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Allergen, Not An Allergen Featured

FACIAL SHEET MASKS: Allergen or Not An Allergen?

Allergen

Facial Sheet Masks

We’re not talking about the DIY masks you might mix at home using ingredients from your fridge and pantry — although, because many natural ingredients are contact allergens, those can have issues, too. We’re talking about the popular pre-packaged, ready-to-go facial masks that come as a sheet with cut-outs for your eyes, nostrils, and mouth; that are infused with specific ingredients, and that are kept moist a sealed pack until ready for use.

Many have active ingredients that are great for the skin such as niacinamide and hyaluronic acid (just take some promised benefits with a grain of salt: hyaluronic acid has very long-chain molecules so it stays on the top of the skin, serving more as a barrier and moisturizer…which is a good thing but would not smoothen wrinkles as is sometimes implied). In addition to beneficial ingredients, however — in part to preserve the masks over long periods of time and to keep them moist in their sealed containers, and in part to make them seem more spa-like —  these sheet masks tend to contain lots of other top contact allergens, including…

There are many more when you consider that the fragrances, parabens, and flower/fruit/plant extracts are grouped together in the list above. There are actually many individual ingredients that comprise these groups. Several are present in popular sheet masks and each is a top contact allergen.

Of further concern is that these masks are meant to be kept on the skin. Most packages are careful to remind you not to leave the mask on longer than instructed, and definitely not to let it dry on your face. But even the average 15-20 minutes is plenty of moist (which can increase reactivity), intensive, sustained contact with these allergens. Even if you’re not yet allergic to the contact allergens, this sustained exposure can initiate the process of your cells recognizing them as “foreign,” which begins the process of developing an allergy. If you’re already allergic to them, the mask facilitates an immediate start to the contact dermatitis.

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.

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, or for more privacy (such as when asking us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results) contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

For more:

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.

Main References: 

Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.

1. Warshaw, E.M., Maibach, H.I., Taylor, J.S., et al. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012. Dermatitis. 2015; 26: 49-59.

2. W Uter et al. The European Baseline Series in 10 European Countries, 2005/2006–Results of the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). Contact Dermatitis 61 (1), 31-38.7 2009.

3. Wetter, DA et al. Results of patch testing to personal care product allergens in a standard series and a supplemental cosmetic series: An analysis of 945 patients from the Mayo Clinic Contact Dermatitis Group, 2000-2007. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Nov;63(5):789-98.

4. Verallo-Rowell VM. The validated hypoallergenic cosmetics rating system: its 30-year evolution and effect on the prevalence of cosmetic reactions. Dermatitis 2011 Apr; 22(2):80-97.

5. Ruby Pawankar et al. World Health Organization. White Book on Allergy 2011-2012 Executive Summary.

6. Misery L et al. Sensitive skin in the American population: prevalence, clinical data, and role of the dermatologist. Int J Dermatol. 2011 Aug;50(8):961-7.

7. Warshaw EM1, Maibach HI, Taylor JS, Sasseville D, DeKoven JG, Zirwas MJ, Fransway AF, Mathias CG, Zug KA, DeLeo VA, Fowler JF Jr, Marks JG, Pratt MD, Storrs FJ, Belsito DV. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012.Dermatitis. 2015 Jan-Feb;26(1):49-59.

8. Warshaw, E et al. Allergic patch test reactions associated with cosmetics: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2001-2004. J AmAcadDermatol 2009;60:23-38. 

9. Foliaki S et al. Antibiotic use in infancy and symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children 6 and 7 years old: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase III. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):982-9.

10. Kei EF et al. Role of the gut microbiota in defining human health. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2010 Apr; 8(4): 435–454.

11. Thavagnanam S et al. A meta-analysis of the association between Caesarean section and childhood asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38(4):629–633.

12. Marks JG, Belsito DV, DeLeo VA, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 1998 to 2000. Am J Contact Dermat. 2003;14(2):59-62.

13. Warshaw EM, Belsito DV, Taylor JS, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch test results: 2009 to 2010. Dermatitis. 2013;24(2):50-99.

Want more great information on contact dermatitis? Check out the American Contact Dermatitis SocietyDermnet New Zealand, and your country’s contact dermatitis association.


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!)

