How to patch test

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Always patch test a new product even if you don't have sensitive skin. It is especially important if you buy a treatment product that claims to change your skin, such as laser skin-lightening products or a face mask that is left on the skin for a period of time. It is simply not worth risking a severe reaction from applying a new product all over your face when a simple patch test is quick & easy to do at home.

How do you do a patch test at home

EXPERT ADVICE DERMATOLOGY

Dermatologist Kristen Hudson Nickles, shares her advice for ELLE magazine, "As long as you don't have facial swelling, you can do a basic allergy test at home. If you think that you're allergic to a shimmery blush, for example, test it on your inner forearm in the same way you would on your face, applying a thin layer in the morning and removing it with cleanser in the evening as you would your usual makeup. Do this every day for a week and watch for a rash to develop. If so, you have your answer; if not, move on to another product and repeat, one by one. Or a dermatologist can do a patch test, where little dots of different topical ingredients are applied to your back in a grid, and she examines the skin to see which chemicals produced a reaction." - Dermatologist Kristen Hudson Nickles, for ELLE magazine.

Always patch test.
It can be difficult to isolate a single ingredient that is to blame for skin irritation. Carrying out a patch test is always a good idea if you are prone to skin irritation. If you can't identify the allergen then further tests can be performed by a medical specialist such as dermatologist or clinical Immunology allergy specialist.

Always read the product label.

It is important to patch test & follow the manufacturers instructions. Most important is to discontinue use if irritation ocurs. Do you check the product label before purchasing? Current regulations require brands to list the product ingredients in descending order, from the highest percentage down to the least amount of a given ingredient. Brands often market their products labelled 'ideal for sensitive skin' or 'hypo-allergenic' or 'clinically tested'. But, can we trust these claims? The simple truth is no. Why not? Because current legislation does not stipulate a specific ingredient criteria for brands to meet. In fact, there are no pre-market regulations for brands to meet, these terms are not regulated at all.

On the subject of product labels, dermatologist Kristen advises "There's never a guarantee. Something may be hypo-allergenic but still cause an allergy for you, just as most people can eat strawberries, but some people may be allergic to them. Products for sensitive skin generally contain fewer common allergens, but they still can provoke an allergy in someone who's susceptible." Kirsten advises her clients to use baby skin care products instead of standard varieties and moisturise with plain facial oils. he also advises that "In general, the longer a product stays on your skin, the greater potential for allergy. Once you figure out your trigger ingredient, become a master at reading cosmetic ingredient labels so you can protect yourself."- quote from Elle Magazine. Read More >

Amina KitchingAllergies, Irritation