Featured, Skin

Fix Your Skin With…Laundry Soap?: 30-Day Healthy Skin ChallengeFeatured

Don’t let laundry become even more of a pain.

Yup, even your laundry can affect your skin.
Common culprits in laundry detergent that can contribute to chronic rashes, itching, acne and even hyperpigmentation include fragrance and preservatives.
If your skin problems just don’t seem to be getting better, even after a proper diagnosis, careful prevention and targeted treatments, check your laundry soap.
To learn more about how your laundry can help or hurt your skin, and about clothing contact dermatitis, check out Take A Walk On The Mild Side: Skin-Friendly Laundry.

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.

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).

Family Blog, Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

How can I make doing laundry a little more allergy free?Featured

Q:What do you recommend for laundry? I know you make a laundry product though I have not had a chance to try it yet. I guess what I’m really asking is how do you do YOUR laundry? Do you use bleach? If so, which one? Do you use fabric softener? Dryer sheets? Can you recommend any products or ways to make doing laundry a little more allergy free?

– Anonymous from Tumblr/VMVHypoallergenics

A: Hi there, we do indeed make a laundry product 🙂 It’s called Fawn & Launder.

My mom (VMV Hypoallergenics‘ founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist) formulated it for her clients with clothing contact dermatitis and in my personal household, we can’t use anything else. If we do, my 8yo begins itching and stinging immediately, and more in the undergarment regions so it’s very uncomfortable. My husband stings, itches and gets hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the underarms and skin around the neck. I itch like a madwoman in the scalp (where my head most comes into contact with my pillowcase), underarms, around the neck, and under my lower bra strap.
When Fawn & Launder is out of stock, we use Essence Superwash. To use Essence Superwash or Clark Wash for laundry:
Regular Cycle, Front Load, 2 to 2.5 capfuls = 32 washes
Regular Cycle, Top load, 5 to 5.5 capfuls = 16 washes
Hand Wash 1 to 1.5 capful = 64 washes
Bleach, we use occasionally but my mother is allergic to it, so she can’t. None of us uses fabric softener or dryer sheets.

The basic tips we share for more allergy-free laundering are:

1) Get a patch test.

As you can see from my own story above, we all react in different ways and in different areas. My mother is sensitive to bleach, we’re not, and we can tolerate fragrance less than she can. Far better than random trial and error or guesswork, a patch test can show you exactly what to avoid.

2) Avoid your allergens.

Once you know the specific ingredients that you need to avoid, Fawn & Launder may work well for you as it’s free of all published allergens. BUT, if your patch test says you’re really only sensitive to, say, fragrance, you now have a much wider selection. Several brands make “free” versions that are free of scents or fragrance (look for ingredients not called fragrance, however, that are also cross reactants like propolis, benzyl alcohol and cinnamic alcohol).
3) Avoid your allergens in drying products, too.
The same applies to dryer sheets and fabric softeners…avoid the stuff with your allergens. Remember that “natural” versions may not be better. Many organic, natural substances are also natural allergens (strawberries, peanuts, pollen, fragrance, etc.). If you’re allergic to these, you need to avoid them, no matter how natural they are. Again, why the patch test is so powerful…so you avoid only what you need to.
4) Clothing contact dermatitis isn’t just about laundry products…you could be reacting to something in the clothing itself.
Indigo in jeans is a very common culprit. If your patch test shows sensitivity to nickel or other metals, you might want to stick to pure cotton and other natural textiles. These absorb colorants better so manufacturers don’t tend to use “mordants” (which have metals), which are chemicals added to synthetic cloth to help dyes and colors bind to it better. Bright colors — reds, purples, vibrant shades — tend to also be culprits if you’re sensitive to dyes. And, elastics, spandex, rubber are common allergens, too. If this is a suspicion, your doctor may use an expanded patch test tray for you. And, there’s a great underwear and basic clothing company called Cottonique that can help (we did a clinical study for them with their clothing and our laundry shampoo).
5) Prep your machine before your first wash.
Another poster on Tumblr shared her thoughts

“I just started to use the Fawn & Launder. I paid attention to what you posted about doing laundry (a big Thank You to the person who asked about that!) and I only used the Fawn & Launder and nothing else. I even “washed” the washing machine with it first to make sure there wasn’t any residue from my former products. I am really impressed with Fawn & Launder so far! It cleans well, no nasty scent and somehow it seemed to eliminate static in the dryer! I have to ask – how is that possible?!?”

…which leads to this 5th tip: “wash” your washing machine with Fawn & Launder, our hypoallergenic laundry detergent, before doing your first load! A big reason why we make our own products (we don’t outsource) is to ensure that vats or mixers used for our products aren’t also used for storing or mixing formulations with fragrance or other allergens. This is much the same principle. This is a great way to start on a more allergy-free laundry experience!

We hope this helps! And if you’d like more direct help, anyone on our team in NYC is a phone call away at (212) 217 2762 🙂
Laura, VMV Hypoallergenics CEO

Check out VMV Hypoallergenics on Tumblr now.