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non-comedogenic

Featured, Skin

6 Truths About Acne That May Surprise YouFeatured

Which 5 statements about ACNE are TRUE?

Find clues in VMV Hypoallergenics’s weekly livestreams and IGTV!

  • ? Acne is an inflammation of the follicle.
  • ? Skin conditions like keratosis pilaris, pityrosporum folliculitis, ingrown hair, and others can be confused for acne.
  • ? Acne means your skin is dirty.
  • ? Oily skin is something that needs to be fixed.
  • ? Things that cause acne include pore-cloggers; substances that irritate the pore including allergens, disinfectants and PPEs; inflammatory food; poor sleep; stress; hormones; some medications, bacteria, fungi, mites, genes.
  • ? Because “Comedogens” are tested and graded consistently, you can generally trust ratings that you see on the internet.
  • ? “Comedogens” are more accurately determined by human skin tests, not Rabbit Ear Assays which are old and inconsistent.
  • ? Acne only affects teens and people with oily skin.
  • ? Because so many things can cause acne, and some skin conditions can look like acne but aren’t, you should see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • ? Antibiotics and other medications to manage acne are *never* necessary.
  • ? Coconut oil, stearic acid, and stearyl alcohol are not comedogenic.

 ANSWERS: ?????? are TRUE.

TRUE: ? Acne is an inflammation of the follicle.

Acne usually starts as a comedone (plugged hair follicle). Sebum production follows, then an overgrowth of a microbe in the follicle (innate bacteria, fungi, or mites), which leads to more inflammation and the formation of papules, pustules, and/or cysts.

TRUE: ? Skin conditions like keratosis pilaris, pityrosporum folliculitis, ingrown hair, and others can be confused for acne.

Many bumps and lesions can be confused for acne, which is why it’s so important to get an accurate diagnosis from a dermatologist.

TRUE: ? Things that cause acne include pore-cloggers; substances that irritate the pore including allergens, disinfectants and PPEs; inflammatory food; poor sleep; stress; hormones; some medications, bacteria, fungi, mites, genes.

Acne has LOTS of possible causes. And unless you identify it or them accurately, you might be treating the wrong thing.

TRUE: ? “Comedogens” are more accurately determined by human skin tests, not Rabbit Ear Assays which are old and inconsistent.

A surprising number of ingredients flagged as “comedogens” online aren’t because many websites use results of old, outdated, inaccurate Rabbit Ear Assays as their reference. Plus, “comedogens” only clog the hair follicle to cause comedones. “Acnegens” do the same thing AND cause irritation and inflammation. For acne prevention, you need non-comedogenic (based on newer, more accurate human controlled trials) as well as the absence of top contact irritants and allergens to prevent the irritation that eventually leads to inflammation and acne.

TRUE: ? Because so many things can cause acne, and some skin conditions can look like acne but aren’t, you should see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Definitely. Your dermatologist will take a more complete history and possibly ask for tests or even a cross-consultation with another specialist. Because acne is inflammatory, what will help are the classic anti-inflammatory things you should be doing anyway: no junk food, lots of fresh veggies and fruit, proper sleep, and stress management. But which topical products will work for your acne, and if you need an oral medication, is best determined by your dermatologist.

TRUE: ? Coconut oil, stearic acid, and stearyl alcohol are not comedogenic.

Based on those more reliable Human Controlled Trials, none of these ingredients are comedogenic or acnegenic.
For more, check out Lots Of Comedogenic Ingredients Aren’t Actually Comedogenic, and What You Really Need To Prevent Acne.


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

Featured, 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, Healthy Living, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Skincare To Swipe Right On

Skincare To Swipe Right On

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

Skincare As Dating

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

Beauty is “Proof,” Proof Beauty

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

Research Terms To Swipe Right On

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

A Well-Rounded Partner

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

Family Blog, Skin

Gentle (Beneficial!) Shaving: The Skin-Saving Shave

Skin-Saving Shaving

VMV’s literal dad (husband to our founding dermatopathologist, my mother) loved to shave. It was his time for quiet contemplation and self tending. Yet it took a while for shaving to catch on at VMV because my side of the family, being Filipino and without a rich depilatory tradition, didn’t see the big deal…until my Argentine husband came alone. Thanks in part to his rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis, he hated to shave. Shaving hurt so he considered it a chore, and he envied my dad the pleasantness of his shaving routine.

Noticing that there weren’t a lot of options for people like him who had problem skin and wanted or needed to shave, he spearheaded the creation of a VMV shaving line. With my mom’s research, we discovered that we could make it multi-tasking: allergen-free safety and real skin benefits with each shave.

My dad succumbed to multiple myeloma, thirteen very full, active years after his diagnosis. His initial prognosis was 6 months and so we are forever grateful to the brilliant, researching, innovating, publishing minds at the University of Arkansas for Medical Services Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy for buying him over a decade of health. By the time we launched our shaving line three years later, we knew he’d be an inspiration for it somehow (or “skinspiration,” in our parlance 🙂 and he was. Everything about these formulations make shaving safer, less of a pain, gentler, and — with ingredients like yerba mate and coffee — a joy and a great morning picker-upper.

True to our mission of safety and proven efficacy, and our “why” of saving the world’s skin, this line’s efficacy, multi-beneficial elegance of function, and quiet luxury make this daily ritual a true pleasure, one that can be done leisurely, and with great benefits beyond the simple chore. And because these formulations are great on various skin and hair types, they’re awesome for anyone who needs to shave, any where!

We hope you enjoy it!

Laura, VMV CEO


lvb-6x10df_bertotto8213sm-20161128

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.

Skin

Is "Non-Comedogenic" Important for Eczema?

Marcie Mom from EczemaBlues.com interviews Laura, CEO of VMV Hypoallergenics, to find out more about product claims and why they’re important when choosing your skin care…particularly if you or your child have eczema.

Non-Comedogenic

Q: I noticed that your products are listed as ‘non-comedogenic.’ Can you explain what this means?
A: Non-comedogenic means that a formulation will not clog pores, which is important to prevent acne. This isn’t normally a concern for someone with eczema, but acne prevention can be important for compliance. If a product is safe (will not cause reactions) and/or offers effective therapy…but also causes acne…then people are less likely to use it. Or, the product may create one more problem to deal with which complicates management and therapy.
A common misconception is that “Non-Comedogenic” is only important if you have oily skin. Studies are showing an increase in adult acne, and in various skin types. Of course, if you have dry skin (and certainly barrier-compromised skin), you don’t want a product that strips your skin of oil either, but “non-comedogenic” just means that the product will not clog pores — which isn’t the same thing. Or shouldn’t be the same thing (some formulations purposefully strip the skin of oils, which you don’t want). If acne has become an additional concern, a non-comedogenic, non-drying product without allergens is a great choice.
 


This article was originally published in eczemablues.com as one of a multi-part series focused on understanding and using products for sensitive skinInspired by her daughter Marcie who had eczema from two weeks old, Mei (aka MarcieMom) started EczemaBlues.com with the mission to turn eczema blues to bliss. In this series of interviews, MarcieMom interviews Laura, CEO of VMV Hypoallergenics, to learn more about product claims when choosing products to care for skin with eczema.