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Featured Skin

A Skincare Regimen Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

You spend time choosing your food and clothing, why not your skincare?

Like working out, it helps to know what your goals are, what you like/don’t like, and what may work best for you.

Basic skincare is fairly, well, basic: Cleanser, Toner (not if your skin is already dry), Moisturizer, Sunscreen.

But even a basic regimen improves significantly when you customize it to your skin type:

And that’s just when choosing a basic regimen!

If you have specific skin concerns, a more targeted skin care regimen may give you better results, faster, and for longer. In one of our most popular regimens for acne and acne scars, for example, we combine both acne treatments (salicylic acid and monolaurin) with pigmentation-lightening therapy and a daily, indoor-outdoor sunscreen made specifically for treated skin and opaque enough to help lighten dark spots.

Don’t be afraid to ask us for a skincare regimen targeted to your specific needs and skin goals — and even customized to your patch test results! Give us a call at (212) 217 2762, or click here to submit an inquiry, or drop us a Private Message on Facebook!

For more on how to customize your regimen and some of our most popular combined regimens, check out Combining Actives: Customize Your Skincare Regimen Like A Pro

Not sure how to apply skincare products? Check out Which Comes First, The Toner Or The Lotion? How To Apply Skincare In The Right Order

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Featured Skin

Fall “Skin” Love In 4 Steps

As the leaves turn and fall, do your own shedding and renewal:

Our post-summer skinfest begins with a royal residue-ridding to wash away summer’s big sweat soirée and flush out the greasy flotsam that strikes fear in every pore. In other words: here’s how to transition your skincare from summer to fall.

Treat yourself to some serious skin love and it won’t be just the autumn leaves looking so fine this fall!

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Healthy Living Skin

Less Is More In Skincare, Too!

SIMPLIFY.

“Less is more” is a healthy philosophy for pretty much everything in life.

In food, less processed means more nutrients and less junk. Studies show that mindfulness — clearing the mind of clutter and focusing on the now — has significant health benefits for the brain and aging. In skincare, simple formulations with as few ingredients as possible minimize the risk of cross reactions — it’s a golden rule of hypoallergenicity. Plus, sticking to fewer products from fewer brands means there’s less guesswork involved when identifying what could be causing a reaction or acne.

“Less is more” helps doctors more easily identify what could be the cause of a problem. Frequently, the first step of allergy or contact dermatitis management (often, along with a patch test) is an “elimination diet” (our popular, ultra-reliable 7-Day Skin Fast). In the Skin Fast, you’re asked to stop using all products — except a very, very controlled few — for 7 days. This helps skin return to its most non-irritated state, so that when new products are slowly introduced (one every three days or so), problem products can be more accurately isolated.

The same applies to acne: acne can have several causes and certain types of acne can take days to develop…making it almost impossible to accurately identify which product is causing the acne when using many different ones.

Having fewer ingredients in a formulation is a best practice in hypoallergenicity…so much so that one of the quickest ways to spot a high-risk product is to look at how many ingredients it has: the longer the list, the higher the likelihood of reactions.

In addition, using multiple products can lead to over-treatment and drying of the skin…getting it to a borderline-irritated state so that anything new applied (whether or not you are actually allergic to it) could trigger a reaction.

This is why doctors tend to recommend sticking to few products and, ideally, from the same brand. It is impossible to ensure how products are made from one brand to another, ingredients can have different raw materials (some pure, some with additives such as trace amounts of preservatives or allergens), and many formulations are outsourced to third-party manufacturing facilities where vats can be used for mixing many different formulations, including those with allergens. Check out Why Sticking to One Brand Is Safer (an interview with EczemaBlues.com) for more on why using products from different brands can make the management of complex skin conditions difficult.

For more on hypoallergenicity and how less is more, check out:

HYPOALLERGENIC: What is it Really?

Why Sticking to One Brand Is Safer

For more on reactions:

Reactions: About, Allergic, Irritant, Sudden, Prevention, Using VMV & Other Products, etc.

Mythfoliation: If I Get a Reaction, The Last Product I Applied Is The Problem

Categories
Skin

Your Skin Needs You To Stop Stressing

Make stress management a priority.

Like, now.

