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fragrance free

Skin

The Best Virgin Coconut Oil Should Smell Like…Nothing?Featured

For many people, part of the allure of coconut oil is its characteristic odor, reminiscent of a tropical paradise and festive, delicious food. But as a general rule, the stronger the scent of a coconut oil, the less pure it is. This is not necessarily a bad thing: coconut oil is so good for you that even impure oils are better than most! But for skin and hair care — particularly for very sensitive or atopic skins, or medically-managed skin conditions — organic, first-cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is the most hypoallergenic.

The Nose Knows.

When virgin coconut oil is harvested quickly, using no heat or chemicals, there is hardly any odor. This method, however, is more expensive as it is slower and less efficient. Heating, the addition of chemicals, and/or other methods of processing, are faster and get more of the oil…but do result in a less-pure oil with a strong scent.
Getting into the chemistry a bit (a very tiny bit, we promise): the natural scent of VCO is due to the presence of lactones. Not all lactones are allergens, and the lactones in VCO are not among those in the sesquiterpene lactone mix (a common allergen and a standard in patch test trays). Still, heating results in an increase in lactones, which is why unheated VCO is safer.

Still…Not All Odorless Coconut Oils Are For Skin

Another type of coconut oil that has little to no scent is RBD (Refined, Bleached, Deodorized) — which, while scentless, is not recommended for skin.
In RBD coconut oil, deodorization is done by vaporization: high heat and pressure to steam off the smell. This completely masks the inherent odor of the raw material, as well as the smell from the outdoor sun or smoke-drying of the older meat. This is because RBD is made from copra or coconut meat that is dried via sun exposure (such as on the sides of roads and highways). The resulting scent is quite strong and can affect cooking, which is a primary purpose of RBD coconut oils. Hence the need to Refine, Bleach and Deodorize copra oil by both pressure and with chemicals: RBD makes the taste of coconut cooking oils more bland/generic, which allows it to be used for a wider range of dishes.
While less ideal than virgin coconut oil, RBD oil is still healthier than corn and other vegetable oils for cooking. Still, while without scent, this treated RBD oil is an irritant and should not be used on the skin.

So, As Long As the Label Says “Virgin Coconut Oil” and The Oil Doesn’t Have a Strong Smell, It’s The Right Oil for Skin, Yes?

Maybe…maybe not. Like so many substances (including honey and wine), when the market learns that a particular quality or certain characteristics fetch a higher price, some manufacturers take advantage and try to fake the desired quality or characteristics using other methods.
Some manufacturers pack and label RBD oils as “virgin coconut oil” for application on skin and/or as an ingredient for topical products. Being scentless and labeled “virgin” is not, therefore, a guarantee that you are actually getting virgin coconut oil.
On the other hand, some VCOs are heat-treated. Heat-treated VCO is, strictly speaking, still “virgin” but it does have a stronger smell. Therefore, a mild scent is not a guarantee either.
Furthermore, adulteration does occur, such as when other oils are mixed into coconut oil or virgin coconut oil to try to recreate the scentless cold-manual product without the costlier cold-manual processing. Because it is now more known that the mildest smell is one sign of no heat and less processing, and because of the higher price that this increasingly popular oil in its purest/least processed form fetches, there now are manufacturers who adulterate VCO with cheaper oils that are refined and have no smell (such as corn or soybean) to lessen the heated coconut oil’s inherent scent.
A better guarantee of purity is if the product is certified organic. The USDA and other country’s organic certifiers have clear regulations regarding organicity and manufacturers/farms are regularly, physically audited by the certifier.

How Hypoallergenic Is Coconut Oil?

A review of medical literature has yet to show reactions reported to organic, unheated, cold-and-first pressed virgin coconut oil.
There are some reports of reactions to RBD coconut oils and some coconut oils processed with allergens (such as with added flavoring or fragrance, or stored in vats with such allergens), but not to pure VCO.
Some reported reactions to RBD coconut oil may also be due to how the oil might be mixed or heated or otherwise processed or stored in vats which are also used for storing or mixing other oils that are allergenic (such as lavender) or other ingredients that are allergens (such as fragrance mixes).
VMV’s virgin coconut oil is certified-organic (important to confirm the absence of fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, additives, etc. used in inorganic farming methods), as well as cold-and-first-pressed (why there is no smell). 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, and the more lactones are released). It is pressed entirely manually, without centrifuge, heat or additives, and is stored in vats exclusively used by VMV. As we own the farm, oversee its organic certification, and control the unheated-manual processing, as well as its storage and transport, we can confirm that our VCO never comes into contact with allergens. One of our published studies on it was specifically on its use for atopic skin, and we have since received no reported reactions since its introduction.
 

