40s. How do you keep as fit as you are?

M: I’m fit?? Hahaha! I try my best to get a jog in whenever I’m not busy with work 🙂

L: What’s your favorite activity to keep healthy?

M: Sleeping. Hands down. You’d be suprised how crucial things like this actually are until you’ve been deprived of them.

L: Totally agree with you. Didn’t think of sleep as an activity until my first experience with a newborn. What’s it like having a trainer for a dad?

M: I would be nowhere in my career without him. He’s been my biggest supporter and closest friend. Friends fight, A LOT, but it’s nothing a few burpees won’t fix.

L: Your dad and those #)*$& burpees. What was it like growing up in your family?

My life has been a fairytale 🙂

L: Those words, just like that, are what I’d love to hear my kids say some day.

 

Mariza is a model and freelance writer. 

Laura, VMV HYPOALLERGENICS CEO


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

Allergen, Not An Allergen, Featured, Skin

COTTON (Unbleached, Unpreserved, Un-dyed, Untreated): Allergen or Not An Allergen?Featured

COTTON (Unbleached, Unpreserved, Un-dyed, Untreated): Allergen or Not An Allergen?

Not An Allergen.

100% Raw, Untreated, Organic Cotton

But let’s be clear: we’re talking organic, untreated cotton, from start to finish.

While colored clothing is often a “red” flag (pun fully intended) because of the likely presence of dyes (which are both allergens and photo-allergens), even plain cotton fabric can be allergenic. White cotton is bleached, and several bleaches are published allergens. Resins, particularly formaldehyde resins, are also common allergens and are frequently used in cotton to help the fabric keep its size and shape. The source of the cotton matters, too. Many pesticides are allergens and cotton sourced from farms that use pesticides can transfer these chemicals onto the skin, resulting in contact irritations and allergies.

If you are highly allergic to several substances used in clothing, explore brands like Cottonique that ensure organic cotton, and omit allergens in all their clothing, from sourcing to sewing.

If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test.

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, or for more privacy (such as when asking us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results) contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

For more:

On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.

To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.

References: 

Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.

1. Warshaw EM1, Maibach HI, Taylor JS, Sasseville D, DeKoven JG, Zirwas MJ, Fransway AF, Mathias CG, Zug KA, DeLeo VA, Fowler JF Jr, Marks JG, Pratt MD, Storrs FJ, Belsito DV. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012. Dermatitis. 2015 Jan-Feb;26(1):49-59
2. W Uter et al. The European Baseline Series in 10 European Countries, 2005/2006–Results of the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). Contact Dermatitis 61 (1), 31-38.7 2009
3. Wetter, DA et al. Results of patch testing to personal care product allergens in a standard series and a supplemental cosmetic series: An analysis of 945 patients from the Mayo Clinic Contact Dermatitis Group, 2000-2007. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Nov;63(5):789-98.
4. Verallo-Rowell VM. The validated hypoallergenic cosmetics rating system: its 30-year evolution and effect on the prevalence of cosmetic reactions. Dermatitis 2011 Apr; 22(2):80-97
5. Ruby Pawankar et al. World Health Organization. White Book on Allergy 2011-2012 Executive Summary.
6. Misery L et al. Sensitive skin in the American population: prevalence, clinical data, and role of the dermatologist. Int J Dermatol. 2011 Aug;50(8):961-7.
7. Warshaw EM1, Maibach HI, Taylor JS, Sasseville D, DeKoven JG, Zirwas MJ, Fransway AF, Mathias CG, Zug KA, DeLeo VA, Fowler JF Jr, Marks JG, Pratt MD, Storrs FJ, Belsito DV. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012.Dermatitis. 2015 Jan-Feb;26(1):49-59.
8. Warshaw, E et al. Allergic patch test reactions associated with cosmetics: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2001-2004. J AmAcadDermatol 2009;60:23-38. 
9. Foliaki S et al. Antibiotic use in infancy and symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children 6 and 7 years old: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase III. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):982-9.
10. Kei EF et al. Role of the gut microbiota in defining human health. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2010 Apr; 8(4): 435–454.
11. Thavagnanam S et al. A meta-analysis of the association between Caesarean section and childhood asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38(4):629–633.

