Healthy Living Skin

Acne or Skin Problems Around Your Mouth? It Could Be Peri-Oral Dermatitis

I don’t get acne often but when I do, they tend to be either on my chin or above my upper lip. Sometimes, there’s quite a bit of them. Sometimes, they’re cystic — large, red, inflamed and/or infected. My dermatologist told me about peri-oral dermatitis.

What Is Peri-Oral Dermatitis?

Acne, rashes, sensitivity, hyperpigmenation around the mouth, chin and even jawline. It can also be stubborn or recurring problems on the lips themselves like chronic dryness or sores. It is commonly caused by chemicals known as halogens which can be found in certain foods, medications, oral care products, as well as other things in your environment. If the condition manifests as acne, it can also be called halogen acne, and it can become cystic acne. The photo below is of a patient with the condition (thankfully, mine never got this bad, but at its worst, wasn’t far off).

What Are Halogens?

Halogen acne can be caused by these halogens, arranged from was is usually considered to be the most to the least reactive:

  1. Fluorides: in some toothpastes and oral care products;
  2. Chlorides: in swimming pool water and some mouth washes;
  3. Bromides: found in some cough syrups, asthma medication, sleeping pills;
  4. Iodides: in salt, seafood, B12 vitamins, processed and junk foods like snacks, sodas, chips, etc., algae in some facial masks; and
  5. Astatine

IMPORTANT: If you need some of these vitamins or medications, do not stop them! Take to your doctors about possible alternatives or just reduce your exposure to halogens wherever else you can.


What I Did To Get Clear:

I loved brushing with a flouride toothpaste because I thought my mouth felt cleaner with the minty after-feel. After learning that fluorides are halogens and could have been causing the acne around my mouth, I ditched it like a bad boyfriend.

I also checked what I was eating, and it turns out I was hitting all the major “ides”: I was getting lots of iodides in salt and seafood. I was taking multi-vitamins with B12 in them. I was pretty bad about processed and junk foods (snacks, sodas, chips, etc.)…all of which tend to be loaded with halogens.

I switched to VMV’s Hypoallergenic Toothpaste which is made specifically for peri-oral dermatitis and has zero fluorides and chloride, or other irritants like dyes, flavors, and other allergens. I also cut down on all the other halogens I had in my life by following my dermatologist’s “Halogen-Free Diet“. And that’s pretty much it. I thought I’d have to take some serious medication or spend loads on some highly specific cream…and all I had to do was switch my toothpaste and be careful about some of the food I take.

– Marie in Marketing


Red Better Calm-The-Heck-Down Balm – Female Network

“Dodge those flare-ups like a boss” is our favorite thing. ?Thank you, Female Network, for including Red Better Calm-The-Heck-Down Balm in “10 Gentle Moisturizers Your Sensitive Skin Won’t Hate”! ?


Skin “Detox” Complete Skin Fast Kit – Dr. Jackie Dosal

Thank you, Dr. Jacquelyn Dosal for including us in your “Favorite Things For 2017”!

“Ever experience a skin freak-out?…it’s best to strip down to only the basics…Rather than pitching all your products, check out this handy kit…that contains all your skin care products free of the 76 most common allergens, specially formulated for allergic people. VMV Hypoallergenics is a leader in skin care for sensitive skin. I refer all of my allergic patients to their website. These products are also great for air travel, as they are small (TSA bonus points) and better than the fragrance-laiden soaps you’ll find in the hotel.” ⛑?


Red Better Deeply Soothing Cleansing Cream – Vogue Magazine

Our review of 2016’s top #skinthusiasm ends with a calming, soothing “miracle” cleanser that washes away all the bad and brings in all the good! Red Better Deeply Soothing Cleansing Cream in Vogue Magazine‘s “Is Your Skin Sensitive or Just Acting Like It? 11 Miracle Treatments for a Happy Face” ?? “VMV’s entire hypoallergenic line is committed to soothing the face—think coconut oil cream cleansers and moisturizers, free from fragrances and dyes, parabens and preservatives”…we’re committed to #SavingTheWorldsSkin! ⛑? Thank you for your skinthusiasm!!!

Healthy Living Skin

Afraid Of Your Skin’s Tantrums? Try These 3 Tips To Keep “Problem Skin” Happy & Healthy

Do you live in fear that any little thing — a “gentle” new moisturizer, a hotel pillow, your hair — could set off your skin? Some discipline and lots of love keep “problem skin” happy and healthy. Practiced diligently, and combined with with good nutrition and exercise (the building blocks of health), these three to-do’s can even enable problem skin to “glow” out of its “terrible tantrum” stage entirely.

1) Get Your Problem Skin’s Support System In Place

Like many multifactorial health concerns, successfully managing problem skin (very sensitive, allergic, or reactive skin, atopic skin, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, cystic acne, rosacea, skin cancer, etc.) requires juggling several things, and the right support system of specialists is important.

Your team of caregivers should consist of the following:

1. Dermatologist who is a specialist in your condition.

Many physicians provide excellent care but might specialize in aesthetic services or dermatologic surgery. Seeing a specialist in your problem skin’s exact condition increases your chances of success.

