Sometimes people do too much, rather than not enough, to their skin. We believe in a less-is-better philosophy, with a simple regimen and common-sense approach to skin health. Unlike a lot of skincare companies, we want to help you pare down your products to just a handful of things that work great for you, so you can focus on what's important in life.
First, Do No Harm
Got "problem" skin? Start doing less — use less-abrasive cleansers, exfoliate no more than necessary, and don't layer powerful products that were not formulated to be used together — and your skin may pleasantly surprise you. Your skincare could be irritating your skin without your knowledge.
When trying a new product, do just that: a trial. Unfortunately, what works great for one person could irritate the next person's skin. And that irritation could be minor, or it could surprise you with a full-blown allergic reaction, consisting of redness, bumps, swelling, itching, and even pain. So it's important to test your products on a small area of skin before using them on your entire face. This is called skin patch testing.
How to Do a Skin Patch Test
The gold standard of testing a new product on your skin consists of watching for three things, and testing for each one is a little different from the next. But for all of them, you're only applying a small amount of product to a small area of skin to minimize the potential damage in the case of a bad reaction.
The three things to test for:
1. Allergies, or whether your immune system will perceive it as a threat
Most experts suggest doing an allergy skin patch test on the inside of your elbow. This way, it's easy to see any bad reaction, but won't disrupt your lifestyle if one occurs.
2. Irritation, or whether it will sensitize your skin
For this one, you decide where you're most sensitive. Maybe it's the apples of your cheeks, on your scalp line, or on the tip of your nose. Your chest, if it's usually sensitive, could be a good stand-in for the sensitive parts of your face.
3. Comedogenicity, or whether it will clog your pores
If you're acne-prone, test in an area where your skin typically breaks out.
You will have to determine the amount of time to test each product. For an allergy test, 12 hours might be sufficient if you typically react quickly to allergens. Irritation might take a few days of consistent use to show up. To identify a product that clogs pores, you might want to apply the product daily for a week or two. It's up to you; listen to your skin!
If there's no reaction, the product passed your test! You can always test a bit longer if you're not sure. If there was a reaction, stop using the product and be glad you didn't put it all over your entire face.
Why Did My Skin React?
We have variations in our DNA. Each of our immune systems has been exposed (or not exposed) to different things. And each person's skin is in various states of health and aging. These are the factors that can influence how your skin reacts to an ingredient — either by changing in a positive way, not reacting at all, or breaking out in redness, bumps, itching, swelling or other bad reactions.
A bad reaction doesn't necessarily mean the product is "bad" in some way (toxic, contaminated, etc.); it just means it wasn't a good fit for you. But when the unfortunate bad reaction happens, it can be very upsetting and frustrating — it's your face, after all!
Hopefully it was just one new product you tried, and not a completely new skincare regimen. This helps narrow it down, and by comparing the ingredients list to other products you've used successfully, you can try to pinpoint which ingredient is the problematic one. We advise you to stop using it and not try to build up a tolerance. Allergies typically get worse over time, not better; sensitive skin and irritation is usually the same.
Skincare Safety Is Always Relevant
We’re serious about skincare safety not because we use harsh ingredients, but because even the most wonderful, beautiful, naturally derived ingredients (like shea butter or essential oils), and the most amazing, effective and gentle clinical active ingredients (like vitamins B and E), can cause an adverse reaction in a tiny sliver of the population.
These ingredients provide amazing benefits to the vast majority of our customers, and that’s why we use them. On the other hand, there is a whole slew of toxic and harmful ingredients that we do not use, and you can read about those here.
To your health and beauty!