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skinside-out health

Featured, Skin

My Dermatologist Has X-Ray VisionFeatured

Or, How My Skin Doctor Found My Thyroid Problem.

My dermatologist isn’t Superwoman (although I think of her that way). No doctor can see through you, to your blood, thyroid, heart, or bones. I’m not sure anyone would want that. But my dermatologist took one look at my skin and knew something was off with my insides.
It was, frankly, fascinating. My doctor (a dermatologist and dermatoPATHOlogist) “saw” my endocrine system in the state of my skin. I’d gone to her for some dark spots on my neck that I thought were a reaction to a new necklace (metals are common allergens). Assessing the size of my pores and the presence of facial hair (the bane of my waxing aesthetician), she asked if I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. My Ob-Gyn had only recently diagnosed me with the same condition based on other symptoms, so my dermatologist was spot on. From there, she looked some more, paused, and suggested I consult an expert endocrinologist for Insulin Resistance Syndrome (often tied to PCOS) because the hyperpigmentation that started appearing at the back of my neck looked like Acanthosis Nigricans. I went to see her thinking I just needed a chemical peel or stronger prescription medication for the dark spots — and came out concerned about my pancreas! True enough, after some lab work, I found out how urgent the management of my insulin had become. And who suspected it? My dermatologist. From looking at my SKIN.
Instagram-KTN-DermoscopeDrVR-Apr2015-20150910
Dermatologists help us look good. They also help manage some pretty serious skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema, and some very serious ones like melanoma and pemphigus vulgaris. But a dermatologist can also be the first person to spot signs of internal problems.
The skin is our largest organ and it is also the most immediate, most visible monitoring system we have for the state of our internal systems. Before a blood test, ultrasound, x-ray, or MRI can reveal an issue, dermatologists can recognize signs on your skin that may point to an internal problem. For instance, before blood sugar values are elevated, diabetes can show tiny distinctive scarred patches on the leg or small areas of numbness; a slow thyroid gland can be indicated by a form of skin thickening in various parts of the body; tiny red spots can signal inflammation of blood vessels both in the skin and in the body’s internal organs. In my case, my pore size and facial hair implied Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS — the addition of my dark spots to the puzzle led to the suspicion of Insulin Resistance Syndrome and an endocrinologist referral.
For other internal health issues that dermatologists can spot just by looking at you, check out What Doctors Can Tell About Your Health Just By Looking At Your Skin, and for more inspiring dermatology-detective stories, search “Ace Skinvestigators” in skintelligencenter.com.
We tend to forget that dermatology isn’t all Botox® and peels and creams and fillers. Dermatologists are so fantastic at helping us look good (wonderful, don’t get me wrong!)…but their talent at this can sometimes make us forget that they are trained to do much, much more. I was so thankful that my dermatologist’s know-how was a cut above most. Her Sherlockian diagnosis sent me to an endocrine specialist before it ever would have occurred to me to see even a GP! Remember, the only symptoms I thought I had were dark spots. And I work in skincare — a photo-allergic reaction to metal was not a stupid guess (we see this quite a bit in our line of work as we cater to some of the most sensitive skin conditions). If lesson number one was don’t think of dermatologists as “just” skin doctors, lesson number two is: don’t think you know it all. No matter how smart you think you are about skin care, nothing beats a proper diagnosis by a specialist.
Lesson three? Be picky. Don’t let the beautification promise trick you into choosing a dermatologist who’s just about beauty. Dermatologists who research, teach and publish, who treat people who are hospitalized, can spot signs in your skin that can alert you to a potential internal problem (and other specialists) before you even think of getting a blood test or other exams. Top dermatologists may seem less glamorous but, in a very real way, the best of the best can save your life.
 
Ask Karen more about her experience or share her globe-trotting, music-stalking, surfer-loving, skin-healthy life by following her on Instagram/Naranwoah.

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!
Armada-SurfistaGift-InskinJunAug2014-20140310
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!
Skinthus-ArmadaSport-SurfistaFB-StokedWahineClassic7Oct2013-20130907
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.
 


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!

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Don't Let Skin Problems Get In The Way Of Working OutFeatured

Not working out because you’ve got sensitive skin? Or exercise makes you turn red…red like the sun…on Mars? Acne? Don’t let skin problems keep you from getting your body healthy. Working out (daily, is the latest recommendation) isn’t just fantastic for your heart and muscles, but your brain and, yes, your skin, too!

PROBLEM, SENSITIVE, AT-RISK SKIN

Rosacea, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Skin Cancer Risk
JP, VMV COO
His activities: Futbol (we were made to promise to write it like that), Golf, Tennis, Yoga, Bootcamp

VMV HYPOALLERGENICS on Instagram: “Repost By @lauraatvmv "Yup,
 
Because of his skin history and risk profile, JP avoids the sun as much as possible and “bathes in” Armada Sport 70. Rosacea can worsen when it’s hot, so he’s religious about his Red Better regimen. And JP’s a Boo-Boo Balm fan for rashes, blisters and scrapes. “It’s funny hearing ‘Boo-Boo Balm’ passed around at rough games, but the guys don’t care because it works!”
 