Not every dermatologist is an expert in contact dermatitis. We’ve had fragrance-allergic clients who were given products labeled “fragrance-free” by their doctors even though the products contained ingredients closely related to fragrance. Contact dermatitis specialists are more updated on allergens, cross reactions, ingredient names, and relationships between different chemicals and ingredients. Allergic skin specialists tend to take very detailed histories to factor in what you might be exposed to in foods, at work, in your hobbies, etc. and help you identify triggers you might otherwise miss. Prevention is one of the most powerful, effective, and safest tools at your disposal, and it’s within your control. For it to work for your problem skin, make sure that you know exactly what to avoid.

A specialist will also be able to order the right diagnostic tests such as a biopsy or patch test. The latter is helpful for several problem skin conditions as it helps you identify which particular substances you need to look out for in everything from cosmetics to clothing, electronic equipment, and more. To find a doctor near you who offers patch tests, visit or ask your country’s dermatological society.

2. Allergist, if you also have food allergies.

Food allergies and skin allergies are not the same (different cells are involved). But if you also have food, bronchial or other allergies (determined by a prick test, not a patch test), you need an allergist on your team.

3. Make sure your doctors “play well together.”

If you have other health concerns, it is a good idea to put your specialists in touch with each other so that they work as a team, seeing your skin as part of a whole. For example, your allergist may have prescribed you an inhaler that has steroids or is another drug that is known to cause allergic or photo-allergic reactions. This is key information for your dermatologist. If you are taking neurological drugs and cystic acne is a concern, your dermatologist may want to ask your physician for possible alternatives.

4. Nutritionist, Trainer, Health App.

This may seem like an odd addition but proper diet and exercise are so important at reducing inflammation (a big factor in many skin problems) that it needs to be a priority. A nutritionist or gym trainer can help you with food choices in addition to exercise and motivation, but there are loads of free health apps that you can use on your phone to explore healthy recipes, to use as a food diary, and even for guided workouts at home.


2) Avoid “Instant Gratification” (Steroids)

Steroids are serious drugs that, while necessary for emergency cases and quick relief, are not meant for long-term use. Sustained steroid application can result in thinning of the skin (which increases sensitivity and other problems), decreasing efficacy of the steroid (so you apply more of it, more frequently, which compounds the problem), severe rebounds when you’re finally taken off of them (which may require hospitalization), and, in some years-long cases, Cushing’s disease or even death. Yes, we’re talking “just” from topical steroid creams.

No matter how severe your skin condition seems, there’s a good chance it can be managed by an accurate diagnosis (this isn’t as easy as it sounds — dermatology has a staggering number of conditions), accurate identification of allergens, and consistent, conscientious allergen avoidance (which also can be difficult because allergens can be listed under names you’re not familiar with).

Try to avoid the “instant gratification” of a steroid by using alternatives like virgin coconut oil, monolaurin, or a steroid-free anti-inflammatory for milder reactions. and tell your team of specialists that one of your goals is to manage your problem skin without the (regular) need for steroids.

3) Be Disciplined About Avoiding Triggers.

Don’t be guided by claims of “natural” or “for sensitive skin”: be guided by your patch test results and be disciplined in your product selection. While it might be tempting to try new things with fabulous-sounding promises of safety, carefully study ingredients (and jewelry, clothing, electronics cases, etc.) for your particular allergens. It might be a challenge at first but this strictness is the most important foundation you can give your skin so it can “glow up” into self-maintaining health and calm.

Establish a strict sleep schedule: studies show that 7-8 hours of sleep is ideal. This not only goes a long way towards preventing inflammation (a major trigger of skin problems), but can mean profound changes in other aspects of your life, too, from increased efficiency to more peace and happiness.

Speaking of happiness, be disciplined about stress management: now, not some day. Like sleep deprivation, stress is closely linked to inflammation. And it’s not just mental or emotional stress: anything that stresses your skin or body (like allergens and junk food) count, too. Set “quiet time” each day to recenter. Keep a gratitude journal. Even a facial can have surprising de-stressing benefits! And see a professional (add her or him to your support system team) if you feel you need additional help.

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.


Red Better Daily Therapy Moisturizer – Brides

“Walk down the aisle with a crystal clear complexion”…Thank you, Brides , for including Red Better Daily Therapy Moisturizer in “7 Redness-Reducing Skincare Products for Winter Brides”! ?? “Say goodbye to inflammation, redness and flaking…with a coconut oil-based blend…Regular use also helps to eliminate rosacea-triggering microbes.” #SavingTheWorldsSkin for brides! ?⛑?


Moisture Rich Creammmy Cleansing Milk – Real Simple

Our all-time popular Creammmy-Rich Intensive Moisture Milk is in “The Best Face Moisturizers With SPF” A Top Pick for Sensitive Skin! Thank you Real Simple !  ??


Moisture Rich Mild-Mannered Cleansing Scrub – Marie Claire Magazine

Thank you, Marie Claire Magazine for including Moisture Rich Mild-Mannered Cleansing Scrub in “The 14 Best Products for Sensitive Skin”! ???


Know-It-Oil –

More reasons to be coco for coconuts: Beauty Rehab! Check out our organic, first-cold-pressed virgin coconut oil in‘s “10 Signs You Desperately Need Beauty Rehab“!

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Re-Everything Eye Serum – Allure

Thank you, Allure, for including our Re-Everything Eye Serum in “The 15 Best Eye Creams“! Give the thin and delicate skin around your eyes a treat!

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