Skin Health
Mythfoliation: Is Hypoallergenic Impossible?
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I’ve heard that nothing can really be hypoallergenic. Is this true? It’s true that the term hypoallergenic can be used with little or zero basis, but it can also be used legitimately. By definition, hypoallergenic simply means “less likely to cause an allergic reaction”. The problem is that in some countries the term “hypoallergenic” is not well regulated and is therefore, at times, abused.VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® takes hypoallergenicity very seriously and is the only brand with its own recognized method of validation and regulation. Our VH-Number Rating System (created by our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist and introduced almost two decades ago) functions like an SPF but for allergens in that it is a clear, objective rating that “grades” how hypoallergenic a product is.The VH-Rating System measures how many allergens, as regularly published by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA), are OMITTED from the formulation.The higher the number, the more allergens are absent, the more hypoallergenic (the less likely to cause an allergic or irritant reaction) the product.

The majority of VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® products are VH-109, meaning they lack all 109 common allergens. This self-regulation is part of why VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® is considered such a find by dermatologists and why VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® is included in the American Contact Dermatitis Society’s Contact Allergy Management Program (CAMP) for hypoallergenic options.

A study1 published in the Dermatitis journal of the American Contact Dermatitis Society concludes that the VH-Rating System—properly updated and implemented and with post marketing surveillance of products that follow the system—“is shown to objectively validate the hypoallergenic cosmetics claim.” The same study confirmed that VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® products had less than 0.1% (less than zero point 1 percent) of reactions reported in 30 years.

This landmark study proves that VH-Numbers can significantly reduce the risk of contact dermatitis and other reactions.

1: 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

For more on what hypoallergenicity is click here.

For more on VMV HYPOALLERGENICS®, who we are, our skintegrity, and our Hypoallergenicity, we invite you to browse through About VMV.

For more information about the Contact Allergen Management Program, as your doctor or contact

To find a dermatologist who does patch tests in your area click here.

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 for more on our mythfoliation series.

Click here for information about patch tests.