I have very allergy-prone or easily-irritated skin. "Hypoallergenic" means less likely to cause allergies. In some countries, the term is not strictly regulated, but there are some best practices that are proven to be effective, all of which are practiced by VMV. Visit these links to learn more about what "hypoallergenic" means to us!
The best way to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction - to make a product hypoallergenic - is to omit allergens (ingredients that are proven to cause reactions).
In 1988, VMV's founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist (a specialist in contact dermatitis and skin diseases) created the VH-Number Rating System as a standardized, objective measure of allergen omission.
The VH-Number Rating System shows how many allergens have been omitted from a product using independent, objective references: The North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). These highly specialized groups examine the results of thousands of patch tests to determine which ingredients/allergens are causing the most reactions. If an ingredient makes it to one of these lists, we don't use it. It's that simple.
Memorizing the list of allergens is impractical so the VH-Rating is arguably the simplest, most immediate, visible and reliable measure of hypoallergenicity.
If you have had a patch test, the VH-Rating System tells you if there are allergens present, and if so, which ones. For example, if you are interested in a product and see that its rating is VH -75/76*, you know it contains one common allergen. Find the asterisk on the ingredients list and you'll find which ingredient is the allergen. If your patch test shows that you're sensitive to that ingredient, do not use the product. If your patch test does not show the highlighted ingredient, then you should still be able to use the product.
If you haven't yet had a patch test but have a history of skin sensitivity, choose products with the highest VH-Rating.
Simple formulations with as few ingredients as possible minimize the risk of cross reactions.
The quickest way to spot a high-risk product is to look at the ingredients list. The longer the ingredients list, the higher the likelihood that you may react to it.
It is a requirement at VMV that our formulations achieve their preventive and therapeutic goals with as few ingredients as possible. We're highly selective about our ingredients - each one has to achieve maximum results and no irritation.
Fragrance is consistently at the top of allergen lists, and usually in the top 5.
Even if you don't see "perfume" in an ingredient list, the product could still have fragrances or masking fragrances (scents that don't smell "perfume-y" but cover up the odors of other ingredients). They could be written in their chemical names like benzyl alcohol, balsam of peru, geraniol or cinnamic alcohol. In lieu of shopping with a chemist in tow, take a whiff. If the product smells nice it's probably got a perfume. If it smells bland it's probably got a masking fragrance. If it smells like a lab, like chemicals, it's probably fragrance-free.
Lots of preservatives are allergens. Quaternium-15, parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, etc.) are top allergens. Try to steer clear of them altogether. CAUTION: many products achieve "preservative-free" status by piling on fragrances that have preservative properties.
Dyes are easy to spot: first, it's close to impossible to get a very bright color from mineral pigments, second, dyes are written as a color followed by a number and usually the word "lake", e.g. Yellow 6 Lake, Red 22 Lake or Blue 1 Lake. At VMV, some of our lip color, eyeshadows and blushes contain dyes - if you are allergic to dyes, choose from our wide selection of dye-free shades. All our foundations and powders are 100% dye-free.
Other well-known red flags are propylene glycol, rubber (common in cosmetic sponges), propolis (from bees wax) and tea tree oil
Even the most organic fragrances are allergenic. Several tree barks, fruits and their peels, bee products and other natural extracts are highly allergenic.
If you've got sensitive skin, hypoallergenic products trump natural ones all the time. A common misconception is that "natural" and "organic" ingredients are not allergenic. In many cases, it is the opposite that's true. Bee stings, mangoes, shellfish, pollen, dander, peanuts are examples of different things that, even in their most natural and organic forms, can cause allergic reactions (some very severe) in people who are sensitive to them. And many natural ingredients are on the allergen list.
At VMV, we try to use natural, organic and sustainable ingredients whenever we can. But our first filter is always hypoallergenicity.
Orders up to $49.99 cost $5 for Standard Shipping and $15 for Courier Shipping.
Orders from $50 - $74.99 cost $6 for Standard Shipping and $20 for Courier Shipping.