12. Marks JG, Belsito DV, DeLeo VA, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 1998 to 2000. Am J Contact Dermat. 2003;14(2):59-62.
13. Warshaw EM, Belsito DV, Taylor JS, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch test results: 2009 to 2010. Dermatitis. 2013;24(2):50-99.

Beauty, Featured, Skin

Trash & Re-Stash: Hypoallergenic Alternatives For Your Entire Medicine Cabinet!Featured

Start from scratch — with hypoallergenic alternatives — to end the scratching!

You Just Got A Patch Test?
Great! Now you know exactly what you need to avoid and are on the road to skin health, clarity, and comfort. But…what’s that? Your patch test shows you’re allergic to ingredients in pretty much everything you use now? You have to throw it all away — all of it…shampoo, cleanser, lotions, makeup — and start from scratch with hypoallergenic alternatives? That can be scary. So can that “naked” feeling of not using anything at all until you find products without your allergens.
Think about it: you have to go without using anything (including, in many cases, antiperspirant and toothpaste) until you find products you can use…and it may have taken you weeks or months to find all the stuff you use now!
Before you resign yourself to Walking Dead chic, try this: ask your doctor about our Allergen-Free Starter Set or pick up our Skin “Detox” Kit. Either covers all your basic needs so you needn’t panic when beginning your hypoallergenic lifestyle. Each formulation has zero of all 76 of the most common allergens (based on over 28,000 patch tests), making them ideal for the majority of allergic, irritated, or hyperreactive skins. Then, use this chart for an easy guide to hypoallergenic alternatives for your medicine cabinet staples. Still reeling from ingredient lists? Contact us for customized recommendations based on your patch test results!
 

TRASH & RE-STASH CHART

Match what you need to trash with its hypoallergenic alternative. When in doubt, select products with the highest VH-rating (VH-76/76) — which means they have none of all common allergens.
Still unsure? For customized recommendations based on your patch test results, contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook. To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com.

Skin

Beauty is “Proof,” Proof Beauty

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.
Medically Published Studies: Proof Positive
Great skin is never just about skin care — it’s why we always say “skinside-out” health. Still, a daily at-home regimen is vital for your skin’s basic health and the right active therapies are instrumental at helping you achieve your skin goals. Look closely at those two factors, however, and you’ll notice that the first (your health) is almost entirely within your power and the second, after selection, is mostly now up to the product. Put another way: you could be doing phenomenally well at quitting smoking, improving your nutrition, sleeping more, controlling stress and exercising every day…but if you choose skin care that isn’t effective (or worse, that actually works against your skin!), what then? When you choose skincare you are putting a lot of trust in that product. And if you’re keeping your word, shouldn’t it, too?

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 VMV HYPOALLERGENICS has always done. Our investigative studies are as 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. Put your faith in double blind … far better than flying blind. “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”). Others use qualitative data like before-and-after photos. Such photographs can be helpful but 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, randomized trials with quantitative data are standard in prescription pharmaceuticals. And at VMV.
“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 the leading journal 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 daily reality includes research, investigative and case studies, too, such as on nutrition and acne, psoriasis, and pemphigus vulgaris. Our study on mycosis fungoides (a type of cancer of the immune system) was presented at the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) meeting. Such research is not cosmetic, but it 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.
For more on testing at VMV, see About VMV: Our Testing, About VMV: Clinical Studies, Published Articles, References or search skintelligencenter.com.
To shop our clinically-proven products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com or call (212) 226 7309.

