6 Steps To Turn WOE Into GLOW: There Is Hope For Desperate Skin!

Don’t give up: even the “worst” skin has hope!

We can’t tell you how many times we hear: “my skin is the worst,” or “I have the longest patch test list and can’t use anything!” You might feel like you have more allergens than any other person on the planet, or the most impossible skin problems, but it probably isn’t true. We’ve seen the longest patch test results and our doctors care for hospitalized cases: we see the worst skin cases, on a regular basis, and care for them. And even if your skin does fall into the most complex of categories, there is hope. Follow these 6 steps to begin your climb out of desperation…

1. Go to a dermatologist who specializes in your condition. 

Your doctor might be wonderful, but specialists — particularly those who regularly publish or lecture on your condition in particular — spend the most time studying and treating your problem. These hours of specialization matter. This concentrated study and experience means the deepest understanding of the condition, access to the latest research and treatments, and higher rates of success.

2. Get a patch test. 

This one, simple test can be a game changer. If you’ve had a long history of very sensitive skin, you may need an expanded patch test which can cost more up front but will save you LOTS (of money, injury, frustration, and time) compared to guessing which products to use.

3. Stop random trial and error. 

It is almost impossible to identify the exact culprit of a reaction on your own from just trial and error. The last product applied isn’t necessarily the cause of a reaction. In fact, we’ve seen several cases of people using products they were sensitive to for years without a major reaction (perhaps just dryness)…slowly getting skin to a “breaking point” where anything applied next (ironically enough, even something they’re actually NOT allergic to) can trigger a flare-up. Unless you’re a chemist and understand INCI names of cosmetic ingredients (and know cross reactants of allergens) and a contact dermatitis specialist who is updated on the medical literature on allergens, there’s just no way to win this game on your own.

4. Minimize. 

This means use products with the least amount of ingredients possible, with little to no known allergens or irritants, and use less products in general.

5. Stay positive.

It helps your skin — de-stressing has serious health benefits! Patience is required. One-pill-fixes-all-overnight is a myth even in relatively healthy skin. Jumping from doctor to doctor, and treatment to treatment, can backfire. Give your specialist and therapy a good, solid try by strictly complying with instructions (a top problem for doctors is patient compliance) for at least a few months before you consider trying something else.

6. Make sure your doctor does a thorough history. 

Everything is important. What you eat, what utensils you use when eating, what gear you use when working out or at the office, your hobbies, what you sleep on, your towels and clothing, what medications or vitamins you might be taking, your nutrition and exercise. Everything matters.

We’ve seen decades-long, steroid-dependent cases turn around from proper prevention alone. The solution to your skin woes could be far simpler than you think.

Need an informed ear? Ask us in the comments section below, contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

For more:

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com.
On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.
To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.

Beauty, Skin

Makeup Hack: Anti-Aging "Tan" with Virgin Coconut Oil!

This Gorgeous Anti-Aging Tan Is Made In The Shade!

There is just no upside to tanning. It leads to skin cancer (deadly) or leathery, wrinkly photo-aging (mummification). This virgin coconut oil-rich bronzing technique lets you channel Raquel Welch circa “One Million Years B.C.” … without looking one million years old.

What you need:

  1. Tarte-à-Tan Antioxidant Bronzing “Coco” Powder
  2. Know-It-Oil or Oil’s Well virgin coconut oil
  3. Small bowl or saucer.
  4. Nail file or hard, thin spatula

“Dew” It:

Using your nail file or thin spatula, scrape about ¼ teaspoon of Tarte-à-Tan Antioxidant Bronzing “Coco” Powder into a small bowl or saucer.

Add virgin coconut oil (Know-It-Oil or Oil’s Well) in the same amount you’d use on your face and body.

Stir, then spread on like a lotion, starting with legs, then torso and arms. The leftover oil on your hands is the perfect amount for your face.

Feel like you need more glow on the face?

  • Dust on some more Tarte-à-Tan (How To Apply Bronzer) and add a warm blush (Skin Bloom Blush in Bellini is an all-time favorite with a tan).
  • Want to kick the shimmer up even more? Add Skin Bloom Blush in Luminous strategically (Hypoallergenic Strobing).

Blow-dry and/or complete the rest of your makeup before getting dressed — because virgin coconut oil’s fatty acids are native to skin, it sets quickly (and even if it stains clothing it usually washes out easily).

That’s it! Your anti-aging tan is complete!


