Test patching: Your new best friend

We all know that initial excitement when you buy a new hair or body product. You just want to rush home and try it on, and cannot wait until it gives you a fresh, new look! And then finally….oh wait a second what is this? Oh it’s just a couple pimples. Wait a second…no now they’re everywhere! It can be hard to resist, but test patching is something important most people should do, even more so if you have acne prone or sensitive skin.

 Acne prone? Apply on your most troublesome facial spots

 The reasoning behind this is pretty self-explanatory. Whenever trying out a new facial product, apply to the areas on your face that are most prone to clogging up. Another reason for applying on small sections of the face is because the pores on our face are larger than on any other part of the body. Thus, there is a higher chance of certain ingredients being able to enter the pores and clog them, causing bacteria to stay within the plug created and sprout into acne. 

 Is this going to irritate me? Apply on sensitive spots on your body

 Irritation differs from allergic reactions, in that it is a substance that would cause inflammation in most individuals if applied in a certain dose and amount of time. When testing out potential irritating ingredients it is recommended to apply them to small areas on the wrist or on the skin on inside of elbow. These are areas of the body that are thin and pliable, have less of a rough barrier, making it easier for ingredients to penetrate.

Allergic reactions? Apply behind the ear

 Allergic reactions are defined by specificity in reaction to an ingredient by an individual. This hypersensitivity is in direct connection to your body’s immune system. The back of the ear has a very thin layer that is easily penetrable, making it great for testing for allergies.

 How long should I test patch for?

 The average amount of time recommended for a test patch is application daily for at least a week. Some allergic reactions/irritations can become apparent within 24 hours. Some acne-ic reactions can sometimes even take as long as a month to appear. Although these are the three most common areas to test patch, if using a very body part specific product (such as deodorant), you may apply on a small spot in that area instead, as the reaction may not be the same.  

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