How To Patch Test Skincare Products
When beginning to patch test skincare, it’s always beneficial to know if you have a history of sensitive skin when it comes to different formulas. Particularly for those with serious skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis, it never hurts to be one step ahead of a potential flare-up.
There are a few different methods you can try when it comes to patch testing. One of these is the forearm method, where you apply a thin layer of a new product to a discreet area, only using about a nickel size of the formula. The forearm is a common example of a hidden area that won’t cause disruptions to daily life if a skin reaction occurs, as the skin is delicate enough to be comparable to the face.
You can keep reapplying the product in the same spot, or another discreet spot if you choose, as often as the instructions suggest. This tends to be no more than one to two times per day. Your overall goal should be to mimic what your actual usage of the product will be to prep your skin for the routine and adapt it to the formula.
After about a week of monitoring the area, you should be good to get started if you don’t notice any symptoms. Reactions can sometimes be delayed when beginning with patch testing, resulting in multiple exposures over time before the skin begins to fight the product.
If you would rather see how your skin will react in the desired area, you can test a more targeted approach. Essentially, you are testing the product on the intended area where it will be primarily used. If you don’t want to test the product directly on the face, you can apply a small amount behind the ear and monitor potential symptoms from there.
After about 24 hours, if you don’t show any signs of a reaction, that is generally a good indicator that you’re in the clear. If you prefer to play it safer, you can apply the product in the same area for a few days. If at any time you notice a harsh reaction from a skincare product, you should cease application immediately and consult a professional if symptoms worsen.
No matter the method you choose, you should always be sure to clean the area you are testing, which is a basic rule no matter what you are using in skincare.