How To Do A Patch Test When You Buy Makeup Online?

By Subodh / January 14, 2014

When you buy makeup online one of the biggest risks is having an allergic reaction to it. Even if you read through the list of chemicals contained within the cosmetics you buy there is no way to know what you’re allergic to until you’ve tested it out. Unfortunately, just testing something you know on the skin is dangerous so it’s best to try it out on a small patch of skin before deciding to use it full scale.

Get the product 

Before you buy makeup online make sure to get a free sample, this is especially important when you’re interested in purchasing organic or natural beauty products that are supposedly made from plants. There are some retailers and online sellers that may refuse to give you a sample in which case you should ask for a small amount of it in a container. Try to explain to the person in charge that your objective is to make sure that you’re not in any way allergic to the product prior to buying it. You should hint that you want to purchase the product and most retailers should oblige as a result.

 When patch testing cosmetics start by making a small amount of paste by mixing in some water. The water is important because it helps you make a past of powered cosmetics.

 Preparation phase 

  • Start by washing a small area near your elbow. Then wipe this area clean.
  • Then apply a very small amount of the product with the help of a spatula or by just using a regular table knife. Then just rub this product into your skin.
  • Then cover this area with a good waterproof adhesive bandage. You should ideally choose a bandage that has adhesive around the edge and not only the sides. Even though this is not ideal, you can get away by wearing a long sleeve shirt if an adhesive bandage is not available.

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 Your skin 

  • You should first remove the bandage or your shirt after a good 24 hours.
  • If your skin has become irritated, then pour some whole milk over the area. The fat from the milk will help to eliminate a lot of the product.
  • Then just examine your skin for blemishes, itching and redness. These are some very vivid signs but also look carefully at irritable and itchy sensations. These will indicate if you are allergic to something in the product.
  • If your skin feels safe and there are no visible signs of issues then the product is safe for you to use.
  • If you do think that your skin is reacting to the product but are not sure then redo the patch test to double check this, or just take another test in another location by following the procedure above.

Other Points Worth Considering 

  • You should always make a note of the product’s active ingredients which need to be listed first. Make sure that you’re not aware of any allergic reactions you may have to any one of those ingredients.
  • You should research all the active ingredients on the ‘Environmental Working Group’s’ database for more information that should shed light on the reaction you may have.
  • People who do experience an allergic reaction need to avoid using the products that are listed having ingredients as being potentially irritating.
  • Always take note of brands which could use the same active ingredient in all their products. This means that their whole range of products could be off limits to you.

Consult a doctor 

If you are going to buy any makeup in online for the first time and are not sure which brands you can trust then consult with a skin specialist of your choice. A doctor should be able to give you advice on which products according to him or her are the safest to use. They should also be able to point you in the direction of good natural products. That being said path testing is still important because you could be allergic to even something like milk or honey which is contained in the product even though they may be natural.

Dealing with allergic reactions

If you’ve encountered a dangerous allergic reaction as a result of patch testing (this is rare), then wash off the area immediately with water. Then apply a mild antiseptic and visit your doctor immediately.

Manu Alias has been a chemist specializing in makeup chemistry for over twenty years. He has been a part of developing many products in the industry today and knows a lot about what goes into them. He currently sells his own line of safe beauty products that anyone can buy online for a competitive price.