If you’re not already following this simple essential oil tip, then stop what you’re doing. A simple skin patch test can save you from a world of trouble, and it’s easier than you might think. You may have heard this term before, but haven’t tried it or you aren’t sure what it is. Skin patch testing is not only one of the top ways to use essential oils safely, but also skincare products in general. Here’s how and why you should be taking this important step in your EO routine.
To do a skin patch test, simply take a small amount of diluted essential oil and apply it to your inner elbow. Apply a band-aid over the oil. Then, wait for a reaction such as irritation, itchiness, redness, inflammation, etc. If a reaction occurs, remove the band-aid, wash the oil off, and apply a carrier oil over the area.
The optimal time to wait is 48 hours. If no reaction occurs within this time, it is assumed that you may not have a sensitivity or allergy to that oil, and that it is safe to use.
Why Skin Patch Test
If applying a drop of oil to your inner elbow produces redness, itchiness, inflammation, etc, you can imagine the uncomfortable results of skipping the skin patch test and applying an oil you may be allergic to, to a larger portion of your body.
Some may ask, is it always necessary to skin patch test and do I have to wait 48 hours? If you’ve already been using essential oils without skin patch testing, you likely know by now whether you are sensitive to that oil or not. However, we do recommend skin patch testing before using any essential oils topically from here on. Again, 48 hours is the optimal time to wait, but waiting a day may be sufficient.
The same rules apply when testing new skincare products. Before slathering on a new and expensive facial serum that might cause breakouts and skin damage, do a skin patch test and return it if necessary.
It is also important to note, that sensitivity to an oil may not occur within 48 hours of using it. This is especially true if you’re using essential oils undiluted, which we never recommend. To get a complete confirmation as to whether or not you’re allergic to an essential oil or body product, we recommend having your doctor do an allergy test.
What about you? Do you always do a skin patch test before using EOs topically, or is this something you’ll be adding to your routine? Let us know in the comments section below!