Thursday, 15 May 2014

Patch Testing, or, The Importance of Patience

No one's skin is infallible. Not even mine.

I've been blessed with skin that bounces back quickly from all kinds of ingredients -- fragrance, alcohols, SLS, and so on -- yet has some degree of sensitivity so I can tell whether or not something would be good for it in the long run. My reactions to products are usually no more than a day of dryness or one small pimple -- especially now that I've cut SLS and alcohols from my day-to-day routine. I've taken this gift, and I've abused it. I'm here to plead my apologies.

Patch testing is very important and something I stress a lot. And yes, I do patch test! My sin lies in the time I wait between patch testing and using the actual product. Because my skin doesn't typically break out, I rarely wait more than a day before slathering a product over my entire face after the test. But as those of you with more sensitive skin know, it can take days for a reaction to occur. I ignored this, and when I received a flurry of boxes in the last week, I took it upon myself to patch test a whole bunch of products.

In the last few days, I've noticed some dryness in the form of scaly, tiny bumps on my lower lip line. I figured that it was a cold sore or dryness, slapped some lip balm on there and proceeded to ignore it. I would know if it was a cold sore the next day, so I didn't really care. The next day, it was about the same, no real change, so I believed it was just dry skin. Today? The little bumps/scales have made it full circle around the outline of my lips, and now they hurt. They're not filled with pus so I'm fairly sure that it's neither acne nor an infection, but contact dermatitis -- basically, an allergic reaction.

Because of the way I've been using new products left and right, there's no real way for me to pinpoint what it was that caused it. It may not have been any new product I've used, in fact! It may have been something I ate -- some say mangoes can cause it due to a compound in the skin that is the same as in poison ivy. But until this clears up and I can (slowly) try out products again, there's no way of truly knowing.

Don't be me. Test patch properly and slowly. Check out Skincare Addiction for some tips on where and how long to test patch -- at least one day per product, and one product per day.

In other news, this means that reviews will take longer to write in order for me to test products properly OR I will not test out some items before writing the review (and say so, of course).


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