Patch Testing Guide
Updated for 2023
Lash and brow tinting treatments have gained immense popularity in recent years, offering customers the opportunity to enhance their natural features without the need for daily makeup application. However, before diving into these treatments, it is crucial to prioritise safety and ensure that potential risks are minimised. This is where patch testing comes into play.
WHAT IS A PATCH TEST?
Patch testing is a great way to make sure your client doesn't have any allergies to the tint products you plan on using during their desired treatment. It's a super simple process where you apply a small amount of the product to a specific area of the skin to see if any reaction occurs. It's a little safety check to keep your client comfortable and ensure a smooth and enjoyable treatment experience for them.
HOW TO DO A PATCH TEST
Patch testing is an important safety procedure performed before applying tinting products to the delicate eye or brow area. This simple yet essential test involves the following steps:
- Select the Area: Choose a small area of skin behind the ear or on the inner arm, as these areas are sensitive and similar in composition to the skin around the eyes.
- Apply the Tinting Product: Using a clean applicator or cotton swab, apply a small amount of the tinting product to the designated area. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer - the new recommendation for 2023 is a 2:1 ratio.
- Wait and Observe: Leave the tinting product on the skin for the recommended duration of 45 minutes. Advise the client to avoid rubbing or washing the test area during this period.
- Check for Reactions: After the designated time, examine the patch test area for any signs of redness, swelling, itching, or irritation. If any adverse reactions occur, it is essential to avoid using the tinting product on the client.
To ensure accurate results, we recommend performing the patch test 48 hours before the actual lash or brow treatment. This timeframe allows you to thoroughly assess the client's skin reaction and make any necessary adjustments to the products used.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A PATCH TEST?
Keep in mind that patch tests aren't 100% accurate - sometimes they may not provide a conclusive answer.
However, if your client doesn't show any signs of sensitivity to the products you've used, you are free to continue with their lash or brow treatment. In cases where your client has experienced a reaction to the products, it's crucial that you do not continue with the treatments. Above all, if your client has had a severe reaction to the tint, it's essential to encourage them to seek medical advice.
DO YOU NEED TO PATCH TEST BEFORE EVERY TREATMENT?
Although patch tests can be considered an inconvenience, new guidelines recommend you carry out a patch test on all clients before any treatment - that's both new and existing clients.
WHY IS PATCH TESTING IMPORTANT?
- Allergic Reactions: Performing a patch test helps identify any potential allergies that could cause discomfort or even harm to the eyes. Allergic reactions can be tricky and unexpected, even for those who have had lash or brow tinting before. That's why conducting a patch test before each treatment allows you to minimise the risk of adverse reactions such as redness, swelling, itching, or irritation, which can be uncomfortable and, in severe cases, harmful to the eyes.
- Sensitivities: Patch testing isn't just about detecting allergies; it's also about identifying sensitivities to the ingredients in our tinting products. Each client is unique, and some individuals may have specific sensitivities that could lead to mild irritation or discomfort when exposed to certain components of the tint. By conducting this simple test, you can spot any potential sensitivities and make informed decisions. It allows you to either choose alternative products that are better suited for your clients or adjust the treatment accordingly.
- Client Safety: The eye area is particularly delicate and sensitive, and any adverse reactions to tinting products can cause discomfort, swelling, or even more serious consequences for your clients. That's why patch testing is an essential step to ensure client safety. By taking the time to perform a patch test, you can demonstrate your commitment to providing a safe environment and minimising the risk of harm during lash and brow tint treatments.
Remember, a patch test is an excellent precautionary measure to ensure your client's safety and well-being during their lash or brow treatment. By prioritising their safety and ensuring their satisfaction, you're not only building trust but also helping them feel confident and beautiful throughout their lash and brow journey with you. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
Read more about the updates to patch testing for 2023 here.
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