Your guide to natural and organic living

How to do a patch test

January 17, 2009

Although natural, essential oils can still cause allergic reactions in some people. If you have sensitive skin, unsure how your skin will react or using a particular essential oil for the first time, it is advisable to do a patch test first. You can also use this method for carrier oils.

A patch test is a simple test used to identify whether a substance that comes into contact with your skin will cause an allergic reaction.

  1. Mix 3 drops of the essential oil you wish to test with 10ml carrier oil.
  2. Massage a small amount of this blend onto the skin on the inside of your arm. The blend should not be applied to broken skin.
  3. Cover with a hypoallergenic plaster and leave for 24 hours.
  4. Remove the plaster in the morning and if your skin looks normal, the oil is safe to use.
  5. If you experience a burning sensation, itching, redness or the area becomes very warm, do not use the blend on your skin. If reaction occurs, wash your skin with unfragranced soap and cool water, pat dry.


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