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    Why You Should Do a Patch Test

    Why You Should Do a Patch Test

    Remember going to the store and getting that highly raved product only to get a bad reaction after your first use? Here's how you can avoid that, but what is it exactly and how exactly to do it? We're here to tell you all about the one thing no skincare junkie is excited to do: a patch test.

    What is a patch test?

    While you might've heard it thrown around many times in the past or simply disregarded it on a product leaflet, what is this mysterious test? It's a simple at-home way of checking if your skin might have a negative reaction to a new product. That's it!

    Why is it important?

    "The reviews were fantastic! Why did it give me a bad reaction?" 

    We hate to break it to you but everyone's skin is different. Think of it this way, everyone's skin is a different plant, and each plant requires different care.

    Doing a patch test is your easiest bet to avoid a potential allergic reaction. Keep in mind that your skin can be allergic to all kinds of ingredients, whether it is natural or synthetic. And while doing a patch test does not guarantee it to be reaction-free when you apply it on your skin, it sure will weed out most of it.

     

    When to do it?

    It's best to do a patch test every time you plan on incorporating a new product into your skincare routine.

     

    Okay, I'm ready. What should I know?

    Choose a clear and accessible patch of skin that you can comfortably leave alone for 24 hours.

    I like testing behind my ears! Some other areas: upper forearm, skin around crook of the elbow, behind your knee.

    As with everything in life, let's set some ground rules.

    Rule 1: They say patience is a virtue. Set aside at least one day to patch test, in case of allergic reactions. Three days, if you have sensitive skin.

    Rule 2: Got multiple products to test? Avoid testing more than one new product on the same area at the same time.

    Note: If you give your heart breaks, don't forget to give your skin a little break too! If you have a bad reaction, your skin will take time to heal. Wait a couple of days before testing other products, or patch test on another area!

    How to patch test

    Now that we're all on the same page, let's begin:

    1. Wash and clean the area, to ensure that any reaction is from the new product applied, not from any other product.
    2. Apply a small amount to the skin...and wait.
    3. Leave it on for 24 hours or as per the product instructions (certain acids are not advised to be left on for a long period of time)

    Note: If you experience any irritation, pain, burning or itching, wash the affected area right away and stop using the product.

    What's next?

    Check the area for any signs of sensitivity or allergy. Some things to look out for are redness, painful swelling, itchiness, rashes, blistering, and peeling.

    Severe allergic reaction

    If the skin is red, raised, itchy, or have a rash, it is likely that you are severely allergic to the product. It might be a good idea to talk to your doctor or an allergy specialist.

    • Wash and clean the affected area
    • Stop using the product
    • Visit your doctor or dermatologist
    • Make sure to bring the product along with you

    Minor allergic reaction

    If there is some redness that does not fade right away, you may have a mild allergy.

    • Wash and clean the affected area
    • Stop using the product
    • Note down the ingredients for future references when buying new products

    No negative reactions

    • Hooray! Time to assess how the product will perform on your face
    • Pick a small area of your face (easily covered) example corner of forehead, underside of jaw, and repeat steps 1 to 3
    • If there is no reaction, the product is probably safe to use.

    * Note that the patch test is only for determining initial irritation reactions to products and does not guarantee similar results when applied to other areas of the body (including the face) or after continuous use. 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.

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