being excited about a new skincare product just for it to have you break out in bumps is a level of betrayal not even shonda rhimes could write, ok? so believe us,when we say that you’ll save yourself a whole lot of hurt just by dabbing a bit of any new product on a small area of your skin before putting it on your whole face. during this time when ms. rona has slowed down everyone’s shipping time, it might be tempting more than ever to slather on your new products the moment they show up to your doorstep, but don’t do it, sis! even if you already know the ingredient breakdown of what you bought, certain formulations can still cause a bad reaction. to keep you from looking like boo boo the fool in front of your bathroom mirror, here’s everythang you need to know about patch testing.
who needs to patch test?
patch testing is important for every skin klass, but for sensitive skin types it’s a skincare step that kan’t be skipped. knowing whether or not a product will upset your skin by applying it to a small part of it, is way better than sending your whole face flaring up.
for our glossy gals who are prone to breaking out just by breathing too hard, patch testing will help you suss out whether or not a new product is too heavy for your skin to handle. products that contain oils and butters like coconut oil or shea butter can potentially clog your pores and make your skin breakout.
how do you patch test?
always be sure to patch test on clean skin so that there’s no confusion about which product you need to pull from your skin routine’s roster. when you’re trying to see if you’re allergic to a new product, it’s best to pick a part of your skin that’s somewhat out of sight but still somewhat close to the area where you’ll be applying the product regularly. the side of your neck and behind your ear are good spots to test on. apply a little bit of the product and leave it alone for at least 24 hours. what you want to check for, is any burning/itching sensation or small bumps where you applied your product. if your skin does react, just wash off the product with a gentle cleanser and top it off with your favorite moisturizer or facial oil.
when you’re trying to see if a product will break you out, it’s best to test on the part of your face that’s most prone to pimples. since your cheek and chin are the areas that produce the most amount of oil, they tend to break out the most - making them the best places to pick. once you decide where you’ll patch test, apply a small amount of product to the area. do this on the same exact spot daily for about a week and check if any pimples pop up. if they do show up in that time span, go ahead and ditch the product by pulling up its return policy.
keep in mind that some products like retinol and exfoliating acids are meant to give you this kind of reaction. using products with these kinds of active ingredients speeds up how fast the outer layers of your skin shed (cell turnover rate), allowing clogged pores from below your skin’s surface to quickly make their way to the top as pimples. this process is called purging which we’ve broken down for y’all below.
bottom line is patch testing every new product you purchase will keep you from dealing with some major discomfort, making it easier for you to get the glo’ you’re going for.