How To Perform a Patch Test Before Using a New Skincare Product [Guide]

Every skin care formula may contain ingredients that can cause allergies and irritation to your skin. That is why we recommend patch testing every product that you buy, no matter how good the reviews.

Here is our guide on how to test and safely use skin care products.

test allergic reaction behind earThe test for potential allergic reactions should be performed in the area behind the ear.


skin irritation test


The test for potential skin irritation requires the application of the product on the area where your skin is most sensitive.


acne test skin

The test for potential acne breakouts requires the application of the product in the area where your skin is more prone to acne.



How large should the test area be?

Large enough for you to notice if any complication occurs, but small enough so you’ll be able to react quickly without causing excessive damage to the skin.

How long should I keep performing the patch test?

Do not wash that area of the skin for at least 24 hours; watch for any sign of a skin reaction (irritation, redness, itching, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, rash, etc.).

If no reaction occurs, it is very likely that you will not experience allergy or skin irritation in the future.

Usually, people with more sensitive skin notice almost immediate reactions (varying from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours after the application of the product).

Note that a negative skin reaction may be experienced after longer periods of time as well (more than 24h).

The individual results may vary since every one of us has individual skin characteristics. This is why, it is highly recommended to perform the patch test for at least 2-3 days before starting to regularly apply your skincare product.

A printable A4 version of this guide you can find in PDF version here.

For more guides and advice on skin issues and solutions follow us at

About the author

Monika Hristova

Monika is the Editor-in-Chief at SkinPractice. She is a skin care addict and researcher, who feels strongly about helping people with different cosmetology conditions from alopecia to warts.

You can read her recommendations and advice both here at SkinPractice or at Quora where she answers skincare-related questions frequently and is the most viewed author in the Skincare category with more than 3 million views or follow her on LinkedIn.

She is also a certified skin care specialist with certification from the cosmetic College in Sofia.

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