OILY SKIN

Acne, Powerful Sun Protection
Alex, Diving Instructor
Her activities: Diving, Yoga, Exploring

Instagram-Alex-BeachRocks-20150626
Alex prefers Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+: “Great coverage against strong tropical sun, makes the complexion glow, doesn’t make my skin sticky or oily, great pimple cure and prevention. The best.” What does she change in the summer? “Nothing! After trying tons of products VMV is my dream solution :)”
 

COMBINATION-TO-OILY SKIN

School Stress, Acne
Mireya, Teen
Her activities: Highly Active…just a lot of things

Instagram-VMVJapan-HydraBalance-20150626
“I’m up and about a lot,” says Mireya. The one constant? Her Hydra Balance SuperSkin Care regimen for combination skin — but in the summer, she switches her toner to Superskin 3 for oily skin. She doesn’t leave home without Red Better Spot Corrector for zit emergencies!”
 

Brand Ambassadors, Featured, Healthy Living, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Paula Rosales, KiteboardingFeatured

Paula Rosales

kiteboarding
Manila, Philippines

Paula-grass
Paula is born to be outdoords and in the water. Starting out as a competitive swimmer in high school, she later discovered her love for always being at sea. Paula is passionate about waterborne sports like skimboarding, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, surfing and, leisurely, sailing. Paula is an active professional kiteboader following the wind across the world. She competes in the Philippine Kite Tour and Triple S invitational in North Carolina while mothering her personal brand at www.skurbanista.com.

Follow Paula in competition and on her waterborne journey now!

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  paularosales


How long have you been kite boarding? 
I’ve been kiteboarding for 5 years, doing boardsports as far as i can remember 🙂

Why do you do it? 
I am a very active and outdoorsy person and I like learning new things…especially if it requires using a board! I got introduced to kiteboarding after a few good years of wakeboarding behind the cable. Kiteboarding is a sport that merges boardsports, particularly, wakeboarding/surfing and sailing (also one of the things that I started learning in recent years.) The best thing about kiteboarding is that I do not need a boat or a cable to get a sensation of stoke. It’s the greenest and most progressive boardsport out there and I love it.
How do you train for it?
I go to the gym once in a while but I get bored being there if it’s for more than an hour and if I’m alone, so I do a lot of alternative outdoor training which is similar to the movements in kiteboarding, such as wakeboarding, surfing, hula hoop, water ballet, yoga…and recently, I started trapeze with Trapeze Philippines. I definitely prefer being outdoors any day if I can and if it’s not too cold, raining, or too hot. I also run a lot just for the cardio.
Paula-Hoola-Beach
How did you get started?
I started kiteboarding when I moved back to Boracay island after living and working in CWC and basically wakeboarding everyday. I tried kiting once before and was unsuccessful. There is no surf in Boracay so this was a good option. I was hesitant in the beginning as the kite can be overwhelming sometimes but my friends were really helpful when I was starting out and that gave me a lot of inspiration and motivation to just move forward. It took a lot of dedication, patience, waking up at 5am to catch the early session, but everything was worth. Every time I get on the board and go, it’s worth it.
Why do you like using Armada Sport as a sunscreen?
The Armada Sport sunscreen is really effective, especially for somebody like me who uses sunscreen constantly, and who reapplies constantly, who’s under the sun the whole day. It doesn’t clog my pores and lets my skin breath underneath it. It’s very hard for me to find the right sunscreen that will not give me breakouts and whiteheads from clogged pores.
Paula-TripleS-applyingArmdada
What was your most memorable moment in kite boarding or a competition?
There are a lot of memorable moments but for sure the most memorable would be Sunset sessions at Seco Island, Philippines with my other Filipina kiter friends. I have this yearly Girls Kite Camp called Girl on Fire that I host for my kiter girlfriends. We go to this remote island off of Antique and camp there for 3 days and just kite and hang out.
You feel prettiest when…
…I’m out kiting/surfing or wakeboarding in super sunny Philippines, in my Roxy Bikini and VMV Armada Sport sunscreen!
Do you have any tips for fans out there for fitness, sun protection and/or training?
Make your fitness routine as fun as possible so it doesn’t feel like a bore and you get motivated to doing it, instead of it being a dreaded daily chore.
What’s your daily skin care and/or makeup?  
My daily skin regimen is includes my VMV Re-Everything Cleansing Cream, Re-Everything Treatment Toner and Re-Everything Cream: Anti-Age Primary Treatment. Then, Armada Sport, of course.
Makeup? no need. I wear Armada sunscreen that’s all! 🙂
Paula-ledge-armada


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!

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!

1: SUNSCREEN

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.
 

2: SERENITY

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.
 

3: SKIN TUNE-UP

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.
 

4: SANITATION

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.
 

5: SUSTENANCE…SALUD!

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.
 

6: SMOOTH IT OUT

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.
 

7: SLEEP IT OFF

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Sleep-20150531
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!