Our skin has a fragile balance that can be easily disturbed. Patch testing our skincare products is the right way to see how our skin will react to them. If you want to know how to do a patch test correctly and what may happen if you don’t do it, read this guide right away!
Hi! This is one of those articles that I always think: I should publish it soon, and yet I never start to write it, but that will change right now. Today I am going to deal with a subject that for many is an old acquaintance, but what matters here is learning and, from now on, to know how to start using any skincare product (and survive in the attempt).
You already know that the skin is a resistant but also sensitive organ. Sometimes, when we submit it to different powerful ingredients simultaneously, or when we expose it to an ingredient with which it does not get along especially well, different symptoms of irritation begin to appear that tell us that something isn’t working as it should. This can happen with acids (on which you can read my complete guide on this link), but it can happen with any ingredient that our skin does not tolerate properly.
You may have read that I sometimes mention something called patch test. This test is a simple way to find out how our skin reacts to a new skincare product before starting to incorporate it into our beauty routines. If we do not practice this, it is much easier for unwanted reactions such as irritation, redness, spots, pimples, etc. to appear, so I think it’s way better (and easier) to be cautious.
Whenever we have a new product, most of us feel the same: we really want to use it and we are dying to add it immediately into all our routines to see what results it brings us. What happens if we do this? As I mentioned before, if this new product does not interact well with our skin, it will look like the surface of Mars.
And you will ask yourself: what is the patch test? It’s simple: you should take a few drops of the product you want to start incorporating into your routines and apply them on the wrist or behind the ear. These areas are especially sensitive, so if your skin reacts negatively, you know that you must act with caution, since that new product will also cause irritation to your face. Of course, you must always follow the brand’s instructions regarding the usage of the product, so if you’re testing a cleanser you must rinse it, if it’s a mask you should apply it for its recommended time and in the rest of cases you should be using the product as you would in your regular skincare routine. An important detail to keep in mind is that you must wait 72 hours before assuming that the product has not caused you any type of irritation, since some ingredients may take all that time to unfold their effects. The idea behind this period is to make sure that the product is suitable for your skin and that it will not give you problems, so it is better to give a small margin of time and check that what you are going to apply is the best for you. Over time, if you patch test all your new skincare products and you analyze their ingredients list you will be able to understand if any of those ingredients is being irritating for your skin and then you’ll be able to avoid it.
Once 72 hours have passed after the patch test you will have to check the area where you have applied the product. If you notice itching, redness or any other irritation symptoms, you already know that this product is potentially irritating to your skin and that using it can be problematic. On the contrary, if you have not noticed any kind of discomfort you can easily start using the product (in any case, gradually incorporating it into your beauty routines).
Of course, the patch test is a small test prior to the regular use of the product, but if when you start incorporating it into your beauty routines you start to feel any symptoms of irritation you should stop using it immediately and consult your dermatologist. Remember you should be slowly adding products to your routines, one by one, so you make sure they give you what you’re looking for and they’re not irritating your skin.
With this post I hope to help you understand how you should start using any skincare product, always making sure that it does not cause negative reactions. Did you do the patch test before starting to use new products? Have you had any allergic reaction to a product? Tell me in the comments section!
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Do you want to learn to take better care of your skin? You can see an index of all my informative posts here.