Tag

fitness

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”
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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”
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“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”
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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!

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?

 
Beauty, Featured, Skin

Wedding Belles — Say I "DEW": Bridal Skin + BeautyFeatured

Lorinda, a good friend of the VMV family, has a contagious love of life and the world. She’s lived in Ghana, Spain, the Netherlands, New York, Brazil and D.C., where she met now-husband Ben, in their last semester at law school. Ben loved Lorinda’s cooking (they later went on a journey to eat their way across the U.S.) and won her heart by digging her car out of two feet of snow with a garden spade. Attended by friends from around the world, their wedding’s relaxed sophistication was rich in laughter and peppered with silly (flash mob to Thriller, anyone?). Such easy grace requires attention to detail. Even Lorinda’s skin wasn’t left to chance. And it shows: no makeup can faux that resplendent a glow! 
 
“I did not ‘prepare’ my skin for the wedding,” writes Lorinda, “I believe that you need good skin care always.” Lorinda is sharing fundamental “skintel”: caring for your skin early on gives you the best results. Starting a regimen weeks before an event is better than nothing, but results can be remarkable if started several months (or more) before. “My favorite is Id Toner. I have been using it for over five years. It evens out my skin and keeps it looking and feeling smooth. If I miss even a few days, I definitely notice a difference.” 
 
An outdoor wedding means sunscreen. “Growing up in Ghana, I was always in the sun. I never thought about sunscreen. I thought that because I was black, I had a natural shield from the sun and did not need to worry about sun damage or skin cancer like my fairer friends.” This is a misconception that can have dangerous consequences. Luckily, Lorinda was disabused of this notion early on. “I realized I was terribly wrong when I went to my first dermatologist appointment and my doctor told me that I had sun spots. I was confused and even tried to explain to her that she had to be mistaken because I was black! She patiently explained to me that I still needed protection.” Since that day, Lorinda says, I always wear sunscreen, at least SPF 30.

After my experience, I tell every darker-skinned person I know that they need sunscreen. We are not immune.

Under makeup, a sunscreen helps with spread and hold. But with such great skin care for years, Lorinda skipped base. “For my wedding, I just made sure to wear Armada Face Cover 30 because it was very sunny outside.” Instead, Lorinda focused on color: “Since my wedding was at dusk, I used bold colors for eyes—a dark sparkling blue and a lighter gold. I felt like it was a lot of makeup but strong colors work in pictures.” The perfect bridal accessory? Rosy cheeks. This wakes up the skin and brings to the fore the beautiful glow that all brides have.
 
To get this look: try Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in Sea & Sky for brilliant blues and Dallas for oranges and golds. Get rosy cheeks with Skin Bloom Blush in Georgia or Pant. For lips, start with Velvet Matte Lipstick for longer-lasting color. Try a nude like Birthday Suit then top off with Lip Gloss in Sweet Stuff or Beso for camera-loving shine. 
 
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Chic Sheet
REGIMEN:
As far ahead as possible, start a targeted skin care regimen like Id for acne (and bacne; crucial for off-shoulder gowns!) or Illuminants+ for dark spots.
FACIALS:
Add monthly Vx Facials to boost the efficacy of your regimen and clean away pore-clogging and skin-dulling impurities. The relaxing bliss is a welcome escape from wedding-planning stress, too!
DIET & EXERCISE:
Yes, it’s for the dress, but it’s for your skin, too. Eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are fundamental to a gorgeous, intrinsic glow (and a way better mood!)
STRESS-FREE GIFTING:
Book a pamper party with your bridesmaids at a VMV Skin-Specialist Boutique, or gift your bridal party with bliss: adorable eGift Cards or “gift skintificates” to our popular Vx Facials

 

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Your Skin Wants You To Exercise Daily: 30-Day Healthy Skin ChallengeFeatured

“Post #bootcamp…I swear my #espresso’s smiling at me 🙂 #workout 145, day 144, 2016. #dailyexercise #dailyworkouts #hiit #fitness #health #happiness #pourmeasmile” via @LauraAtVMV

Work out daily.