Instead of wiping off the little leftover oil, scrunch up the ends of your hair for a leave-in conditioning treatment. Or gently pat your hair to help tame fly-aways!


“Oil” On the Line: Argan Oil vs. Coconut Oil

Grease Fighting?

Of the two most talked-about oils out there, which takes the lead?

1) Growth hormones

Argan oil comes from the kernels of the argan tree fruit which do not contain growth hormones. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has phytochemicals and growth hormones, an important aspect of its anti-aging. TIP: Look for first-and-cold-pressed VCO, free of heat and other processing or additives, to get as much of this good stuff as possible.

2) Published studies

Argan oil seems to have one observational clinical trial and no randomized, double-blind clinical trials as of yet (the latter are considered the gold standard of clinical studies for efficacy). In the one argan oil study, a “sebum control cream” containing polyphenol-rich extract from saw palmetto, sesame seeds and argan oil was applied over 4 weeks, with sebum (oil) measurements taken. The results showed, “efficacy of the sebum control cream tested to reduce the greasiness and improve the appearance of oily facial skin”. That seems ok if your main concern is reducing the greasy appearance of skin, but it doesn’t say much else. VCO, on the other hand, has numerous randomized, double-blind clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals on its antiseptic properties against various microbes, on its moisturization, on its safety and efficacy  for atopic (eczema and related conditions) and xerotic skin (highly dry, flaky, sensitive, itchy skin), and more.

3) Fatty acids

VCO wins by a mile with a whopping 92% saturated fatty acids (versus argan oil’s 18%). VCO’s fatty acids are also more stable, less prone to oxidation, and give firmness to cell walls, which is so important for barrier repair.

4) “Good” vs. “bad” fatty acids 

Argan oil has 36.8% more pro-inflammatory linoleic acid (omega-6) to VCO’s 2%. VCO also has far more anti-inflammatory fatty acids like caprylic, capric, and lauric acid.

5) Preservative-free 

Argan oil lasts about 12-18 months but could last 2 years if it is a virgin oil of very high quality, and if stored in small bottles away from light and below 18ºC (about 64ºF). VCO lasts 2 years or more without special handling. This stability is fundamental to many of VCO’s skin benefits and it means that VCO does not need preservatives (many of which are allergens).

6) Environmental impact

Argan oil is from a tree that grows in a small, specific area of North Africa. VCO comes from coconut trees which grow widely and easily in tropical/sub-tropical countries, making for easier management and tree replacement.


We’re always on the lookout for the safest, most effective ingredients.  We have yet to see compelling evidence to create an argan oil product (and we’re all about the evidence). There are far more clinical studies on mineral and other oils, for example, and we have not yet found an oil to rival virgin coconut oil in terms of its anti-aging and cellular health capabilities, barrier repair, antimicrobial, and fatty acid benefits, or its nutritional value. For more on virgin coconut oil, enter “virgin coconut oil” in the search field at skintelligencenter.com.


Beauty is “Proof,” Proof Beauty

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.
Medically Published Studies: Proof Positive
Great skin is never just about skin care — it’s why we always say “skinside-out” health. Still, a daily at-home regimen is vital for your skin’s basic health and the right active therapies are instrumental at helping you achieve your skin goals. Look closely at those two factors, however, and you’ll notice that the first (your health) is almost entirely within your power and the second, after selection, is mostly now up to the product. Put another way: you could be doing phenomenally well at quitting smoking, improving your nutrition, sleeping more, controlling stress and exercising every day…but if you choose skin care that isn’t effective (or worse, that actually works against your skin!), what then? When you choose skincare you are putting a lot of trust in that product. And if you’re keeping your word, shouldn’t it, too?

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 VMV HYPOALLERGENICS has always done. Our investigative studies are as 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. Put your faith in double blind … far better than flying blind. “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”). Others use qualitative data like before-and-after photos. Such photographs can be helpful but 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, randomized trials with quantitative data are standard in prescription pharmaceuticals. And at VMV.
“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 the leading journal 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 daily reality includes research, investigative and case studies, too, such as on nutrition and acne, psoriasis, and pemphigus vulgaris. Our study on mycosis fungoides (a type of cancer of the immune system) was presented at the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) meeting. Such research is not cosmetic, but it 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.
For more on testing at VMV, see About VMV: Our Testing, About VMV: Clinical Studies, Published Articles, References or search skintelligencenter.com.
To shop our clinically-proven products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com or call (212) 226 7309.