How To Patch Test The Skin & Why It’s Really Important

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Why are patch tests so important? — a question asked by millions.


Here on BeautySparkReview we keep stressing on the importance to patch test your skin before using your skincare products — and why is that? That’s exactly what this content is all about. Keep reading to know the importance of patch testing and why it’s really necessary.

What’s Patch Testing?

To keep it simple and straight. Patch testing is a practical way to know for sure if you’ll react negatively or positively to a particular skincare product or ingredient — even if you’ve not had any problems with it in the past or used them before.

As a diagnostic tool used to test for allergies, It was introduced in late nineteenth century — ever since then, it has been a recommended act by dermatologists. Having said that, it’s very essential you shouldn’t skip patch testing before using any skincare product on your skin.

Is Patch Test Really Necessary Before Treatment?

As an esthetician or beauty therapist and for insurance purposes it’s highly recommend to perform patch test on your clients ahead of first skincare treatment, — this is not only to ensure they do not react negatively to the treatment but also shows professionalism.

Same applies to individuals too. As skin-type differs so shall results differ too. Every skin isn’t the same and for this reason some individuals may react either positively or negatively to a particular skincare product or ingredient. That being said, performing a patch test is just one way to make sure you won’t react badly to a skincare product or ingredient.

Any Law Surrounding Patch Tests?

If you don’t perform a patch test on your client ahead of a skin care treatment, your insurance won’t be able to cover you if a client makes a claim against you. Therefore, to make sure and to prove you can show you haven’t been negligent and forgotten to test anyone when needed, it’s advised to keep a record of patch tests in your notes on each client.

If a client complained about their skin reacting to a particular treatment with you, definitely you’ll risk paying damages — but this can only happen if your client could prove you’d been negligent or forgotten to carry out a patch test prior to treatment. — therefore performing a patch test means protecting yourself from from big claims landing on your lap and paying for damages.

Ensure To Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines.

Every skincare product is different, made by different companies and ingredients. First of all, you have to follow the manufacturer’s product guidelines. Check if the product is suitable for all skin types or a particular set of skin type. For example: Check where it says. “Suitable for all skin types” or “ideal for all skin types“. This is to ensure the product is suitable for your skin type. But rather way, if the product says not suitable for a particular skin type and your skin type happens to fall in the category, then it’s highly advised you shouldn’t use such product.

How To Patch Test The Skin.

Patch Test The Skin

To patch test the skin, you have to conduct a practical test prior to treatment by following the guide below.

Step 1: Apply a small size amount of the skincare product on your inner side of your wrist or inside your arm (at the crook of the elbow).

Patch Test The Skin

Step 2: Cover the area with a bandage and leave the product for 24 hours.

Patch Test The Skin


If your skin turns red, itchy, or you feel a tingling or burning sensation, then it’s likely you’re allergic to the product.
Remove the bandage immediately and wash area with soap and water. Discard the product immediately and don’t use.

But if after 24 hours nothing goes wrong with your skin, — your skin is compatible with the skincare product. You can go ahead and use.

Don’t Get It Wrong.

Certain skincare ingredients such as AHA’s, BHA, retiniods or other ingredients may give a temporary reaction — which is normal.
To get a satisfactory and confirmatory result, it’s advised you should leave the skincare product wrapped under the bandage for 24 hours (without getting wet). You can repeat this process for 7 days — for clarity sake or should in case of a delayed reaction.

Wrapping It Up.

Performing patch test prior to skincare treatment is highly advised by Dermatologists to ensure you’re not allergic to a particular skincare ingredient or product and to save yourself the stress of undergoing irritations.

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: Is patch testing suitable for all skin types?

A: Yes. Patch testing is suitable for all skin types and significantly more ideal for individuals with sensitive skin.

Q: Can I shower during patch testing?

A: No. It’s highly advised to keep the patch test area dry, — so, the result won’t be compromised or complicated.

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