Orders that are $75+ get FREE Standard Shipping and cost $25 for Courier Shipping.
Estimated Delivery is within 7-12 business days for Standard Shipping and 5-7 business days for Courier Shipping. This is the expected speed of delivery for most states. Other states may have longer delivery times.
All orders for US customers shipped from VMVHYPOALLERGENICS.COM will be subject to sales tax, applicable in accordance with the tax code of the state and city to which the order will be shipped.
Orders up to $49.99 cost $18 for Standard Shipping and $25 for Courier Shipping.
Orders from $50 - $99.99 cost $22 for Standard Shipping and $30 for Courier Shipping.
Orders from $100 - $149.99 cost $24 for Standard Shipping and $32 for Courier Shipping.
Orders that are $150+ get FREE Standard Shipping and cost $35 for Courier Shipping.
Please note that orders shipped outside the United States may be subject to import duties and taxes which are levied once your package reaches your country. VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® does not collect duties and taxes, and cannot predict what your particular charges may be. Any such duties and taxes are separate charges, and must be covered at your expense. If you do incur these additional charges, they must be rendered in order for your package to clear customs. For more information regarding your country's customs policies, please contact your local customs office.
All orders for US customers shipped from VMVHYPOALLERGENICS.COM will be subject to sales tax, shipping tax, applicable in accordance with the tax code of the state and city to which the order will be shipped.
Except for orders shipping within the United States, your order may be subject to import duties and taxes, which are levied once your package reaches your country. VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® does not collect duties and taxes, and cannot predict what your particular charges may be.
Any such duties and taxes are separate charges and must be covered at your expense. If you do incur these additional charges, they must be rendered in order for your package to clear customs. For more information regarding your country's customs policies, please contact your local customs office.
Allergens are ingredients commonly found in cosmetic products, clothing, and lots of other materials used in consumer products (on mobile phone casings, laptop sleeves, gym equipment handles, slippers, clothing, underwear, goggles, etc.) and in life in general (plants, pets, etc.) that are known to cause allergic or irritant reactions in skin.
Common allergens are those that tend to cause reactions the most. These are determined by studies that examine the patch test results of thousands of people in multiple clinics and testing centers in different countries.
A common misconception is that "natural" and "organic" ingredients are not allergenic. In many cases, it is the opposite that's true. Bee stings, mangoes, shellfish, pollen, dander, peanuts are examples of different things that, even in their most natural, organic forms, can cause allergic reactions (some very severe) in people who are sensitive to them. And many natural ingredients are on the allergen list.
If you have very allergy-prone or easily irritated skin, we have two suggestions:
Ask your dermatologist for a patch test.
Choose VMV products with the highest VH-Ratings.
A patch test is a painless procedure that shows which ingredients you in particular need to avoid. This significantly reduces the expense, frustration, and skin trauma of trial and error.
If you are in the USA, ask your dermatologist if s/he uses CAMP (the Contact Allergen Management Program of the American Contact Dermatitis Society). If your physician does use CAMP, s/he'll be able to give you a list of not just your allergens but of specific products that you can use.
We source our ingredients from trusted providers around the world; most come from the highest-quality purveyors in Europe and the USA.
We choose ingredients based solely on their hypoallergenicity, efficacy, quality, beneficial merit, and sustainability...not on their aesthetic properties or other "marketable" claims.
This punctiliousness is heightened by our policy of using the least amount of ingredients possible (which helps increase a product's hypoallergenicity). So our ingredients give maximum benefits without having to pile them on, a practice that increases the likelihood of irritations and cross-reactions.
Our "skingredients" are so fine (we patch test each and every one!) that we've proudly displayed them on our labels since we started in 1979...long before U.S. and other countries' legislation mandated that ingredients be disclosed on cosmetics products.
You'll see this phrase on all our products. It means that the product was tested using our patch test protocols at VMV HYPOALLERGENICS®; this means using standard patch test protocols practiced by your doctor and leading experts and then building on top of them.
