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Patch Test: How to avoid Skin Allergies

Patch Test: how to avoid skin allergies

Patch test  help to avoid skin allergies. This is a technique carried out by a dermatologist to ascertain if a product is good for you or not.

We all belong to one skin type or the other. However, every skin has a special need and what it can tolerate.

Nevertheless, if you use a wrong product not made for your skin type, you may develop skin irritations knowns as allergies.

Skin Allergies

Patch test to avoid skin allergies

Patch test is how to avoid skin allergies from temporal skin damages. Allergies are disorder of the immune system causing adverse reactions to substances (allergens) not harmful to most and marked by the body’s production of histamines and associated with atopical use.

Almost all skincare product has actives, and this actives sometimes may cause skin allergies to some people.

This is why before you use a new product you bought, patch test on skin is very important.

Why do a patch test?

Patch test on skin, can be done at home too not necessarily seeing a derma. If you are scared of trying out a new cream, lotion, try doing a patch test on your skin before you incorporate into your skincare routine.

Unfortunately bad product can damage your skin over night, patch test prevent skin overall disaster.

Parts for patch test on skin

Patch testing is best done on hidden areas of the body like;

Under arm

Behind the ears

Upper arm


How long does a skin patch test take?

This doesn’t take forever to do a simple patch test at home. It all depends on your skin because skin differs.

It takes 3 – 5 days to do a simple patch test for a new product.

Causes of Allergies in skincare products


Sensitive skin can be irritated by fragrances in body moisturisers. It cause rashes for some people who are allergic to it. Frangrances such as;

linalool,  limonene,  citronellol


The only safe way to make skincare last longer is by preserving them with chemicals. The over the counter products have preservatives in them. Moreover,some of these preservatives can cause allergies on the skin.

Common preservatives include:

methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing ingredients.


Because retinols are very potent, one need to be very careful how you use them. Retinols are strong anti aging and rejevunating product for skin issues but not everybody can tolerate it. In most cases, many are allergic to retinols.


Those particularly found in chemical-powered exfoliating products, hair and beard dyes, alcohol, antiperspirants, and harsh cleansers, shampoos, and soaps can cause you allergies.

How to choose a product

Patch test on your skin helps you to avoid potential allergic reactions to skin care products,you can safe yourself skin troubles by;

1. Searching for labels that say fragrance-free. 

Some products may have labels stating that they are unscented, but these may still contain fragrances.

2. Hypoallergic

Labels that say hypoallergic, organic, or suitable for sensitive skin do not necessarily guarantee the ingredients will not cause a reaction. Instead, people may want to look for products labeled  that states “free and clear”.

3. See ingredient list

Always read the list of ingredients on products carefully and see if they recognize any known allergens you skin don’t need.

Types of Allergies

There are two types of adverse reactions. Slow and fast.

Contact dermatitis 

“This is an irritant contact dermatitis, which happens quickly, within few minutes to hours of exposure. 

The second is an allergic contact dermatitis (slow) which takes repeated exposure to the product and days to develop at least 3-5 days.

Symptoms of Allergies during patch test

Allergies symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways;








Skin purge

Acne eruption


Subsequently,  it’s when your products are making your skin worse, rather than better.

Everyone’s skin is different, and the more intense and active your products’ ingredients become, the more proactive you need to be in order to mitigate adverse reactions on your skin.

  Product Actives

It’s not only in bad products that you run a risk. You might experience allergies from something as simple as a bar of soap, a cleanser, or shampoo if their cleansing powers is very potent and have high percentage of actives in them.

Why patch testing on your skin 

This is to avoid overall damage or body harm on the skin from adverse reactions.

Irritation can come from anywhere, but there are also a few common sources. 

Because skin differs and how your skin react to a product may differs with anothers,  yet no irritation may occur, while you may have an irritation from the same products.

How to do patch test for a new product

  1. Clean the area (upper arm, behind your ears, back etc) you want to apply your new product.
  2. Take a pea size of the product and apply evenly
  3. If possible get a bandage to protect the area you applied the product.
  4. If you notice any discomfort on your skin from the topical use of the product almost immediately or few minutes or hours later, wash off and discontinue.
  5. But if you use for the first day and you didn’t react to it, give it more time. Use consecutively for 3-5days.
  6. If nothing happens, no iirritations, no allergy. The new product is good  and safe for your skin.

Patch test at home is nothing complicated than the simple steps I just outlined above.



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