Best Way to Test New Skin Care Products

It's always advisable to test a new skin care product before use and parents of children with sensitive, allergy and eczema prone skin will want to be extra cautious when introducing a new product to their children's skin care routine. We explain the best way to do this so you can be sure that a new product is safe for your child.

Use our guide to patch testing skin care for children to help prevent skin problems for your little one.

  1. Test just one product at a time. Trialing multiple products at once can make it difficult to determine which ingredient could be causing a reaction.
  2. Aim to to conduct the patch test at least 12 hours before bathing so there is enough time for the product to sink in.
  3. Make sure that your child's skin is clean and dry before testing. Remove all traces of previously applied products and dry skin thoroughly.
  4. Apply a pea size amount of the test product in 3 places: inside the elbow, behind the knee and on the back of the neck on the same side of the body. This means you can compare to the other side and rule out triggers such as food or laundry detergent.
  5. If any redness, burning, rash, itching, or stinging occurs, wash the patch test areas immediately and discontinue using the product.

If no reaction occurs, wait two days, and then repeat the steps above, applying the product to the same three areas. Conducting a repeated patch test is very important as some reactions don’t occur immediately.

Irritant contact dermatitis produces a localised reaction in the contact area which will be quickly apparent. This type of reaction won’t worsen with repeated exposure to the irritant and will begin to reduce as soon as the irritant is removed. Typically, triggers of irritant contact dermatitis can affect anyone exposed to the irritant. Eczema sufferers can be particularly sensitive. 

Allergic contact dermatitis is an allergy to a particular ingredient. This type of reaction may take 2 to 3 days to develop as the  body detects the antigen on the skin’s surface then activates the immune system, which in turn triggers the allergic contact dermatitis.

Only a small percentage of children will react to an allergen. The ingredient will be completely harmless to those who are not allergic to it. As with all allergic reactions, repeated exposure to an allergen can worsen the allergic reaction. This is why it's important to conduct repeated patch tests, waiting a few days in between each test to see if an immune response is triggered.