Skin Health
Reduce The Risk of Skin Reactions: How The VH-Rating System Works
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The Validated Hypoallergenic Rating System is like an “SPF” for Skin Safety.

VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® was the first brand to validate its hypoallergenicity with the VH-Rating System. For more about what it is, how it works and other information, read on. For more on the VH-Rating System’s validity as a method for supporting hypoallergenic claims, click here.


The VH-Number functions a bit like an SPF but for skin safety or hypoallergenicity.

“SPF” shows you how protective a product is against UVB light.

VH-” tells you that a product is Validated — proven to be, via patch tests and allergen omission — Hypoallergenic. The dash is a minus sign (more on this below).

The number that follows VH indicates how many allergens are omitted. The higher the VH number, the more allergens are absent.



“VH” means that a product has been tested—validated—for hypoallergenicity. The”- #” the minus sign followed by a number shows how many allergens are absent in the formulation. VH-Number examples:

VH -109/109

This means Validated Hypoallergenic MINUS all 109 allergens.

VH -108/109*

This means Validated Hypoallergenic minus 1 allergen, indicated in the ingredients list by an asterisk (*Ingredient Name).

Why is it important to identify the allergen in the ingredients list? Because hardly anyone is allergic to all 109 allergens. Knowing which allergen is present can help expand your product options.

For example, if your patch test shows that you are sensitive to parabens but not to dyes (which are known allergens), and a product contains a dye, its VH-Rating might be VH-108/109*.

– With the asterisk and the lower VH-Rating, you’re immediately alerted to the presence of an allergen.

– Because of the asterisk, a quick glance at the ingredients would show you that the allergen is not one that you are sensitive to, and the product should still be safe for you to use.

If you have not had a patch test (which we highly recommend) and have a history of sensitivity, choose higher VH-Ratings.

NOTE: We are all individuals and you may be sensitive to an ingredient that is not yet considered an allergen. If you have a history of skin sensitivity, your best bet is to ask your doctor for a patch test.


Most VMV products are rated VH -109: all 109 known allergens are absent. If we must use an ingredient that appears on the allergen list, it is:

– Present in the smallest possible concentrations,

– Ranked low on the allergen list, and

– Underlined and marked by an asterisk in the ingredients list so that you can quickly see if it is an ingredient hat you are allergic to (if the ingredient is not in your patch test results, you might still be able to safely use the product).

Few VMV products are ranked below VH -108. While lower VH-Ratings can work for many people, you can choose products with higher VH-Ratings if you have a history of allergies or hypersensitivity. This is the beauty of the VH-Rating System: you choose what you can use.


Allergens—ingredients proven to be the most likely to cause allergic or irritant reactions.

The VH-Rating System’s reference for allergens has always been the regularly published studies of the American Contact Dermatitis Society’s North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG). This reference is objective, independent and statistically relevant—the NACDG studies have had as many as 10,000 patients in thirteen centers in North America.

In 2010, we added the results published by the European Contact Dermatitis Society’s European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA) to our reference list of allergens. ESSCA’s studies have had patch test results from as many as 18,000 patients in 10 European countries.

With these combined references, the VH -109 Rating refers to the most number of allergens ever, based on over 28,000 patch tests, across the widest range of countries.



Our commitment: The VH-Rating System is effective as long as it and products are regularly updated. If just one of the ingredients we use makes the allergen list, we reformulate our products to remove it. Considering the barrage of tests that we subject each raw material, ingredient and final formulation to, this is a daunting, exhaustive process that’s unique to VMV. But it is our commitment to your skin’s safety.


In an effort to provide the most hypoallergenic products possible, we periodically reformulate our products to be consistent with the latest published allergen lists of the NACDG and ESSCA. If our products remain compliant with new publications and no reformulations are necessary, we still modify our packaging to reflect the new maximum number of allergens if it has changed. As this process takes some time — and we’d rather not throw away perfectly good packaging! — this sometimes results in VH-Ratings on products not yet reflecting the most current publications. If a label you’re examining shows an earlier VH reference, please ask us for assistance.


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