Patch testing

Written by Angela, 1st February 2015

Patch testing is a way of determining whether a substance which comes into contact with your skin will cause an adverse reaction.  There are several salon treatments which have the potential to cause an adverse reaction and a patch test should be carried out for your safety.

Most patch tests are carried out by placing a small amount of the test substance either in the crook of the elbow or behind the ear. Products used for eyelash and eyebrow tinting and eyelash perming are usually carried out in this way. The same process may be used for eyelash glue. For electrolysis and red vein removal a mini-treatment should be given to find out the clients reaction to the treatment. The same can be done for waxing, IPL and laser.

If you have a history of allergic reactions to products then it may be wise to patch test for other substances which you may come across in a salon treatment. The top ten skin sensitising agents are plant based so aromatic massage oils are high on the list of potential skin irritants. Products applied following waxing also have a higher than average potential for skin irritation as the skin has been sensitised from waxing.

Whatever you are patch tested for you should assess the patch test area over the next 48 hours for irritation, redness or inflammation. If an adverse reaction occurs then you should contact the salon and although the treatment with those products cannot take place it may be possible to find an alternative.

Originally published February 1, 2015 20:14pm, updated January 15, 2024

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