Not 3x-a-week, not 4x…but every day.
Why? Most of us lead sedentary lives, with hours and hours of inactivity in front of a computer or binge watching a current TV addiction. Studies are showing that sitting down for more than a few hours at a time is extremely unhealthy. Other studies suggest that it’s not about extreme exercise three times a week: constant activity is the new objective. And we all know how vital exercise is for your heart, metabolism, brain, and skin.
Let’s go back to that: it’s not about extreme exercise three times a week…constant activity is the new objective. This means a shift in focus from high-intensity sweat fests to just making sure you’re moving more than not. Try these simple tips…
1. You don’t have to kill yourself with a mega soul cycle burn each time — instead, focus on doing something, anything, every day. For example, if you had a hard workout on Monday, make Tuesday a “rest” day but instead of spending an hour in bed watching TV, catch up on your favorite shows while pedaling slowly on a stationary bike.
2. Mix it up: do cardio one day and weights the next; yoga or pilates another day, then perhaps a hike outside. Mixing it up keeps it interesting and keeps your body challenged.
3. Be conscious about prioritizing movement. Instead of taking a cab, walk it. Get off at the subway or bus station before your regular stop. Set an alarm for every hour as a reminder to walk around for ten minutes. Use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Be inefficient on purpose: instead of taking down all the laundry in one go, take one load at a time so you have to go up and down the stairs more often. Get a standing or treadmill desk to prevent total immobility when working for hours. This “incidental activity” (as opposed to structured exercise) is highly beneficial to your health.
For more healthy tips, check out: How To Look Good? BE Good.
For workouts you can do anywhere:
Heart Thumping 10-Minute Workout
10-Minute Anywhere Workout
10-Minute Pilates & Barre Workout

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

3 Reasons Why A Facial Makes You A Better PersonFeatured

Can Something So Delicious Be Good For You?

If you break down what really goes on during a facial, the answer is a resounding, YES!
We normally think of spas as pure indulgence…which sounds wonderful but also like a waste of time. Relaxation is down time, but it is anything but a waste of time. Downtime is when the mind processes and cements learning, when “eureka” moments happen, and when both brain and body reboot. And relaxation, in a very real, physical way, is a necessity — arguably as fundamental to your health as a balanced diet. While the discoveries continue, the link between stress, inflammation and  health problems as diverse as acne, aging, eczema, obesity, depression, and cancer, is well established. Decreasing stress is not a luxury. It is a priority.
But why a facial? Believe it or not, for how much good stuff happens in an hour, a facial might be the most efficient health practice next to regular exercise and proper nutrition that you can do. In just 60 minutes, you get a deep de-stressing session, inflammation reduction…and even brain function improvement. You can legitimately tell your boss that your facial makes you better at work, and your family that it makes you a better person.
 

1. Give Your Brain A Facial

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Could your facial make you smarter?

Based on a growing body of research, Ferris Jabr writes, “Mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity” in the “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime.”  Downtime doesn’t just reduce stress; it allows the brain to become more effective.
Downtime is not sleep which entails different, while also very important, brain functions. Downtime is mental idleness, getting the brain to its “default mode network” (DMN), a mental state of complex functions that allow the brain to digest what it has recently learned and reflect upon itself more profoundly. Being asleep, it seems, is too unconscious for this brain work. Being awake, the brain is too busy for it. When idle in DMN, the brain is in a productive limbo where lessons cement themselves and where we do the deeper work of reflection and self improvement. The brain needs sleep, of course, and undergoes vital reparative and memory work during this time — as an aside, many of our facial clients fall asleep, too! And when we’re awake, we need our brain sharp for obvious reasons — we wouldn’t be able to perform the most basic functions otherwise. But evidence suggests that we should be prioritizing DMN idleness, or waking rest, too, for the powerful work that the brain does during this time.
How does a facial promote DMN? Downtime includes meditation or mindfulness, vacations and naps. A facial is all three. During a typical facialmassage or body treatment, your mind wanders, it slows down. you escape from daily worries and, often, you nap — in perfect increments (studies show that 7-10 minutes of sleep is ideal to reenergize without needing to recover from the “sleep inertia” that follows longer naps).
In addition to relaxation and escape, the research shows that “downtime…is essential to… achieve our highest levels of performance;” downtime can help you become more effective at work and problem-solving. As Jabr writes, “studies have demonstrated that the mind obliquely solves tough problems while daydreaming — an experience many people have had while taking a shower. Epiphanies may seem to come out of nowhere, but they are often the product of unconscious mental activity during downtime.”
If going to the gym gives you 40-60 minutes of sustained physical work that helps lower cholesterol and promote heart health and overall fitness, a facial could be the equivalent for your brain: 60 minutes of Default Mode Network downtime that sharpens your brain and helps you with problem solving. Your Eureka moment might just be waiting for that facial.
 

2. It’s Therapy

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A facial can help you as you work to become a better person.