We patch test each ingredient and raw material that goes into every product we make, the final formulation itself, and even the ancillary things that touch your skin: like puffs, sponges, and brushes.
We also use packaging that does not contain allergens such as rubber or certain metals as much as possible. If, for the sake of stability, we must use a packaging material with an allergen (such as a colorant), we make sure that it does not touch the product itself and that the product can be handled without much contact with the problematic surfaces. We also test packaging to confirm that its harmful components do not leak into the formulations inside them.
In Vitro and In Vivo:
In vitro means testing done in a laboratory. Many of our tests are in vitro, but we're proud to say that we also do an extensive amount of in vivo testing.
In vivo means testing done with human volunteers in actual-use conditions. Our Armada sun and light protection products, for example, are subjected to in vivo sunscreen studies to give you protection factors proven in actual-use conditions, not merely in laboratories with simulated skin. We do that, too, but we're proud to be one of the few companies to always do in vivo sunscreen studies (which we've been doing since the 1980s).
Our own clinical studies are further supported by other independent studies published in respected dermatological journals and publications.
For example, our Re-Everything anti-aging line features kinetin, a growth hormone that performed (with our unbuffered glycolic acid and other active ingredients) excellently in our own randomized, double-blind clinical study. But we still scoured published studies on kinetin in order to further support our decision to use it in our formulations. Finding a wealth of legitimate published research on kinetin, combined with our own evidence-based studies, we decided it was the right choice for Re-Everything.
No animal testing.
Our standards are so high that we have no shortage of volunteers (the human kind) who are eager to try new products. Plus, we do extensive laboratory (microbial, stability, etc.) testing to ensure both efficacy and safety. If you're interested in trying new formulations or procedures, contact the VMV Skin Research Centre + Clinics.
We do Evidence-based Studies:
"Evidence-based" is the most respected protocol for product testing, including randomized, double-blind clinical testing on statistically relevant pools of subjects over a specific time period.
Can I purchase products from you to sell in my clinic or store?
Our VMV Gift Cards feature uplifting designs that greet lucky recipients with characteristic VMVim & vigor and not a small dash of panache!
They're skincredibly easy and quick to shop for (100% shopping-crowd-free!). They work for women, men, teens, couples, parents, bosses, best pals, anyone on your list. They let your loved ones choose what they really want, and can be delivered within two hours, complete with your own personal message.
VMV HYPOALLERGENICS™ Gift Cards purchased on vmvhypoallergenics.com may only be redeemed online. We apologize but for the moment, electronic gift cards cannot be redeemed in any of our VMV Skin-Specialist Boutiques around the world.
To redeem your gift card, please follow the following steps:
Register or sign into your account on www.vmvhypoallergenics.com. This is necessary in order to activate and validate your Gift Card and ensure its authenticity.
Select the items you wish to purchase at www.vmvhypoallergenics.com by adding them to your shopping bag.
Your gift card credit will be attached to your account. If you do not have a VMV account, sign up with the email address that received that gift card and the credit will be there waiting for you. If you've signed up with the correct email address and the credit doesn't appear, please contact Customer Service and we'll assist you in any way possible.
REMEMBER TO ADD email@example.com to your Contacts List or Address Book. This prevents your VMV Gift Card from automatically being directed to your email program's Spam or Junk folder.
Get skinterconnected with VMV and enjoy hypoallergenicity news as it breaks; skinsider-only specials; skinstant tweets with news and expert tips from us as well as leading beauty editors. You also get alerts about new store openings and important dermatological skintelligence, and you'll be among the first to find out about gifts and other surprises.
The easiest way to sign up for our newsletters is to sign up for an account, and remember to keep the "Subscribe to receive occasional promotional emails" box checked.
If you didn't check this box on sign-up, log into your account and go to your account settings by hovering over your account name at the top right hand corner and selecting "Settings." Click "Edit" on the "Email Preferences" section at the bottom of the page, and check the box.
Your privacy is important to us. Our e-newsletters will not be sent to you unless you choose to receive them. Any information that you give us will not be turned over to third party entities or used for commercial purposes without your express consent.