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Allergen-free beauty

Lately not a day goes by that I don't hear of someone allergic to or intolerant of one thing or another. And I'm not just talking about food. I happen to think that between the changes in the environment we've all been subjected to and the chemicals we're bombarded with daily (in the products we put on and in ourselves), our bodies, and skin in particular, have become more sensitive then ever. So my ears perked up when I heard about VMV Hypoallergenics. This skincare and makeup line—for men, women, and even babies—is, as the saying goes, huge in Asia. All of the products are formulated without the ingredients sensitive skin should avoid (things like fragrances, dyes, preservatives—and lesser-known allergens like lanolin and rosin). Each item has undergone patch testing and been rated with a "VH-number" that indicates how many allergens it does not contain (the higher the number, the better, of course). One of my favorite products is the Smart Cleansing Scrub ($20; It's a pore-clearing wash that leaves your skin soft and smooth—not tight and raw. Next time someone tells you they can't take anything on their skin, tell them about VMV. It's sold here at Bigelow and Clyde's (two upscale drugstores in New York City), select products are available in the Bliss Catalog—or you can go to the company's website: Starting this spring, VMV will be offering customized products (free of whatever ingredient you can't stand on your skin) on its site—or by phone. Save this number: 212-217-2762!


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