Beauty, Featured, Skin

Can I Use Jewelry If I Have Sensitive Skin?Featured

The simple answer? Maybe. Gold is an allergen but it’s nickel that’s the real danger for those with contact dermatitis. Nickel isn’t just an allergen or a top allergen…nickel is frequently the number one most common allergen on published allergen lists. It is difficult to find metals without nickel in them — even if you use non-metal jewelry, pay attention to clasps and earring pieces. What helps is if the nickel is bonded extremely well, so that the chances of it rubbing off and causing a reaction are minimized. Because of how difficult it can be, and because hypoallergenic is who we are, we’re always on the lookout for jewelry for those with sensitive skin. We already work with Yciar Castillo for makeup, and were thrilled to learn that she launched a new jewelry line, with skin safety as something that she tries to prioritize!
 
My grandmother was a woman who loved to accessorize. Growing up, she used to show me her different pieces of jewelry and tell me the stories behind each piece. I was fascinated by every anecdote and the history and provenance of each item. This is where my love affair with jewelry began.
As I grew older, I began developing an interest in semi-precious stones. My cousins and I knew exactly what our birthstones were and the properties that came with each. So it was no surprise that when I decided to choose a hobby and study again, I chose to take a short course in metalsmithing and jewelrymaking.
quinntas1
 
 
Being a makeup artist by profession, I am very conscious of how skin can react to anything that it comes in contact with, from our skincare and cosmetic products, to the detergents we use on our clothing, the fabrics our clothes are made of, and the materials and metals used in the accessories we wear. When I started making my pieces, I was lucky a friend of mine helped me test my gold earrings and gave me a lot feedback. Another friend also brought my handmade silver earrings to a dermatologist who performed a nickel test with a special solution. Nickel is a metal that is found and used in a lot of costume jewellery. It is the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis in adults. My jewelry tested negative for nickel. This gave me the assurance that my pieces are safe for many people with sensitive skin.
 
quinntas2
 
I love being creative and working with my hands. I started making jewelry as something to do part time, I post my pieces on Instagram and have called my jewelry Quinntas – after my son, Quinn.
 
For best results: if you think you might have contact dermatitis, ask your dermatologist for a patch test.


Yciar2

Yciar is a makeup artist and jewelry designer who’s all about family, adventure, and keeping it simple — her philosophy is “makeup does not have to be complicated.”  Follow her on instagram to be inspired!

Beauty, Skin

Hypoallergenic StrobingFeatured

By Nina Del Rosario

First: the what…

What is Strobing?

Strobing is highlighting, the opposite of contouring. It creates the dew-glow-radiance of healthy-looking skin. Like contouring, strobing can sculpt the face, too — but, instead of shadowing (which takes lots more time and skill), by making certain features brighter.
When to..
CONTOUR OR STROBE?
Contour when you want to achieve a perfectly sculpted look. Strobing is best when you have limited time or if your face shape already has a natural sculpt. Both at the same time work well as long as you highlight only one technique at a time.

Beauty, Featured, Skin

Wedding-Perfect Skin: 10 BRIDE Ideas To Prep Your Skin For The Big Day!Featured

Planning your skin as well as your wedding? My, what a BRIDE idea!

Fact: Many brides give themselves about a year to book venues, find the perfect dress and plan the reception.
Fact: This year of planning will have its (warning: understatement alert) moments of stress.
Fact: Stress is a reliable trigger of myriad skin problems, from rosacea and eczema flare-ups, to severe dryness and, you saw this coming, zits, zits and more zits.
Fact:  There may not be another day in your life when you feel this beautiful, and those photos are legacy.

Why more brides don’t invest in their skin right at the beginning of their wedding planning is beyond us. The earlier you start, the more you prevent problems (preventing is always easier than treating) and the more assured you are of looking radiant and timeless on the big day.

Living proof of what a well-designed Skinvestment Plan can do: Marie generously gives us a peek into her own wedding, and shares the tips that worked for her, from skin to body and mind. Efficiency can be beautiful, no?