Welcome back to Skin Care 101, glad to see you again. Today we are going to talk about patch testing and its importance in your skincare journey. Patch testing is an easy way to help predict your skin’s initial reaction to a new product and hopefully avoid any major allergic reactions.
We’ll be outlining a general method of conducting patch tests according to the type of product.
How to Patch Test a Product
Patch testing is simple. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to set a day aside if you want to do your patch test properly. Follow the steps below.
1. Use a Clear Patch of Skin
Choose an accessible and clear patch of skin to test the product. It should be somewhere that you can comfortably leave alone for up to 24 hours.
The skin around the crook of your elbow or the upper forearm are a good example of the kind of area you can use.
2. Wash the Area First
Wash and clean the skin first! We want to be sure that any possible reaction is caused by the new product you applied and not something else. So make sure to clean the area before you begin.
3. Apply a Small Amount to the Skin
Apply a small amount of the product to the patch of skin you’ve chosen.
If you are using a Leave-On Product or a Rinse-Off Product:
- Keep the area dry
- After 24 hours, rinse the area
- If any redness, burning, itching, blistering or irritation is observed at any time throughout the test, do not use the product
If the product is a Mask or a Peeling Solution:
- Do not leave it for 24 hours. Instead, leave it on for the recommended length of time specified in the directions of use
- Rinse off
- If any redness, burning, itching, blistering or irritation is observed within 24 hours of the patch test, do not use the product.
When you are testing strong chemical exfoliant like Salicylic Acid. Apply the product as directed to a small area once a day for three days. If you develop severe irritation, hives, swelling of eyes and mouth, blistering, or difficulty breathing rinse off immediately, cease use and consult a physician right away.
Please note that the patch test is only for determining initial irritations caused by products. It does not guarantee similar results when applied to other areas of the body (including the face) or after continuous use. Moreover, it does not account for underlying conditions and should not be used for the diagnosis of hypersensitivity or allergic contact dermatitis. If you are concerned about starting a new product, please consult a dermatologist prior to use.