skin tips


Facial Shaving Products For Your Legs?Featured

Why do bumps happen?

If you happen to prefer shaving your legs — because it’s more convenient or faster or you just like it better — a common problem can be nasty red bumps. Not great on an area of the body that you’re showing off in summer shorts and minis. A surprising solution can be found in products associated with men’s-only shaving. Facial shaving can be such a problem that a multitude of specialized products exist to address everything from razor burn to, yup, bumps. But before you go raiding your guy’s medicine cabinet, make sure you’re dealing with shaving bumps.
Are these things pimples? As a general rule, no…but don’t rule out the possibility either. Laura, VMV Hypoallergenics CEO, told me of a “horrifying” experience with steroid acne on the legs. “It was the 80s and I’d been playing tennis with sauna pants (a real thing) because I wanted to be tougher, sweat more, and lose more weight. This genius idea of training with my legs encased in an airless, soggy sauna clogged the follicles on my legs. This led to a rash and some topical steroids, and then the worst, most disgusting, pus-filled, inflamed and painful acne all over my legs, from mid thigh to ankle.” Barring steroid acne from an unfortunate encounter with a 1980s torture outfit (in which case, see your dermatologist), your bumps could be “sweat acne” or pityrosporum folliculitis. In this case, the fungus pityrosporum which lives naturally and happily on our skins with other healthy microbes goes on overdrive because you happen to be sweating a lot more and this charming organism feeds on sweat. This is a relatively easy fix with Id Monolaurin Gel, an anti-fungal and helps control sweating. But true shaving bumps are actually “ingrown” hairs: coarse or curly hairs that loop under and grow back upwards to the skin’s surface.

What are shaving bumps, exactly?

Shaving bumps, ingrown hair (a rose by any other name), is a condition called pseudofolliculitis. Pseudo because it is not a true inflammation from bacteria or fungi. It can mimic such conditions (which is why it sometimes looks like acne) and inflammation can also occur. But the cause is physical, not fungal or bacterial.
If you have shaving bumps — raised, uniform bumps, normally without visible infected matter (pus) — on areas where you shave, men’s shaving products such as an anti-inflammatory shaving regimen like 1635 Gentle Men’s Therapeutic Shaving could be your solution. We’ve always said, we don’t formulate for a gender, we formulate for skin. Pseudofolliculitis can occur on any skin and 1635 has an entire regimen to help deal with it and other shaving issues.

How to use facial shaving stuff to prevent bumps on the legs:

  • Two of the most important factors to a good, painless, bump-free shave are heat and water. Try the Pre-Shave Soft Scrub before shaving to make sure the area is cleansed but not stripped of important oils which some soaps (particularly hard ones) can do. This pre-shaving cleanser contains hydrophobic ingredients to lubricate the skin, lock-in moisture and soften the hair. Massaging it on the skin while in a hot shower takes care of the warming part. The fine scrubs help dislodge ingrown hair and remove dead skin and debris which can clog up your razor. This simple step can do wonders for preventing bumps, nicks and cuts.
  • The Pre-Shave Barber “Oil” ups the heat-and-water factor even more. This unique formulation traps in moisture, keeps the hair warm and makes for an easier shave (guys get a wet, hot towel in a barbershop for the same reason). This is also a great option for very precise shaving or shaping.
  • Choose from 3 options of shaving creams to best address your hair type: fine, coarse, or in-between.
  • End with one of 3 aftershave options. Each will help with inflammation, but the Aftershave Salve soothes very sensitive skin that tends to experience razor burn, and the Aftershave Solution is made specifically to help prevent various bumps, from clogged pores to shaving bumps. Pair it with Id Monolaurin Gel if you think you might also have sweat acne.

If your dermatologist diagnoses your bumps as pseudofolliculitis, you could also opt to not shave at all. Ask your doctor about other options such as laser hair removal.
As with most skin concerns (for most things health-related, for that matter), an accurate diagnosis is fundamental to achieving clarity. See a properly-boarded dermatologist.

Two other major pluses to using your man’s facial shaving products:

1. Because 1635 is made for hair and skin, your body skin gets treated to skin-enhancing, antioxidant goodness normally reserved for “fancier” areas like your face and neck, and…
2. Like the top photo shows, you can gift your guy with awesome shaving products that you can use, too!
Read more in Shaving Bumps: Pseudofolliculitis on Skintelligencenter.com.
Curious about safer, gentler waxing, check out: The “Wax” Of My Tears

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

7 Steps To Sublime Summer SkinFeatured

We asked Holly, Senior Esthetician and Brand Educator at VMV Hypoallergenics, to share some tips for summer skin survival. Survival, she scoffed, is so defeatist. And limited. Here are Holly’s top 7 steps to summer skin survival sublime summer skin!


InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-SunscreenCollage-20150531Many of us still rely on the SPF that we apply in the morning or think that the SPF in our makeup is enough. That might be fine for the rest of the year when you’re mostly indoors (at this point, you should know that sunscreen is a daily thing, yes?). But in the summer, you need to be more vigilant. Sunscreen does wear, wash and rub off so it is very important to reapply every hour or two, and after swimming or toweling off. That’s whether you’re taking an easy bike ride in the country or strolling through the city, lounging on the beach or at the park, or training hard outside. No amount of sun exposure is damage free. If you want to keep your skin looking young, avoid sun exposure. Hats, sunglasses and protective clothing are also helpful. I use Armada not only for my own personal use, but also after each facial I perform. FYI: don’t dab: make sure to slather sunscreen on for real protection.


InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Serenity-20150531Serenity, positivity, happiness. Surround yourself with positive people, positive energy and positive summertime experiences. The days are lazier: focus on being in the moment more. When going on a walk, stop to look — really look — at all the beauty that you might normally rush past. Listen to happy, uplifting music. Music can be very inspirational and soothing. Regular exercise and a healthy diet help our bodies process and handle stress better. I like this website for quick guided meditations: just-a-minute.org.


InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-SeasonalSkincare-20150531Much of our skin’s premature aging can happen over the summer. Don’t wait till after to refresh. Ask your esthetician for a good home skin care regimen. Regular facials should be done throughout the year for optimal skin health. For my clients, I recommend a 60-Minute Superskin Facial every 4 to 6 weeks with a 30-Minute Skin-A-Jiffy Refresher Facial in between or as needed (a nice boost for dull, sun-dried skin). Regular facials plus a skin care regimen adjusted to your skin’s summer needs is like giving your skin a regular tune up. And just like anything else, regular tune-ups and proper maintenance are so much better than trying to reverse bigger problems like acne scars or very dry skin later. To book one of our facials or spa treatments (each starts with an in-depth consultation and is customized to your skin) call (212) 217 2762 in NYC and (415) 255-9510 in San Francisco.


InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Sanitation-20150531Heat + humidity = microbe heaven. Wash your makeup brushes! Our new Instant No-Rinse Hypoallergenic Brush Cleaner (check vmvhypoallergenics.com — it’s launching soon!) is great for daily cleaning and Essence Superwash for a deeper washing every few days, weekly or monthly (depending on your level of use).
For bugs that bite or cause rashes, try Red Better Flare-Up Balm to quickly bring down redness and itching; Boo-Boo Balm for fast, ouchless healing. For daily use — remember that skin with eczema tends to be prone to microbial infection, which can promote itching — try Essence Hand + Body Smoother, which is ultra-light and comfortable for summer use but still very moisturizing and soothing to very dry or atopic skin.


InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Sustenance-20150531YOUR SKIN IS WHAT YOU EAT. A good diet can improve your skin’s health and appearance. Control your meat and dairy; increase your essential fatty acids through a regular intake of small, oily fish, olive oils, nuts and avocados. Top off your diet with fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants. I add virgin coconut oil into my diet wherever I can! Know-It-Oil is excellent both topically and as a dietary supplement.


InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Smooth-20150531(DON’T) DO THE BUMP! If you find yourself with more breakouts in the summer, it could be due to sweat bacteria or a fungus that feeds on sweat going on overdrive. It sounds gross, but this fungus is healthy and natural to our skins. In the summer, however, when we tend to sweat more, the excessive perspiration can offset the skin’s good-microbe balance. When I feel oilier or have breakouts, I use Id Sweat Acne and Overall Antibacterial Monolaurin Gel — you can use it on face and body, and it cools the skin, too.


BEAUTIES SLEEP. The vast majority of people are sleep deprived, particularly women. The lack of sleep can leave one feeling forgetful, drowsy and also grouchy — all of these things can lead to more stress, in turn wreaking havoc on your skin (and, as more studies are showing, your body and brain). Commit to getting your 7-8 hours each night. A facial or spa treatment is a great way to get additional zz’s while taking care of your skin, too. A thorough cleansing with cool water and a SuperSkin Care Cleanser for your skin type and an application of a SuperSkin Care Moisturizer can help refresh tired skin. And our pale yellow No-More-Blues Skin-The-Bluff Concealer is the perfect eyebag camouflager.
Holly has a devoted following for good reason. She’s not only excellent at what she does; you’d be hard put to find a more soothing, gentle, good energy to be around. Follow Holly on instagram now for “skinsightful” tips, photos, recipes and more!