In the same article, Jabr writes that downtime could be considered a form of self improvement. Citing “Rest Is Not Idleness: Implications of the Brain’s Default Mode for Human Development and Education” by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the University of Southern California, Jabr writes, “when we are resting the brain is anything but idle…far from being purposeless or unproductive, downtime is in fact essential to mental processes that affirm our identities, develop our understanding of human behavior and instill an internal code of ethics—processes that depend on the DMN.” Self affirmation, understanding our behavior and strengthening our moral code…if this sounds familiar it’s because we do many of the same things in therapy.
As the mind is freed of distractions, it can make sense of recent learnings and explore unresolved issues that the brain may not be able to focus on during the course of a busy day. Jabr adds, “A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future…we shuffle through all those neglected mental post-it notes listing half-finished projects.” Hello, goal setting!
“We mull over the aspects of our lives with which we are most dissatisfied, searching for solutions. We sink into scenes from childhood and catapult ourselves into different hypothetical futures. And we subject ourselves to a kind of moral performance review, questioning how we have treated others lately.” Self reflection, check. Self improvement, check.
Therapy is considered a valid practice: focused time for self improvement and to work through problems. Unlike talk-therapy (valuable for different reasons), during a facial, your mind begins to drift and self-reflection happens peacefully and organically. You don’t need to work so hard to let go, you just do. You don’t think, “now I’m going to focus on my life and how I can be a better person” — this, plus surprising perspectives and even solutions, just “pop into your head.” And it’s an altogether pleasant experience: self improvement that doesn’t feel like work.
 

3. It Keeps You Younger

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We’re not talking the cult of youthful beauty, but energy and cellular, systemic health.

Other studies such as “Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators” have shown a link between the positive emotional or psychological results of meditation (downtime) and an increase in the longevity of telomerase, an enzyme that is fundamental to the long-term health and youth of cells. While the notion that meditation reduces stress might be an old one, that meditation could affect proteins related to aging, possibly prolonging our cellular health and youth, is relatively new and compelling.

A facial can certainly help you look younger, but (nice as that is) we’re not just talking about aesthetics. A facial’s inherent ability to encourage DMN could promote youth at a more cellular level. The link between stress and inflammation is well proven, and inflammation is linked to a slew of skin, mental and health problems. In addition to the allergen-free, antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory nature of our products, it is the great-mind-escape downtime promoted by our facials that is deeply reparative to skin, brain and, studies imply, more cells throughout the body.

 
Vacations are considered important for your health and well being, as is therapy and reducing stress. A 60-minute facial, in addition to feeling divine, gives you a sustained, uninterrupted DMN session that promotes brain efficiency and heightened performance, self improvement, and anti-inflammatory cellular health. Looking all glowy afterwards is about as awesome as icing can get on an already incredibly-yummy, surprisingly healthy cake!

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

How To Look Good? BE Good.Featured

We all age. That’s just what living organisms do. But what more and more research is showing is that we can affect how we age — how quickly, how severely, how visibly.

We know, for example, that even if you have diabetes in the family, improved nutrition, careful monitoring and daily exercising may keep you from developing it yourself. More kids are getting acne at younger ages and children as young as age 9 are now given simple acne treatments and regimens, reducing the severity of or even preventing acne altogether, even if both parents had it. Genes are not the all-powerful, written-in-stone determinants that we once thought they were. Stunning new studies in epigenetics are showing how gene modifications might be influenced by our actions, too, and that these changes may even be passed along to future generations.
study in the journal Nature and Neuroscience [1] shows how a mother rat’s nurturing can imprint her pup’s DNA with biological characteristics that can be passed on to future offspring. The Learn. GeneticsTM Genetic Science Learning Center of the University of Utah breaks it down:

“Mom’s behavior actually programs the pups’ DNA…The epigenetic code allows certain types of information to be passed to offspring without having to go through the slow processes of random mutation and natural selection. At the same time, the epigenetic code is sensitive to changing environmental conditions such as availability of food or threat from predators…So take heart – your epigenetic destiny is not written in permanent ink.” [2]

Another study [3] showed a link between meditation and an increase in telomerase, an enzyme that is fundamental to the long-term health of cells, meaning their youth. While it might have been obvious that participants would feel less stressed after meditation, that this could also affect our bodies — and specifically proteins related to aging — is compelling. The study showed that these positive “emotional” or “psychological” results can impact how telomeres behave, promoting their longevity, and thereby possibly prolonging our cellular health and youth, too. Even if we don’t go down the seemingly sci-fi road of genetic influence, there is an already solid body of research linking inflammation to several skin concerns from acne to eczema, psoriasis and, yes, aging. And what’s linked to inflammation? Stress.
We know that smoking, a poor diet, comedogens, allergens, pollution and unprotected sun exposure can influence skin. We know that proven active ingredients applied topically can improve the skin’s health and appearance. Now we know that stress management is another key to slowing down the aging process.
While we wait for the cream-pill-yoga pose combo that turns us into a 25-year-old version of ourselves overnight, there are right now, right this second, multiple, totally achievable things we can do to keep us looking younger for longer. And they all (spoiler alert) have to do with being good — to yourself and to others. We’ve chosen the top five here:

1) USE SUNSCREEN. DAILY.
ALL YEAR ROUND. EVEN INDOORS.

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Photo-aging, skin-damaging, immunosuppressive UVA penetrates windows and windshields.

