This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


how to patch test skin care

What Is Patch Testing In Skin Care?

As a dermatologist developed brand, we always recommend an initial small test on your skin for any new skin care product you would like to incorporate into your routine.

The industry refers to this initial test as a “patch” test and it’s done in order to introduce the product to the skin to determine if any adverse reactions or irritations occur. Your skin structure is very individual and any product can cause a sensitivity no matter if unknown to you prior or undocumented previously. All Prequel products undergo Repeat Insult Skin Patch Testing (RIPT) to evaluate the irritation and sensitization potential of a product but sensitivity can still occur in individuals which is why a patch test is recommended prior to use.

Since each product formula is different, a positive step to avoid a reaction or ultimately try to prevent irritation is to perform a patch test and then slowly incorporate the product from there into your daily/weekly routine. Assuming no initial reactions are experienced.

How To Patch Test Skin Care

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following steps:

  1. Apply the product to a small patch of skin where a person is unlikely to accidentally wash or rub it away. Good areas may include the inside of the arm or bend of the elbow.

  2. Apply the product to a quarter-sized patch of skin. A person should apply the product as thickly as they would when using it regularly.

  3. Leave the product on the patch of skin for as long as it would normally be on the skin. If a person is testing a product that they would usually wash off, such as a cleanser, they should keep the patch on for 5 minutes or as long as the instructions advise.

  4. Repeat the patch test twice a day for between 7–10 days. A reaction may not happen immediately, so it is important to continue applying the product for this length of time.

  5. If a person’s skin reacts to the product, they should wash it off as soon as possible and stop using it. A person can use a cool compress or petroleum jelly to relieve the skin if needed.

Why Is It Important To Patch Test?

By performing a patch test on a small area of skin, a person can see how their skin tolerates a product before committing to using the product over a larger area.

What Else Can I Do To Avoid Sensitivities To A New Product?

In general, when incorporating a new skin care item into your routine, not only is patch testing recommended but it is also a good idea to slowly acclimate your skin to a new product. Start by applying a new product once or twice a week then slowly build tolerance and incorporate as indicated on the product instructions.

[1] (

DISCLAIMER: All skin care articles are intended to help educate on specific ingredients and skin care topics. Our articles are written to be informative and informational. Any reference to a specific patient experience is not a medical suggestion for treatment. Please note that any Prequel products with referenced ingredients are formulated for Cosmetic Use Only and NOT intended as replacements for physician advice and/or pharmaceutical product recommendations.



No more products available for purchase

Your Cart is Empty