REFERENCES

1. Santos JER, Villain BJ, Soza AR, Dayrit FM. Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Virgin Coconut Oil and their Sensory Atrtibutes. December 2011. Philippine Journal of Science 140(2).
2. J. S. PaiS. S. Lomanno W. W. Nawar. Effect of heat treatments on the volatile composition of coconut oil. J Americ Oil Chemists’ Society April 1979, 56(4):494-497.

Featured, Skin

A Fresh Start With Spring In Japan!

Sakura, or the cherry blossom, is Japan’s national flower. Celebrated by Japanese people of all ages, sakura are found in everything from textile patterns to a curious dessert flavor. Sakura blooms in March or April, and is even part of the daily weather forecast as the reporter announces where the “Cherry Blossom Front” has started. The Japanese business and school year starts in the spring, so Sakura also represents “graduation, “commencement,” “blessing,” and “joyous.” 

FreshStart-SakuraSpringInJapan

This joyous abundance signals that it’s time for a fresh start, a spring cleaning of the things that do not, as Marie Kondo would call it, “spark joy.” Take your skin care routine. Your skin, like the rest of our bodies, evolves over time. Take the cue from the blossoms — perhaps it’s time to transition back to the essentials. Re-evaluate what your skin needs (maybe even ask your doctor for a patch test if you’ve had a nagging skin issue for years), what your skin goals are, and redesign your targeted skincare regimen. 

Start with a Skin “Detox” to help your skin get back to its most non-irritated state. Then, choose from among our most popular regimens, or ask us to help customize a regimen for you! Give us a call at (212) 217 2762 or drop us a private message on Facebook, Ask VMV, or if you’re in Japan, shop at vmvhypoallergenics.jp.

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.

Featured, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Refrigerate Your Skin Care?Featured

Fan Tip: Chill Your Skin Care! 

Razor burn? Puffy eyes? Got a reaction that needs calming? Or a pimple that needs flattening? Want to tighten your pores…or just a fabulously cool feel when applying your skincare?

“Throw some of your favorite VMV Hypoallergenics products in the fridge, especially in the summer!” – skinthusiast Earl Chad Palacios Estenor‎

Fellow “skintellectual?” Avid “skinthusiast?” Share your tips with our “skinfatuated” community! Tag @VMVHypoallergenics on Facebook or Instagram, or @VMV on Twitter!

Click through the slideshow below to find out the surprising benefits to keeping skincare in the cold!

Featured, Skin

Smooth OperatorFeatured

smooooooth operator

BARE NECESSITIES

Incredibly lightweight yet packed with virgin coconut oil, coconut fatty acids, glycerin, and antioxidants, it’s hard to believe how intensely moisturizing and reparative this all-over lotion is.
The smoothest move you’ll ever make for parched skin.


EssenceLotion-PAH-VMV-sm-01.11.'13-57347
Try it after our hypoallergenic waxing service for instant softness and anti-inflammatory healing!

Featured, Skin

Take A Walk On The Mild Side: Skin-Friendly Laundry!Featured

Your laundry could be affecting your skin.

Clothing contact dermatitis can be caused by the elastics of your undergarments, dyes in clothing, as well as “mordants” (chemicals related to metal present in some fabrics to help colors bind better).

Check for skin abnormalities in symmetrical shapes or patterns where clothing normally touches skin: on the waistline, on the perimeter of the underarms, where bras come into most contact with your torso, on legs for reactions to jeans (which is a lot more common than you might think!) and on ankles or calves for reactions to sock elastics.

In laundry detergent, fabric softeners and drying sheets, some of the common culprits are fragrance and preservatives. If your skin is dark, red, itchy or dealing with stubborn acne that just won’t go away even after proper prevention and therapy, check where the skin issues occur. The underarms and neck are common problem sites, but “private parts” can itch from contact with underwear and the sides of the face can be affected by contact with your pillow when you sleep.

FawnLaunder-BasketLamb-2013-sm-20160407
Laundry soap so mild, you could bathe with it!

Fawn & Launder is a uniquely skin-safe, ultra-gentle laundry shampoo that is allergen-free…and it contains coconut-derived monolaurin plus skin-soothing antioxidants!
Use this skincare-as-laundry for the clothing and linens of: infants and children; those with extra-dry, sensitive, atopic, or hyperpigmented skin; or those with contact acne and/or clothing contact dermatitis.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to fawn as you launder (the closest thing to a hug in a laundry basket).