You’re great about sunscreen use at the beach, slathering it on and reapplying every one to two hours. Fabulous. What you’ve done, however, is the minimum you need to prevent skin cancer, but not necessarily to fight aging. And fighting aging — or at least slowing down the natural aging process — is something that sun protection can definitely do. In interview with CNN, Mayo Clinic professor of dermatology Dr. Lawrence Gibson notes, “photoaging is not part of the natural aging process — it’s avoidable.” [4] A recent study [5] published in the Annals of Internal Medicine proves that daily sunscreen use “protects against photoaging: wrinkling, spotting and loss of elasticity.” [4]

But why all year? Because you’re getting more sun than you think. It’s not just the hard core tanning-baking-hours-outdoors that causes photo-aging and skin cancer, it’s the daily exposure that you don’t even think about. Sun damage is cumulative so even the incidental exposure you get from crossing the street counts. What about winter? You might be getting hit by double exposure from snow glare. And while not much UVB gets to you on cloudy days, a good amount of UVA does — rain or shine, summer or winter, UVA is present and it is very damaging. In addition, UVA passes through window glass and windshields. Think of all the sun you get driving to and from work or sitting next to a window at work or at home when reading a good book.

Finally, photo-aging includes dark spots. While the sun causes them, visible and infrared light from indoor sources such as halogens, fluorescents and even computer screens, saunas and stoves are proven to cause melasma and other dark spots which increases the aged look of skin. To learn more about what else causes hyperpigmentations (surprising things like cooking!), check out Shining The Light On What Causes Dark Spots & Blotches.

2) CHOOSE A PROVEN ACTIVE SKIN REGIMEN. BE CONSISTENT.

The benefits of a daily, active regimen are multiple and cumulative, making skin look younger and more vibrant almost immediately, with dramatic results over time, and keeping skin healthier as we age.

What should I expect from a good anti-aging treatment?

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A good at-home regimen isn’t a one-shot deal: it’s meant to keep your skin healthier over time.

As the photographs above show (taken at baseline and week 4 of using Re-Everything Anti-Aging Cream with unbuffered glycolic acid, kinetin, virgin coconut oil and antioxidants in a regimen), at a minimum, you should expect to see brighter, more vibrant-looking skin. Fine lines should appear less pronounced and possibly deeper wrinkles as well. The skin should feel and appear more firm and youthful. With the right actives in the appropriate concentrations, many people report noticing improvements almost immediately. Continued use and proper prevention can deliver more dramatic results in as little as four weeks. And as with exercise and a healthy lifestyle, consistency continues to pay off.

Actives like unbuffered glycolic acid, retinoic acid, and mandelic acid as well as virgin coconut oil and antioxidants like green tea are some of the best studied and most reliable age fighters.

3) REGULAR FACIALS

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Deep cleaning + stress management. Win-win.

So here’s the thing: you brush your teeth daily but see your dentist for deeper cleanings. Your daily at-home skin regimen is like brushing your teeth, and facials are your deeper cleaning at the dentist’s. Which your skin needs. The skin on your face is naked — even with sunscreen, it is (like your hands) the part of your body that is unclothed. Your face gets the most direct and regular exposure to the sun’s damaging rays, indoor light and heat, plus pollution and airborne allergens. Therapeutic facials provide a good, deep cleaning through steaming and a proper extraction to purge it of accumulated dirt and debris that topical products cannot wash away. VMV Facials are allergen-free, feature effective active ingredients — which, with the steaming, pore cleansing and gentle massage, are absorbed better — and end with a therapeutic mask, usually with higher concentrations of actives than what you could use at home, and in a formulation that heightens the absorption of actives and provides barrier therapy, intensive hydration, and anti-inflammatory benefits. If your daily regimen is like taking your vitamins, think of this as getting a booster shot of concentrated actives.

If you’d like to up the therapeutic benefits even more, add a chemical peel (high concentrations of powerful actives applied for a short, very controlled amount of time) — ours also feature allergen-free peels we formulate ourselves plus anti-inflammatory products to reduce downtime and the risk of irritation without sacrificing efficacy. A monthly or quarterly laser procedure can be more expensive and may not be doable as regularly as a facial but can be more instantly dramatic.

Still, nothing replaces your daily regimen — again, think of it like brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t stop daily oral hygiene because you see your dentist every few months, would you?

The fantastic icing on this very healthy cake: facials and spa services are healthy, and not just for your skin. They “dew” double duty as concentrated treatments and stress reducers…which is so, so important for your skin, mind and body! To learn more about how a spa session can physically benefit your brain, check out  4 Reasons You Need Spa Hour.

For more information on VMV’s clinically-sound, allergen-free therapeutic facials and spa treatments, give us a call at (212) 226 7309 or book online at vmv.nyc.

4) REDUCE (SKIN, BODY + MIND) STRESS

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Stress ages you and makes you sick. Stress management isn’t a luxury: it’s a health priority.

