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!

Featured Skin

A Fresh Start With Spring In Japan!

Sakura, or the cherry blossom, is Japan’s national flower. Celebrated by Japanese people of all ages, sakura are found in everything from textile patterns to a curious dessert flavor. Sakura blooms in March or April, and is even part of the daily weather forecast as the reporter announces where the “Cherry Blossom Front” has started. The Japanese business and school year starts in the spring, so Sakura also represents “graduation, “commencement,” “blessing,” and “joyous.” 


This joyous abundance signals that it’s time for a fresh start, a spring cleaning of the things that do not, as Marie Kondo would call it, “spark joy.” Take your skin care routine. Your skin, like the rest of our bodies, evolves over time. Take the cue from the blossoms — perhaps it’s time to transition back to the essentials. Re-evaluate what your skin needs (maybe even ask your doctor for a patch test if you’ve had a nagging skin issue for years), what your skin goals are, and redesign your targeted skincare regimen. 

Start with a Skin “Detox” to help your skin get back to its most non-irritated state. Then, choose from among our most popular regimens, or ask us to help customize a regimen for you! Give us a call at (212) 217 2762 or drop us a private message on Facebook, Ask VMV, or if you’re in Japan, shop at


How Does Hypoallergenic Help Dry Scalp & Dry Hair?

“What do I do for dry hair or dry scalp?”

First, we need to understand that the two conditions are different.

Dry Scalp

Dry scalp — itching, flaking, or both — is frequently an irritation. It could be a chronic contact dermatitis or a reaction to allergens in hair products. Some common culprits include allergen surfactants like “amido-amines” (cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide-dea), or other common allergens like dyes, fragrances, or preservatives.

Dry scalp can also be caused by the fungus pityrosporum going on overdrive. It might sound a little gross but a) we need to get more comfortable with the microorganisms that keep us healthy instead of bombing them all to oblivion — check out this awesome New Yorker article on the Human Microbiome Project; b) we all have pityrosporum within our hair follicles (it’s meant to be there); and c) our skins and hair have a nature-perfected balance between diverse microorganisms. Sometimes, such as after using too many “antiseptic” or antibacterial hair products or taking oral antibiotics, this balance gets thrown off. In the scalp, pityrosporum and other healthy microbes usually keep each other in check. With the overuse of “antimicrobial” hair products or after antibiotics (why scientists are moving way from the “napalm” approach to microbes), too much of the bacteria that normally would control pityrosporum get killed off and pityrosporum has too much of a free reign. Then it goes on a bender.

Before you start freaking out about an uncontrolled multitude of mutinous microbes, relax. It’s usually surprisingly easy to improve dry scalp.

  • Choose allergen-free shampoos, conditioners and hair styling products. Essence Clark Wash “Big Softie” Hair & Body Wash and Essence Skin-Saving Conditioner are good options.
  • Ease the dryness by gently massaging an oil or lotion with non-irritating anti-fungals such as monolaurin into the scalp. Try Grandma Minnie’s Oil’s Well. It contains pure virgin coconut oil, which is excellent for hair (it’s an ingredient in so many intensive hair conditioners for good reason) as well as monolaurin, an effective, coconut-derived, non-allergenic, antifungal.
  • Try to steer clear of hair styling products for a while to prevent exposure to allergens as much as possible.

If your dry scalp remains even after switching to hypoallergenic options, you could have seborrheic dermatitis and/or psoriasis. These two conditions are usually very manageable but do need a proper diagnosis and some additional care. While the allergen avoidance described above would still be recommended, you may need some lifestyle changes (stress management, improved diet and exercise), and some specific medicines.

If you don’t see an improvement in your dry scalp with the steps above, consult a dermatologist — ideally one who specializes in contact dermatoses as well as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis — and ask your doctor about getting a patch test. Often, simply knowing exactly what you need to avoid can result in dramatic changes.

Dry Hair

This is physical damage of the hair strand itself and is normally due to an injury to the hair shaft. Such injuries can happen in several ways. Harsh ingredients found in some anti-dandruff shampoos can cause injury to the hair shaft, as can frequent color stripping and/or dyeing; regular hair curling, heating or straightening treatments; frequent blow-drying or other heat styling; styling, particularly with strong-hold products; and pulling of the hair strands (using hair elastics and headbands).

What to do?

  • First, be nice. At this point, it may not enough to use a very gentle shampoo (although that helps, too — see Essence Clark Wash “Big Softie” Hair & Body Wash above). The hair needs real babying to reduce the stress on stretched hair shafts or broken cuticles.
  • Before washing your hair, try giving it a protective barrier. Coat the hair shafts by gently massaging The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm through your hair. Use a wide-toothed comb to improve distribution. This can help keep harsh ingredients or detergents from getting into breaks in the hair shaft.
  • Avoid ingredients that can potentially break down hair such as dyes, fragrance, and  preservatives.
  • Use a very rich but non-irritating conditioner, and virgin coconut oil for repair.

To find a dermatologist in your area, visit or your country’s official dermatological society.

To find a physician in your area who does patch tests, visit

For a customized regimen or consultation, call us at (212) 226 7309.

“Dew” More:

To shop our selection of validated hypoallergenic products, visit Need help? Leave a comment below, contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

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.

Learn 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.

Featured Skin

Hypoallergenic Is Our Family’s Normal

By Anna

“I have been using VMV since I was 12. I have atopic dermatitis and my allergies aren’t just my problem: my children inherited my atopic dermatitis and skin asthma.

Everyone in the family uses VMV. Even our pets! They’re not allergic but we are — bathing them in Superwash Hair & Body Shampoo (which we all use) and coating them in Know-It-Oil (we share with them also 🙂 means cuddling doesn’t lead to a rash.

From sunscreen to shampoo, conditioner, and more, we just live hypoallergenically. Because of it, we aren’t hindered from enjoying life fully. We’re outdoorsy and love to travel…we just make sure we take everything we need with us. My kids grew up in it; it’s our normal. Even my 7-year-old knows to pack his Boo-Boo Balm for flare-ups!


Anna Anastacio is Chief Officer for Business Development at VMV Hypoallergenics. Follow her on Instagram to learn more about cosmetic industry updates and being a hypoallergenic mom in an allergic family!


Essence Superwash Hair + Body Milk Shampoo WINS Best 2-in-1 Shampoo – Harper’s Bazaar Singapore 2015 Hair Awards

Hair Praising! 🙂 Essence Skin-Saving Superwash Hair + Body Milk Shampoo WINS Best 2-in-1 Shampoo @harpersbazaarsg’s 2015 Hair Awards!

Thank you, Harper’s BAZAAR, Singapore!