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!


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.

Beauty, Skin

Hypoallergenic StrobingFeatured

By Nina Del Rosario

First: the what…

What is Strobing?

Strobing is highlighting, the opposite of contouring. It creates the dew-glow-radiance of healthy-looking skin. Like contouring, strobing can sculpt the face, too — but, instead of shadowing (which takes lots more time and skill), by making certain features brighter.
When to..
Contour when you want to achieve a perfectly sculpted look. Strobing is best when you have limited time or if your face shape already has a natural sculpt. Both at the same time work well as long as you highlight only one technique at a time.

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Vitamin “D-bate”: In, Not OutFeatured

I wear sunscreen everyday, but could I be affecting my health by not getting enough Vitamin D?

Skin cancer is a much bigger threat to your health and you can get adequate vitamin D from supplements.
There is a lot of research about the great benefits of vitamin D — everything from increasing bone density to protection against some cancers, and benefits for diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction and depression.
But don’t start basking yet.
Getting enough vitamin D (and all its benefits) is important but needs to be balanced against what we already know are the big risks of sun exposure, i.e. skin cancers, inflammation and immune disorders.
Studies also show that if vitamin D can do all that it seems it can, we need more of it than we can get from daily sun exposure and our regular diets. So sitting out the sun isn’t going to give you all those vitamin D perks (sorry, you still can’t justify it!)
Taking a vitamin D supplement is a good idea. While it differs for each person, current recommendations hover in the 1,000 and 2,000 IU range (make sure to ask your doctor before increasing your dosage or taking new supplements).
For more details check out: “Vitamin D, Sun Avoidance, Hypovitaminosis D” in skintelligencenter.com.

Featured, Skin

Put A Ring On Your SunscreenFeatured

Don’t make sunscreen a summer fling. Make it a permanent thing…a good sunscreen is the best partner your skin will ever have!

But I Don’t NEED Sunscreen…

            …with enough “exposure,” everyone can get burned, it’s just a matter of time:

  • People with fairer skin, light eyes, and blond or red hair typically sunburn easily and tan poorly. Those with highly photosensitive skin can burn in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
  • People with light brown skin burn minimally and tan easily. Fair-skinned people with brown hair will burn in closer to an hour.
  • Those with medium brown skin rarely burn and tan darkly and easily. Burning may take hours.
  • People with the darkest skin color do not show a perceptible burn (which would take several hours) and always tan maximally.

And the more exposure, the higher the risk.

Regardless of your skin type and coloring, your risk of getting a sunburn is significantly increased when…
– You are in tropical regions…
– You are at a high altitude — every 300m increases UV radiation by 4%…
– Exposed to the sun between 10am and 2pm — 65% of UV radiation reaches the earth between these times…
– There are clear skies, snow, water and ice — they reflect sunlight…
– Taking certain drugs or applying skin care products that can make you more photosensitive (more prone to burning or hyperpigmenting with sun and light exposure)…
– Exposed to sun or light after some interventional skin care treatments (think microdermabrasion or peels).

Stop the guesswork and skin-ache…

            …wear sunscreen daily, all year round, and whether indoors or outdoors.
Why Daily?
Because sun damage is cumulative…meaning it adds up. Even the little sun you get while crossing the street for a cup of coffee counts. This incidental sun exposure, over time, could add up to skin damage or skin cancer.
Why All Year Round?
UV rays get to you on cloudy days.Feeling the heat is no indication of how much UV light you’re getting. In fact, snow can double your exposure.
Why INDOORS and outdoors?
Outdoors, for obvious reasons. But did you know that highly damaging UVA penetrates window and windshield glass? Also, light exposure to halogens, fluorescents and even computer screens is proven to cause dark splotches!

No sickness, all health.