As the studies above show, stress reduction can influence our proteins, cell behavior and possibly DNA. The link between stress and inflammation is proven and a growing body of research is strengthening the links between inflammation and a library’s worth of skin and health problems, from depression to obesity, acne, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema to cancer and, again, aging.

It may not be the most obvious thing to think about but for preventing the visible signs of aging, it’s important to avoid skin stressors, too. For example, did you know that irritations, rashes, pimples, allergy flare-ups, itching, severe dryness, and reactions to products are all types of inflammation and are skin stressors? Whether or not you already have sensitive skin, avoiding known allergens can help prevent irritations — even subtle ones which may not yet be obvious— which can thin and stress the skin and contribute to aging.

We know that you know but it’s really important: aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation alone accounts for multiple skin, mental and physical problems. It might seem impossible but it is more achievable than you think. An article that made the rounds online (“If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers”) has gotten quite a bit of attention for its promotion of “deliberate practice.” [6] A few of us at VMV Hypoallergenics have tried this stricter schedule of less hours but more focused work, and have found it remarkably effective at both upping our productivity and giving us more time for relaxation, fun, families, a social life and sleep! To read more about deliberate practice, check out Laura’s (our CEO, a big fan of deliberate practice and balance in life) Happiness Inventory of Five.

Make stress reduction a priority, too. Meditate, keep a gratitude journal, practice yoga, pray — experiment with what works best for you, your schedule and your lifestyle. A quick side note: cocktails with your BFFs can be an awesome way to end a stressful day but don’t make alcohol your go-to de-stressor. While a glass a day can actually be good for you, excessive alcohol can be pro-inflammatory and a depressive. A glass of wine a day should be fine but try other, healthier practices to manage stress on a regular basis.

5) GET HEALTHY ON THE INSIDE

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Your skin shows the state of your body.

Want to know the state of your body? Look at your skin. Frequently, sometimes even before a blood test or MRI, your skin mirrors how your insides are doing. Poor health shows externally in the form of acne, dull skin, dry skin (which can lead to loss of elasticity and a more aged appearance) and even hair loss. Certain signs on the skin can even point to thyroid problems, diabetes or other internal issues (check out My Dermatologist Has X-Ray Vision for a great example of how a good, investigative dermatologist can point a patient in the direction of a specialist for a suspected internal problem, just by looking at her skin). A healthy body, on the other hand, is reflected in glowing, younger-looking skin, nails and hair.

Talk to a nutritionist if you’d like help understanding portion size and if you need assistance choosing healthier alternatives to your favorite foods (like coconut sugar, fresh-squeezed juices or whole grains). As a general rule, banish junk food altogether — the chips, candies and pre-packaged juices and sodas. Cut down on processed, “white”, and pre-packaged food and drinks. Load up on fish (smaller fish like sardines and herring for more good oils and less toxins), nuts, and fresh vegetables. Get your antioxidants from fresh fruits (they don’t tend to survive well in pills and supplements) to help combat the oxidative processes that are huge contributors to aging. And don’t forget your healthy oils like virgin coconut oil (excellent for use on salads, as well as in cooking, in your coffee..and on your skin and hair!)

Exercise is vital for your heart, metabolism and pretty much every aspect of your health. Plus, it’s an excellent stress reducer and mood lifter. In addition, new studies are showing that it’s not about extreme exercise three times a week. Constant activity is the new objective. Some studies are even showing that sitting down for more than a few hours at a time is extremely unhealthy — hence the rise of treadmill desks and the “fad” of standing more at work. Set a timer, get up, and walk around the block if you have to, but get moving. [7]

Mix it up: cardio one day and weights the next, yoga or pilates another day, then perhaps a hike outside. Mixing it up keeps it interesting and keeps your body challenged. Aim to work out every single day — again, you don’t have to kill yourself with a mega soul cycle burn each time, but you do need to do something every day. For example, if you had a hard workout on Monday, make Tuesday a “rest” day but instead of spending an hour in bed watching TV, catch up on your favorite shows while pedaling slowly on a stationary bike.

If you’re having one of those weeks where finding time to brush your hair has you exploring advanced physics for alternate dimensions, try the Scientific 7-Minute Workout [8] which a published study shows can give you maximum results in minimum time. [9] It’s awesome because it takes no time at all (no matter the week, there’s no way you don’t have seven minutes) and all you need is a chair and a wall (unless you’re extreme camping in the Gobi dessert, there’s no way this isn’t doable either). An app that we know a lot of people use is UOVO’s The 7 Minute Workout. It comes with instructions for the simple exercises — all of which you’ve probably at least tried, even in high school gym class — and links to videos so you can practice before you start, voice instructions and timed intervals. Another great, free app is Sworkit, which allows you to choose your workout (strength, cardio, yoga and stretching) and workout duration (5-60 minutes). They’re motto is “no gym, no excuse” so you can “sworkit” anywhere, too (they even have Sworkit options for kids so the whole family can get in on it).

