The skin is just as complex as any other organ in the human body. It has countless little parts all working towards the same overall goal through renewal, repair, and barrier formation. These processes ensure that our insides are properly protected from the outside world while we comfortably enjoy all the benefits that the world has to offer without worry. Many of try to repay our skin with good skincare to help keep our skin as healthy and attractive as possible. Picking out the right products and figuring out how to manage the various issues that pop up from time to time is a continual learning process. Every new product we use is potentially an important step towards achieving our desired look, but it can also be a skin problem waiting to happen. That’s why none of us should ever skip the patch test when it comes to trying out new products. It is necessary to ensure our skin will stay healthy and can be the difference between attractive skin and an inflamed mess.
What Is The Patch Test?
The patch test is something you’ve likely already done without thinking before or that you’ve seen someone else do. It involves placing a small patch of a new product somewhere unobtrusive on your skin and waiting to see if you skin reacts. This tends to be a fairly reliable way to tell how your skin will react with some exceptions. Facial products used on body skin may not give you a fully accurate idea of how your skin will react because the skin of the majority of your body is thicker than the skin of your neck and face. As a result, it might be best to try a patch test for facial products somewhere unobtrusive on your neck. Similarly, you don’t want to test a body product on your face as they tend to be more potent and more likely to cause a reaction. The one exception to this is that you can get a good approximation for both out of a careful patch test on the wrist.
Why Do It?
As we’ve highlighted before, the skin is very complex. This necessarily means that it is easy to end up disrupting accidentally. There is no way to really know how our skin will react to a particular product without trying it for ourselves. Testing guidelines to okay them for human use only test for broad usage potential and can’t test for each little scenario our own skins present. Countless little factors ranging from genetics to environment to even diet can mean that some products end up not being ideal for our skin. Inflammation and other issues stemming from use of a poorly matched product can end up making skincare become a frustrating experience. A patch test helps you to avoid this by giving you an indication of how well your skin will handle a given product before you use it as directed. This will let you avoid skincare mistakes that you’ll then to make up for with appropriate care. It may take a little time, but the results are worth it.
On Product Switching
It is worth noting that the patch test is just one consideration to keep in mind when trying out new products. This helps you avoid problems, yes, but you should ideally be taking another step as well. Remember that any product you use needs time to work. Give each new product you’re using three to four weeks to see if it has the desired effect on your skin. Swapping out products regularly, even with a patch test, is highly likely to end up irritating your skin. As complicated an organ as it is, your skin does prefer for things to stay as close to the same as usual most of the time. Swapping products too often will simply end up causing irritation that will potentially lead to breakouts and other skin issues over time. So take it slowly when looking for new products. Your skin will thank you for it later.
Doing a patch test when trying out new products gives you a way to be sure that your choice in products will properly support your skin. This will help you feel more confident when swapping products. Try to keep it in mind the next time you find a product isn’t doing what you need it to and you go hunting for a new one. You’ll likely be far more comfortable with the switch then.