What is a patch test, why carry one out?
Whenever you use a new cosmetic product natural or otherwise, it is a great idea to carry out a patch test, doing so should quickly help to establish the potential for an allergic reaction.
From minor swelling & irritation to painful swelling, redness or worse, allergies to ingredients can occur from natural products just as they do from synthetic chemical based alternatives.
Patch testing should give you peace of mind, that you can safely use the new product.
What does patch testing involve?
For leave on products, like lotion, deodorant, diluted essential oils, this test involves applying a small amount of the new product to a small patch of skin, normally your inner arm.
Rinse off products, including castile in particular are designed to be rinsed off not left on the skin so a patch test for these products can provide miss-leading results.
How To Carry Out A Patch Test
Wash the area to be tested.
Apply a small amount of the product to your inner arm.
Cover the area with a small band aid.
Keep the area dry for 24 hours.
After 24 hours if the skin is clear there is a pretty good indication that the product is good for you. Should there be redness, raised or itchy skin where the product was applied then it is likely you would develop an allergic reaction. It is important to distinguish between any reaction to the band aid vs a reaction to the product.
Important notes on patch testing
A 24 hour test will give a good indication for the following type of reaction:
Irritant contact dermatitis
The most obvious sign of irritation comes from irritant contact dermatitis, a reaction that typically occurs with in a time frame of minutes to hours from exposure to the product.
Because there are two paths for irritation to occur, you can test for up to 4 days.
A 4 day test will give a good indication to the following type of reaction, (re-apply product once a day):
Allergic contact dermatitis
The second path to irritation is through allergic contact dermatitis, a reaction that builds through repeated exposure to a particular product.
IF A REACTION BEGINS TO OCCUR & YOU EXPERIENCE BURNING OR ITCHING REMOVE THE BANDAID AND WASH THE AFFECTED AREA STRAIGHT AWAY.
IF TESTING ESSENTIAL OILS ENSURE THAT THEY ARE CORRECTLY DILUTED IN CARRIER OIL TO THE RECOMENDED CONCENTRATION LEVEL BEFORE APPLYING