On days so lazy you can’t think let alone manage the pep required for Zumba, do ANYTHING. Pedal like a sloth on valium on a stationary bike while watching a Scandal marathon. Take the slowest walk around one block. Or grab that 7-Minute Workout app and repeat to yourself: everyone has seven minutes. The point is to prioritize some purposeful activity each and every day.

Pay It Forward

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Rescue cat Ming-Ming. Kindness and happiness promote good health.

Here’s something else to remember. Do all the above and the rewards are self perpetuating. One of the more amazing things that all this incredible new research is suggesting, is that you could be influencing far more than your mood and general health — you might be influencing your mind, body and skin at  chemical, protein, biological, and even genetic levels, far more powerfully than previously thought possible. The consistency of all these healthy practices may be teaching your body to maintain a healthier, younger state for longer and longer. If you’ve got kids, here’s the other plus: you might be influencing your genes enough to pass all this good behavior and its benefits along to your kids…and their kids!

Referring back to that study on maternal behavior in rats, another excellent article in Discover Magazine puts it this way: “Call it postnatal inheritance: With no changes to their genetic code, the baby rats nonetheless gained genetic attachments due solely to their upbringing — epigenetic additions of methyl groups…gumming up the works and altering the function of the brain….They found that inattentive mothering in rodents causes methylation of the genes for estrogen receptors in the brain. When those babies grow up, the resulting decrease of estrogen receptors makes them less attentive to their babies. And so the beat goes on.” [10] This applies to bad habits, nutrition and behavior, as well as to good. “If your grandmother was adopted by nurturing parents, you might be enjoying the boost she received thanks to their love and support. The mechanisms of behavioral epigenetics underlie not only deficits and weaknesses but strengths and resiliencies, too.” [9]

Kindness and care could therefore not only impact your health now, but positively influence the health those you love…on a biological, genetic level.

Daily sunscreen, a daily regimen, regular facials, stress management and “skinside-out” health — for your own health and age-resistance, and possibly for your children’s, being healthy is the gift that keeps on giving!
 
#goodnessbegetsgoodness
For more on how to achieve and sustain younger-looking skin, enter “aging” in the search field at skintelligencenter.com.
References:

  1. Weaver, I.C.G, Cervoni, N., Champagne, F.A., D’Alessio, A.C., Sharma, S., Seckl, J.R., Dymov, S., Szyf, M., & Meaney, M. (2004). Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 7, 847-854.
  2. Lick Your Rats. Teacher Resources and Lesson Plans, Learn. GeneticsTM Genetic Science Learning Center, The University of Utah, 2013. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/rats/
  3. Jacobs, T.L., et al., Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2010), doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.09.010 and Positive psychological changes from meditation training linked to cellular health. UC Davis News and Information. Nov. 3, 2010. http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9669
  4. CNN.com. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/04/health/sunscreen-aging 
  5. Hughes M.C., Williams, G.M., Baker, P., Green, A.C. Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin Aging: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(11):781-790. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00002.
  6. Cal Newport, If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers. Study Hacks. http://calnewport.com/blog/2011/11/11/if-youre-busy-youre-doing-something-wrong-the-surprisingly-relaxed-lives-of-elite-achievers/#
  7. Susan Orlean, American Chronicles, “The Walking Alive,” The New Yorker, May 20, 2013, p. 44. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/20/130520fa_fact_orlean
  8. Gretchen Reynolds, The Scientific 7-Minute Workout, New York Times, May 12, 2013, p. 20. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/
  9. Klika, B, Jordan, C. High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment. Health & Fitness Journal. 2013; 17:3. Accessed May 10, 2013. http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2013/05000/HIGH_INTENSITY_CIRCUIT_TRAINING_USING_BODY_WEIGHT_.5.aspx
  10. Hurley, Dan. Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes. (Trace Vs. Fate). Discovery Magazine. May, 2013. http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes#.UfnNFxbwO-I

 
 

What do you swear by to stay healthy and slow aging?

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

It’s “Oil” The Same, As Long As It’s Coconut…Right?Featured

Like all food options, there are differences between coconut oils. Read on to learn what’s what, and what to splurge on.

What are the different coconut oils?

The most common for cooking and industrial use is RBD (Refined, Bleached, Deodorized). Then there is virgin coconut oil, extracted by heat, enzymes, centrifuge, or manually. You can read more about the differences between each in “Are All Coconut Oils The Same?” but it comes down to this: a) while less ideal, RBD coconut oil is still better than other oils for cooking; b) any virgin coconut oil is good to eat and for less sensitive needs, but c) splurge on organic, manually cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, particularly for your freshest salads (to get the most of the healthiest stuff), when caring for sensitive skin, and for oral care.
CoconutOils-BirdsEye-Canvas-LVB-IMG_1240-20151018

Why organic?