Summer flings may be short-lived but sunscreen is a year-round love affair.
Sun damage is cumulative. One bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence almost doubles your chances of developing skin cancer later. Even the little that you get crossing the street counts. There’s sun in winter, spring and fall, too. You get UVA on cloudy days and UVA penetrates windows and windshields. Indoor lights like halogens, fluorescents and even computer screens can cause hyperpigmentation. You’re surrounded by risk…why not settle down with a partner you know you can rely on?
Your sunscreen is a phenomenal choice: reliable, lessens your worry, cares for you, keeps you safe and helps you look good. Definitely the one to grow old with (even as it helps you look younger than you are!)
Your romance with sunscreen may be at its most intense in the summer but it’s a relationship to nurture every day for the rest of your life. It’ll be one of the most rewarding for all aspects of your health.
Featured, Skin

HELP! I’m Burnt To A Crisp: 10 Things To Do After A Bad SunburnFeatured

I wasn’t good about using my Armada Sunscreen and…I’m a lobster (or crawfish in this case!) I am horribly sunburned — bright red, in lots of pain and want to avoid peeling! What do I do??


Take an aspirin or another anti-inflammatory (if you’re not allergic; if you’re not sure, check with your doctor). Apply a cold compress. Stay in a dark room, or at least in the shade, indoors. Load up on water. Moisture, moisture, moisture.


1. Immediately, take two aspirins (or if you’re allergic, ibuprofen or an anti- inflammatory that your doctor recommends) and repeat after four hours.
2. Oral steroids may be needed, too; check with your doctor.
3. If you tend to develop hyperpigmentations, ask your doctor about taking an antihistamine, too, as it can help prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (skin darkening — dark splotches — after a skin trauma).
4. Stay in a darkened room away from windows and with the lights turned down (even indoor lights can cause a photoreaction).
5. Drink lots of water.
6. Repetitively apply a soothing, reparative pure oil (sans all additives) like Know-It-Oil organic virgin coconut oil. This oil is particularly soothing as a cold compress: mix it in with some cold water. Take a soft, clean towel and dip it into the mixture. Wring out excess water and gentle apply onto affected areas of skin. Using The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm can be very soothing, too, and can help lessen peeling. Peeling in general can be lessened by lots of moisture, moisture, moisture.
7. If the burn is very red and painful, apply Red Better Flare-Up Balm after the cold-compresses to quickly bring down the inflammation, and reduce redness and pain.
8. If there is swelling, keep the oil and Boo-Boo Balm in the refrigerator and use as cooling butters directly on the skin.
9. For severe cases, an ice bath may also be indicated (check with your doctor first as ice baths can be dangerous for some people).
10. If the skin is blistering, see your dermatologist immediately or go to your nearest emergency room or urgent care facility.

The Best Way To “Treat” Sunburn Is To Prevent It.


It’s very important to always apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (like Armada 30) before going out in the sun. Be sure to reapply after 1 to 2 hours, especially when sweating profusely, after swimming or playing contact sports. Also a good option: Armada Sport is sweat and water resistant! Still, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that no matter what your sunscreen says, you must reapply at least every two hou…and we agree! The skin is a living, breathing part of your body that reacts to lots of things around and on you. It’s best to reapply to make sure you’re getting the best protection.
And apply enough: a good rule of thumb is 1 oz of sunscreen for the average size body – the face alone needs 1 teaspoon of SPF!
Remember, as the Skin Cancer Foundation reminds us, just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence can almost double your chances of developing melanoma later in life.
Don’t tan, don’t burn, stay safe!

Featured, Skin

Why You NEED To Wear Sunscreen On A Cloudy DayFeatured

Do I really need to be wearing sunscreen if its cloudy outside?

Yup! Many people forget that their skin is exposed to light if they don’t feel the heat. Damaging UVA doesn’t burn as quickly as UVB. Without feeling like you’re baking, you could be cooking up a carcinoma with a side of wrinkles and dark spots on a bed of immune problems. This is why some people are surprised when their dermatologists find carcinomas and other sun-induced skin damage even if they feel that they “never go out in the sun.”

Just how much UV gets to me on a cloudy day?

As much as 80% of UV rays pass through clouds — plus snow, ice, sand, water and other surfaces can reflect light. There’s even an interesting phenomenon called Cloud Enhancement, where the sun may reflect off of clouds, intensifying and focusing UV radiation (we really are getting a lot more than we think we are!)
No matter what, make sure you’ve got some sunscreen on. You can always wear one with a light texture that still packs a powerful punch like Armada 30 or Armada Sport 70.