Set an alarm to meditate for 10-20 minutes a day. And schedule a facial to zone out for an hour. And keep a gratitude journal. And do yoga. And turn your phone off on the weekend. That’s “and,” not “or,” by the way. Your skin, body, and mind will reward you for it.

An increasing number of studies is showing that stress has profound, widespread, and lasting effects on many aspects of our health, from depression, to obesity, how our brain becomes “trained” to function, and even cancer. Stress is so linked to skin that in many practices, stress management and therapy are standard in the management of psoriasis. Stress is inflammatory and tends to trigger acne, premature aging, psoriasis flare-ups, and eczema.

For more on how stress can affect your skin, check out these articles:

Tip: a remarkably efficient way to hit anti-stress and skin goals in one hour? Book a facial!

Categories
Skin

Like A Dental Cleaning For Your Face…The Facial

Safe Pore Purging

Like a deeper dental cleaning…but far, far more pleasant.

If your daily skincare regimen is like brushing your teeth (ok, with those awesome actives, it’s more than just basic hygiene)…a facial is like the deeper cleaning you get at the dentist’s.

A clinically-sound facial gives your skin the deeper cleaning that it needs, purging pores of cloggers that even scrubbing cleansers can’t get to. Besides helping to clear acne, this helps your active treatments penetrate deeper into the skin for better efficacy.

Why clinically-sound? Our facials were based on dermatology acne surgery to ensure the proper tools (no finger popping, for example), plus a procedure that safeguards sterility, hypoallergenicity and anti-inflammatory repair to prevent redness or swelling. We then added our signature spa touches so that this once-painful, purely-utilitarian clinical procedure is now so relaxing, most of our clients find themselves napping in the middle!

Which brings us to another bonus: our facials are so good at helping you zone out, they double as mega stress-relieving sessions of pure, unadulterated, bliss, relaxation, and mindfulness. And we all know the tremendous good that does your skin, brain, and overall health!

Nothing replaces the benefits of your daily, at-home regimen. But to bump it up a notch (and get a power relaxation hour), schedule a facial once a month.

Categories
Skin

Your Hair Care Can Help (Or Hurt!) Your Skin

Let your hair care help, not hurt, you.

Believe it or not, your hair care matters to your skin.

Comedogens in shampoos, conditioners and styling products can trickle down onto skin, clogging pores and causing acne. Allergens can cause acne, too: while they don’t clog pores the way comedogens, do, they can irritate pores, causing an infected pore, aka acne. If your problem is sensitivity, flaking or rashes, allergen-free hair care can prevent flare-ups…sometimes dramatically!

For more on how hair care can affect your skin, check out these articles:

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Beauty Skin Skinthusiasm

I “Dew”: Julie’s (Hypoallergenic!) Bridal Beauty Success Story

“Most bridal magazines say that wedding planning should include a skin regimen. My very first facial was at the VMV boutique in New York City. Holly, my VMV esthetician, was just amazing! I knew my skin was in great hands. After my 6-month wedding bliss facial package, I couldn’t be any happier! From experience, VMV regimens and make-up are so gentle. I simply love VMV!” – Julie

Julie’s Skin Story:

From rashes to radiance…

Julie had rather severe eczema and a bad allergic reaction to her cleanser when she started coming in for VMV facials. Holly customized a regimen and a 6-month facial package for her. Julie’s skin cleared beautifully and is glowing in her wedding photos & video —  all VMV makeup, natch! — which she emailed to Holly.

Holly’s reaction? “I just wanted to say how thankful I am to have been able to help Julie achieve her beautiful wedding skin!”

Your happy is our happy!

Problem skin may need a little longer time to get ready for the big day, or may need more targeted care. Luckily enough, this is precisely what we “dew”. Give us a call at (212) 217 2762 and we can customize a daily regimen-and-facial program for you. We can even recommend products based on allergens from your patch test results!

Why risk a major rash or acne breakout on the honeymoon? Our allergen-free, non-comedogenic makeup provides powerful performance for stage, TV, and all-day weddings, and is a great way to keep your wedding glow longer.

Congratulations, Julie! 🙂

 


Holly has been licensed in esthetics and manicuring for 14 years. Before joining VMV HYPOALLERGENICS®, Holly held positions in several prestige spas. Known for her professional expertise, affable personality, and ability to anticipate guests’ needs, celebrities in the know ask for Holly by name. With her gentle touch, joyful demeanor and replete knowledge of her trade, Holly defines professional skin care. Holly’s deft abilities have been written about in articles and reviews throughout NY media and beyond.