Unlike “natural,” the term “organic” is strictly regulated. Farms are inspected annually to ensure conditions as natural or “wild” as possible for the soil, trees and the coconuts, and that water and waste are managed in a manner that is safe and environmentally responsible. Organic certification includes how the oil is processed — no artificial additives can be used to extract the oil.

What is Know-It-Oil?

Know-It-Oil is a certified-organic cold-and-first-pressed virgin coconut oil. It is prepared within hours of optimum age (the longer a coconut stays out in the sun and heat, the more important antioxidants and phytochemicals are lost). It is pressed entirely manually, without centrifuge, heat or additives.
It is the oil we used for our randomized, double-blind clinical studies which have been published in peer-reviewed dermatological journals. What you may not know is this same oil is in any VMV Hypoallergenics product that contains virgin coconut oil, from moisturizers to baby careshaving creams, and makeup. It’s what we use in our facials and spa treatments, too!

Beauty, Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Age LESS: Six Things To Do Now To Stay Younger, LongerFeatured

There are many things we can do that are proven to keep us younger, longer — not just looking it but physically being it. Simple steps, sans needles or “miracles.”
Skeptical about how much anything you do can affect your biology? New studies are showing that our actions can influence our genes so much as to alter their behavior, slowing the aging process, preventing diseases we “should” get based on our genetic profile, extending life spans…changes so profound we might even pass them on to our children. We’ve chosen the top six most rewarding, most effective ways to truly, systemically age less.

Brand Ambassadors, Featured, Healthy Living, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Elaine Abonal, SurfistaFeatured

Elaine Abonal

surfing
Multiple Islands, Philippines

Instagram-ElaineAbonal-SittingInClearWater-20150804
Hooked on surfing after her first taste of surfing culture in high school in Florida, Elaine chose the Philippines to set up Surfista Travels, a surf tour company that helps surfers and travelers arrange trips to the Philippine islands that include accommodation, transport and surf lessons  and island hopping.
Elaine speaks English, French, Spanish and Tagalog. She has contributed her photos and articles to numerous magazines and newspapers. She is also available as a personal surf tour guide.

Follow Elaine and Surfista for surfing, fun, friendship and the most gorgeous islands imaginable now!

  elaineabonalpage
  elaineabonal


How long have you been surfing? 
My first surf lesons were in La Union in 2002! So 13 years.

Elaine Abonal - Siargao 2013
Why do you do it? 
I do it because it has become such an integral part of my life. It is my exercise, my alone time, my meditation, my job. I love it so much and I can’t imagine my life without it!
Why do so many fall in love with surfing? 
I learn something new every time I go surfing. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for it. There’s knowing your limits but not being afraid to push yourself; realizing that it’s great to have a good ride, but it takes more to appreciate, even enjoy, getting back up after a big wipe out. I learn a lot about people; age differences disappear and languages become insignificant. You see that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or how much money you make. You respect each other’s differences and share a common passion for being in the water that called to you.
Instagram-ElaineAbonal-FloatingEmeraldWaterCorals-20150804
How do you train for it?
Surfing is a very physical sport. I eat healthy, surf as much as I can (daily if possible), do yoga so that I’m flexible, and get enough sleep.
How did you get started?
I was in Florida in high school and saw surfers and the whole surfing lifestyle. As soon as I got back home to the Philippines, I researched about surfing lessons, went on a trip with 4 boys (I was the only girl) and never stopped since!
You talk a lot about safety…
Surfing is not as hard as it seems but it’s not as easy as it looks either. Never underestimate the power of the ocean. Conditions change every day, every hour. It’s important to respect the ocean and know our limits. As surfers, we’re not only dealing with ourselves out there but also other people and their surfboards. Knowing basic safety is to protect others as much as ourselves.
Safety is so important. Surfista Travels organizes everything (transportation, accommodation and lessons) for people who want a safe and worry-free trip to the best surf spots. And this includes sun safety. Staying protected from the sun is a real concern because I live and breathe surfing. My lifestyle and job means that I am in the water and under the sun a LOT and at different times of the day. I try to avoid peak UVB hours but sometimes waves are too good to miss, or surf lessons get extended. I wear rash guards but my face, legs, and hands are still exposed. I make it a point to slather on sunscreen repeatedly and remind Surfistas to do the same!
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Why do you like using Armada Sport as a sunscreen?
Armada‘s my favorite, I can rely on it to protect my skin while not having it get in the way of what I do. I love that it’s not sticky or thick. It doesn’t feel hot even if I’m not yet in the water. I won it in a surfing association’s raffle once, and all the surfers there said it was the BEST sunscreen ever, so I started using it. It’s been in my beach bag since.
I LOVE Armada Sport because of many reasons! It’s not sticky or heavy when applied so it’s not uncomfortable on my skin. It’s the only sunscreen that I’ve ever used that doesn’t only protect me from the sun but helps IMPROVE my skin condition at the same time. I had skin problems where my skin tone became uneven and I couldn’t be under the sun and my skin was too sensitive for other sunscreens. Ever since I started using Armada Sport it has slowly been healing!
 Skinthus-ArmadaSport-Beach3Hands-SurfistaElaineAbonal-12Aug2014
What was your most memorable moment in surfing?
I can’t think of one particular moment since I’ve been doing it forever. It’s more like a mix of different moments that I treasure – surfing in beautiful conditions during sunrise or sunset with my good friends and good vibes and lots of laughter in the water, with a rainbow in the background for example – those are moments that I treasure the most!
You feel prettiest when…
My skin is SUCH a big part of who I am because it represents two major things about me — being a surfer and being Filipina. I always get complimented on my skin tone wherever I go in the world. 🙂
I feel prettiest when I am in my bikini, with no make up, barefoot and with a flower in my hair – AND surrounded by people who I love and love me just as I am!
Instagram-ElaineAbonal-SurfingPupppiesSunscreenHeaven-20150804
Do you have any tips for fans out there for fitness, sun protection and/or training?
Always put VMV Armada Sport 70 sunscreen – ALWAYS – whether you’ll only be out in the sun for 15 minutes or an hour, eat healthy because anything that you put in your body will be your fuel, do something active everyday. It takes WORK to be fit, it doesn’t come from just looking at pictures. Also don’t forget to RELAX & HAVE FUN!
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What’s your daily skin care and/or makeup?  
I only use VMV Hypoallergenics products. I don’t use so much makeup on the island, except for blush and Ooh-La-Lash!. I pretty much use VMV Armada Sport sunscreen as soon as I get out of my room during the day. At night, I always wash my face & moisturize. I’m under the sun and in a lot of extreme conditions so it’s good to have a daily skin regimen.
 


