1. The Product
Request a free sample of a natural or organic beauty product made with vegetable-based ingredients.
If the retailer refuses to provide a sample, request a small amount in container. Explain that you would like to see if you are allergic to the product before buying it. Hint that you are interested in buying the product, and the retailer should oblige!
When making homemade beauty cosmetics, patch test all new ingredients by making a paste with a small amount of water and following the directions below.
2. The Prep
- Wash a small area on the inside of your arm near your elbow. Wipe it clean.
- Apply a small amount of the product using a spatula or dull table knife. Rub the product into your skin.
- Cover the area of application with a waterproof adhesive bandage. Choose a bandage with adhesive area all around the edge, not just the sides. While not ideal, wear a long-sleeve shirt if you don't have an adhesive bandage instead.
3. The Skin
- Remove bandage or shirt after 24 hours.
- If skin becomes irritated, pour whole milk over application area. The milk's fat will help to remove the product.
- Examine skin for any redness, itching, or blemishes. These visible signs plus any itchy or irritable sensations indicate that you are allergic to something in the product.
- If your skin is clear and comfortable, you're safe to use the product.
- If you seem to be reacting to the product, you can either repeat the patch test to double-check, or take a single test as proof that the product is not right for you.
- Take note of the product's active ingredients, which are always listed first. You may be allergic to one of these ingredients.
- Research active ingredients on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Reviews Database for further information that may shed some light on your reaction.
- If you do have an allergic reaction, avoid using products listing potentially irritating ingredients.
- Take note of the brand, which may use the same active ingredients throughout all products.