Doing a patch test isn’t rocket science - it’s simply common sense. You can never be completely sure how your skin or hair will react to certain chemicals or ingredients, which is why patch tests are so important. Despite this, people continue to ignore the warnings on the labels of the products they use. If you’re one of the many who don’t give patch tests a second thought, you may want to rethink the risks and consequences you are making yourself prone to.
Ever rushed home to try a new product you’ve bought, only to end up with a terrible skin rash or embarrassing hairstyle? Chances are, you didn’t do a patch test. Virtually all hair care, skincare and cosmetic products carry information stressing the importance of performing a patch test prior to using the product. A 2004 study reported that 10% of adults in the
United States and
Europe suffered from adverse reactions to cosmetics, as well as 30% being vulnerable to allergic contact dermatitis (a condition caused by the body’s reaction a substance that made direct contact with the skin).
No matter your age or ethnic background, everyone should take caution and do a patch test when trying out a new product. Because it is impossible to know what each person is allergic or sensitive to, patch tests are perfect for determining what ingredients or chemicals can trigger an allergic reaction, if any.
Hair dye is one product where patch tests are critical. Patch tests are a must before dyeing the hair, whether it’s in a salon or at home, especially if the dye is permanent or semi-permanent. If you’re planning on dyeing your hair at home, perform a patch test 48 hours prior to use. Apply a small amount of the hair dye either behind your ear or on the inside of your arm near the elbow. Do not wash or rinse off this area for at least 48 hours. If no burning, itching or stinging sensation occurs, that is the green light for you to go ahead and use the product. Patch tests should also be done if you’re getting your hair dyed in a salon. The stylist should have no problems with doing a patch test for you and always be sure to ask that it be done before anything touches your hair and scalp.
For skin care products and cosmetics, the process works the same way. Be sure that the area you choose to do the patch test on is clean and free of any lotion or other products. After applying the product, let it sit on your skin undisturbed for a period between 24-48 hours. Afterwards, gently wash off the product using soap and water. Note any changes in the appearance of your skin or if you experience any uncomfortable burning or stinging. If you do happen to develop an allergic reaction, do not use the product and either throw it away or get a refund. Seek immediate help from your doctor or dermatologist if you experience allergic contact dermatitis to any skincare, hair care or cosmetic products.
|Understanding Product Labels|
Product labels have been a fixture on the cosmetics counter for a very long time. Scientific jargon are plastered all over the counter’s jars and containers, from the words “hypoallergenic” to “unscented” to the all-too-popular “natural.”
.” Do the words expressed on the bottles really have
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You’re at the cosmetic counter at the mall, looking to invest in a few new products for your skin. You choose several products and compare the ingredients, but you ask yourself, what is hyaluronic acid?
Or, you’re at the drugstore and notice your cleanser has new packaging with headlines