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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!

Healthy Living, Skin

Al-mond, Dieu! This Superfood Makes For Super SKIN, tooFeatured

Almond As Superfood

Studies show that eating almonds decreases your risk of heart disease, helps you feel full faster, and helps with weight loss and diabetes prevention. Other studies suggest benefits for arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Packed with antioxidants, eating them is great for your skin, too.

What About On Skin?

Don’t go rubbing almonds on yourself. Do check out mandelic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from almonds.

What’s So Great About Mandelic Acid?

Like the almond, from which it is derived, mandelic acid is a powerful health multi-tasker, addressing:

  • Photo-aging (wrinkles, loss of elasticity),
  • Acne, and
  • Dark spots.

It’s also far less irritating than many other effective actives out there.
Mandelic acid (present in VMV Hypoallergenics Superskin Toners) has a larger molecular size which makes it penetrate the skin less…but more evenly, performing excellently as a keratolytic.

On AHAs and Irritation

But isn’t the holy grail of efficacy how well an active penetrates the skin? Like lots of things skin, it’s more complicated than simply: penetrating deeper is good, more superficially is bad.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) mostly work by keratolytic action or “pKa”…basically microscropic peeling — forcing old, dead cells to the surface and encouraging bright, healthier, newer cells to the surface. This process is highly effective but is generally irritating, which is why relatively few cosmetics use actives in effective concentrations or in unbuffered (undiluted) form.
If an effective active is highly irritating, it becomes difficult to use and could cause other problems such as reactions, redness and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark splotches after a skin trauma like a pimple or rash).
And while a smaller molecular size does mean faster penetration into the skin (allowing the active to micro-peel at a deeper level), the general rule is: the smaller the molecular size of an ingredient, the higher the risk of an irritant or allergic reaction. For many actives, a tiny molecular size means they can penetrate the skin more readily, but they do so unevenly and increase the risk for irritation.
Mandelic acid pulls off a neat trick in that it remains highly effective even if it penetrates the skin less.
In clinical studies (our own and others), mandelic acid is the least irritating when compared to other actives such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, retinoic acid, and hydroquinone. All are effective micro-exfoliants, but mandelic acid is better tolerated even by compromised skin. This makes it ideal for drier, more sensitive skin, younger skin (Superskin can be started at age 9 for prophylactic care), skin that is prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or people who want the most benefits with the least amount of product.

Inside and out, the almond is a quintessential superfood.

Superfood in Superskin: Get your almond goodness in you…and on you!

Allergy Info

Allergic to tree nuts? You might still be able to use mandelic acid. Food and skin allergies do not always correlate. A prick test or blood test is specific to food. Make sure to get a patch test to confirm your skin allergies.