With skincare products — whether made with essential oils, natural ingredients or artificial fragrances — there’s always a risk of allergic reactions. Thus, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before trying a new product to see if it’s suitable for your skin type. But, do you know what a patch test is and how to do it right? If not, here’s a detailed guide that’ll help you.
What is a patch test?
The term is pretty self-explanatory; it means applying a small amount of product to a small patch of skin to see how it reacts. Skipping a patch test can result in severe acne flare-ups, inflammation or redness. If you do develop a reaction after introducing a new product in your skincare routine, stop using everything for at least two weeks to see if the inflammation subsides. Sometimes, the concentration of some ingredients might be too high for your skin; a patch test allows you to start with a formula with a lower concentration and then slowly work your way towards increasing it.
How to do a patch test:
Step 01: To do a patch test, choose an area where the skin is delicate — like the inside of your wrist or the side of the neck.
Step 02: Make sure to wash and clean the area before applying any new products to ensure that if there is a reaction, it’s because of the product you’ve applied and not something else.
Step 03: Take a small amount of product and apply to either of the two areas.
Step 04: Cover the area with a bandage and wait for 24 hours before taking it off.
Step 05: If you see no changes on your skin after 24 hours, then the product is suitable for your skin type. However, if you experience a burning or itching sensation, take the bandaid off and wash the affected area ASAP.
How to tell if you’re allergic:
Once you take the bandaid off, you may notice your skin turn pink or red because of the bandaid, but this should fade shortly. If it does not fade, it means you may be mildly allergic to the product. However, if your skin is red, raised or itchy, then it is you might have a severe allergy to the product. If you’re still not sure, it’s best to consult a dermatologist or visit an allergist/immunologist to get yourself tested.