As our Senior Esthetician-Accounts Manager, Holly leads VMV’s International Development of Spa Protocols + Treatments.

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Press

VMV Hypoallergenic Services in PRIV – Happi Magazine

BREAKING NEWS: VMV Hypoallergenics services now available through PRIV

Because top spas need to cater to sensitive skins, too, and because “clients want two things: results and safety,” we’re now Saving The Worlds Skin on the glow! ⛑?? Treat yourself to our clinically-sound, hypoallergnic, “dewlicious” facials any time, anywhere with PRIV・・・ “VMV Hypoallergenics, a leading name in hypoallergenic skin care, has teamed up with mobile concierge beauty service platform, PRIV, to make achieving a radiant complexion, for even the most sensitive skin types, easier than ever” Thank you, Happi Magazine!

 

Categories
Featured Skin

VMV Hypoallergenics: The Superman of Skincare

 EmmaWerner

By Emma Werner

The Fashion HotBox in New York City | Jul 11, 2016

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I recently had an amazing spa experience with VMV Hypoallergenics, a skincare company that prides themselves on being the “safest, most proven effective care on the planet,” and it certainly holds up to that mantra. They specialize in sensitive skin and have even developed the first and ONLY hypoallergenic “grading” system–they are the only brand to actually validate and rate its hypoallergenicity. In fact, VMV’s claims of safety and efficacy are backed by over 75 published clinical studies (they NEVER test on animals!), and their products are free of most or all of the 76 top allergens that are present as ingredients in cosmetics. VMV tracks everything that goes into or near a product, and the product itself is patch tested for skin safety. Check out the rest of this post to learn about my personal experience with VMV’s spa (spoiler alert: heavenly) and the products I use.

My Spa Experience

VMV Hypoallergenics - Best Facial in NYC

The location itself is absolutely ethereal. The aesthetic is light, charming and intimate. The sales associates are attentive, welcoming and knowledgable–their willingness to share their knowledge and assess your unique needs is truly unparalleled. VMV (and their associates) are so amazing at not only helping to identify skin conditions and/or skin type, but also finding the perfect product(s) that work for YOU. After my facial, I left with several products that I wouldn’t have thought of trying before my esthetician explained my skin type and what I needed for it (hint: I would never have looked for these products myself because I honestly was clueless about my skin and its needs!).

After arriving at the store, I filled out some quick paperwork (including noting any skin conditions I had), and was quickly whisked into the back room by a lovely esthetician. I was told to remove my top, cover myself with a terrycloth towel, and relax on the table. From the first moment the aesthetician shut the door behind her to begin the facial, I felt like a QUEEN. I was constantly pampered for the entire experience–and I would really choose to call it an EXPERIENCE, because it wasn’t just a facial…it was truly a luxurious hour of complete and total pampering on all ends of the spectrum. I was so relaxed that my body wanted to fall asleep, but my mind wanted to stay awake to continue enjoy the amazing feelings of complete and utter QUEEN-NESS (I know that’s not a word, but it’s the only adjective I can think of to describe how amazing this spa experience was)! I have been to many different spas in my life, and never have I had such an amazing time– VMV truly is on another LEVEL when it comes to pampering.

SO, on to the actual facial I received, which is called the Classic Superskin Facial. This facial is actually designed to be kind a maintenance upkeep “cleaning” for your skin–it is recommended that you get these every few months to give your skin the crucial cleaning and deeper upkeep that it needs to keep it glowing and healthy! My esthetician gave me an initial consultation to see if there were any impurities or irritations she needed to address, and to assess my skin type in order to pick the best products to use on on it during my facial.

I think what makes this facial (and VMV Hypoallergenics itself) so amazing, is that there is a very safe and clinical approach to everything they do. The facial is expertly created and regularly reviewed by the VMV Skin Research Center + Clinic, ensuring clinical safety and effectiveness! The facial has in-depth analysis, consultation and customization components, including a relaxing face, neck and hand massage, pore-opening steaming, light comedone extractions, and one of their special, invigorating, anti-inflammatory masks — freshly mixed on site just for you!

