Skin Health
Allergens: About; Basic Information
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altAllergens are ingredients commonly used in cosmetic products that cause allergic reactions in skin.

The most cosmetic allergens, as compiled by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group (ACDS) and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA) include the following top allergens: balsam of peru and perfume, including masking fragrances, cinnamic aldehyde and perfume for household products, flavors, toothpaste, sweets, soft drinks, cakes; some broad-spectrum antibiotics; certain fragrance mixes, essences and flavors; several metals; rubber; glues; textile dyes and detergents; formaldehyde-releasing preservatives like parabens; propylene glycol; and other ingredients and substances commonly found in food preparations, personal care products and even gym equipment, electronics casings and clothing.

The NACDG and ESSCA lists are compiled after thousands of patch tests in several countries in North America in Europe. They are regularly published and do changed, with certain ingredients becoming allergens and others being taken off the list in different years.

VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® refers to these lists in its VH-Rating System, the only hypoallergenicity rating system in the world that objectively rates a products’ hypoallergenicity claim. VMV commits to reformulating its products as these lists are updated to ensure it can offer the safest possible products to the most people.

If you have a history of skin sensitivity, a patch test can quickly and painlessly identify which substances you in particular are sensitive to. If you live in the USA and your dermatologist is a member of the American Contact Dermatitis Society your patch test results can be fed into the Contact Allergy Management Program (CAMP). CAMP is an important tool because instead of having to remember all the allergens you need to avoid, as well as all their possible cross-reactants, CAMP gives you a list of brands and products pre-selected for you that do not contain your red-flag ingredients.

Look at a product’s VH-Rating. The higher the number, the more allergens are NOT in a formulation. If a VH-Rating shows the presence of an allergen, look at the product’s ingredients list—the allergen will be underlined and identified by an asterisk. This is helpful because the product may contain an allergen that you are not sensitive to.

Click here to learn more about the VH-Rating System.


Click here to read the VH-Rating System’s proven efficacy.


Click here to learn about the VH-Rating System’s validity as a method for substantiating hypoallergenic claims.


Click here to learn more about patch tests.

To find a dermatologist who does patch testing click here.

Click here to learn how hypoallergenicity can help with most skin concerns.

Click here to learn more about reactions.