Trying new skin care products is all fun and games—until your skin has an allergic reaction. Whether you have sensitive skin or not, certain ingredients can cause your skin to react in a way that isn’t so desirable. If you’ve been there, you’ve likely wondered if patch testing your skin care products could be the solution. On the flip side, if you’ve never experienced a bad reaction, you probably assume doing a patch test is unnecessary. Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about patch testing—including if you should do it in the first place—so you can (hopefully) avoid future unnecessary skin concerns.
SHOULD YOU PATCH TEST SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?
We get it, who wants to wait to try a new product? But when it comes to patch testing your skin care products, we highly advise you to do so. That moisturizer your best friend swears by? It may not be a match for you, as everyone has a different reaction to different products.
Patch testing your skin care products is a great way to ensure your skin will have a good reaction to different formulas and ingredients without risking a rash or irritation being on full display. Seriously, who wants to deal with redness, bumps, and other skin issues in a visible area when they can easily disguise a product-gone-wrong in a less noticeable spot? That’s where patch testing comes into play. This method involves applying a new skin care product to a small, discrete area to avoid potential irritation taking a toll on your beauty look. Besides, even taking noticeability out of the equation, it's still better to have a smaller reaction than a larger one. If you're left with itchy skin, wouldn't you prefer it be contained to one spot than be all over? That's what we thought!
WHAT SKIN CARE PRODUCTS SHOULD YOU PATCH TEST?
Now that you understand why patch testing your skin care products is important, you may be wondering which skin care products are worth testing. The short answer? All of them! Seriously. Each and every product contains its own unique list of ingredients. From eye cream to face masks, you can never be too careful! Taking the time to patch test your products is an extremely easy way to help prevent unnecessary skin concerns from surfacing.
HOW TO DO A PATCH TEST
You’re likely wondering how to do a patch test for yourself. Follow the steps below and let’s get to it!
STEP #1: PICK YOUR LOCATION
Like we mentioned earlier, when it comes to doing a patch test, you want to pick an area of skin that is discrete and easily hidden to avoid a potential reaction being on full display. For this reason, the inside of your elbow or behind your ear are popular spots to do a patch test. Consider the time of year and whether you’ll be able to cover any unsightly skin if need be.
STEP #2: START WITH CLEAN SKIN
Once you’ve picked the location of your patch test, it’s time to clean your skin so you can start with a clean slate. Skipping this step could affect the results of the product you’re testing, so this isn’t the time to get lazy. Saturate a cotton pad with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types, then gently wipe it over your skin to remove dirt, oils, and impurities.
STEP #3: APPLY YOUR PRODUCT
Grab the new skin care product you want to test! To keep it contained to a specific area, consider applying it to your skin with a cotton swab.
STEP #4: WAIT IT OUT
A patch test should be quick, except for the waiting afterward. It’s important to wait at least 24 hours before examining the results of your patch test to determine if your skin has a negative reaction. For this reason, consider doing your patch test at night after showering and checking it the following night before showering.
STEP #5: CHECK BACK FOR RESULTS
Has it been 24 hours? It’s time to check the results! Look at the area of skin you patch tested and determine if your skin looks normal—or if an allergic reaction has occurred. Whatever the results, you’ll have a much better idea of whether the skin care product you tested is for you!
Next up: Learn about another type of beauty product testing in our article, This Feature Allows You to Test Drive Makeup and At-Home Hair Color Kits Before Purchasing.