My Recommended Products

VMV - Best Anti-Aging Crea

My esthetician ultimately left me with a “skinvestment” plan customized to my skin’s needs after our session–she let me know what products she used on my skin and why, what my skin’s unique needs are, asked me what my own concerns were, and then recommended several products for me to use at home. She recommended the Hydra Balance Gentle Cream Cleanser, Know-It-Oil, ID Gel, and the Red Better Spot Corrector.

The Hydra Balance Gently Cream Cleanser ($22) is perfect for me because I have combination oily/dry skin–it whisks away excess oil, helping to control acne, while simultaneously moisturizing drier areas. I tend to be oily in my T-zone and get acne around those areas, but then drier on other parts of my face and neck, so this has been a really great product for me!

The Know-It-Oil ($17) is clinically-validated, 100% USDA-certified organic virgin coconut oil. It’s an amazing moisturizer because it includes fatty acids that are native to the skin, and it helps repair damage from environmental factors, reducing inflammation and irritation (which I needed, especially in my cheeks). Good news, girls (and boys)–this can be used on ALL skin types!

The ID Gel ($30) is a unique , skin-safe, coconut-derived antibacterial that can provide treatment for all forms of acne on the face, chest, back, arms, thighs, etc.. It also disinfects skin and works as a mattifier to control shine an keep skin feeling cool and fresh! It basically acts as a sanitizer without drying out the skin (the worst).

VMV - Best Anti-Aging Crea

*FAVORITES/MUST-HAVES*

The Red Better Spot Corrector ($25) is one of my FAVORITES. The gel itself is uniquely non-irritating, not drying (even soothing and hydrating!) for ultra-sensisitve skin. This thing zaps away zits and any redness on the face like magic–literal MAGIC. Once you try this you will never go back to using any other brand’s spot corrector; it’s just that good.

The gel’s ingredients include coconut-derived monolaurin, which targets microbes and is an effective anti-inflammatory. Antiflammatory antioxidants and silicones also help prevent scarring. I tend to get redness easily, and when I get acne, it’s RED. I like to put this on at night and when I wake up in the morning, the redness is next to gone. If you choose to buy anything from this post, I would recommend this as a life-long MUST-HAVE.

The Re-Everything Cream ($95) is something I actually asked my esthetician about because I was looking for a new anti-aging ‘potion’. I have kind of bounced, trying out different retinol night creams, and the one I was currently using was actually irritating my skin quite a lot (it turned out the redness in my cheeks was from using it), and so my esthetician recommend the Re-Everything Cream (pricey, I know, but TOTALLY worth it). This stuff is, again, MAGIC. It’s so gentle on my skin and I definitely noticed my skin looking more healthy, glowing and line-free just days after starting to use it. Also, only a little bit is needed so this bottle will last me at least 6 months.

How it works: This is a clinically-proven cellular renewal and regeneration anti-aging therapy forces new and younger cells to the surface. Kinetin growth factor promotes cell rejuvenation, causing skin cells to act younger and is proven to stimulate fibroblasts to produce more elastin + collagen. Ultimately, it minimizes the appearance / severity of fine lines, wrinklesand other signs of (photo) aging, helping to rejuvenate, retexturize and refirm skin.

***

So, there yah go: VMV is essentially an all-in-one-stop-shop to heavenly spa-ville AND school of skincare, with knowledgable employees that guide you along the often confusing and complicated path of aging and troubled skin to a fresher, healthier relationship with your face and body! Worried that this is all too complicated and unsure about how to use the products once you get them? Not to fear! Each product comes with detailed instructions, and the labels themselves even include a super detailed description of ingredients and uses for the product. How thoughtful, am I right? VMV is kinda like my superman of skincare. I can’t wait to book my next appointment with them…

If you’re interested in booking your own super amazing spa experience with VMV, you can call them at (212) 217-2762, book online, or visit them at their NYC boutique location (227 Mott Street NY, NY)!

[Spa services and products c/o of VMV Hypoallergenics, but honest review of such is provided in this article (I promise!)]

 

P.S. Use code “VMVFHB20” for 20% off all VMV products and services!


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This article originally appeared on Fashion HotBox, Emma Werner’s blog on fashion and lifestyle.

Reposted with permission.