Skin care 101: why are patch tests so important?

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A patch test is the only way to know for sure if you’ll react badly to a product – even if you’ve not had any problems with it in the past. So, whether you’re offering treatments or receiving them yourself, it’s essential not to skip the test stage.

To keep things simple, we’ve put together a list of everything you need to know about patch tests – for you, and your clients.

1. Is a patch test necessary before every treatment?

As a customer, it’s essential to know whether products used are going to react badly with your skin. As a beauty therapist, for insurance purposes, you’ll need to perform a patch test on every new client ahead of their first skin care treatment with you. Also, ahead of every new treatment they receive, as well as if their health has changed or product ingredients have been altered.

2. Why are they so important?

If a client complained after their skin reacted to a treatment with you, you’d be at risk of paying damages – but only if the client could prove you’d been negligent. Giving them a patch test means your insurance can protect you against big claims landing on your lap.

3. What’s the law surrounding patch tests?

If you don’t perform a patch test on your client ahead of a skin care treatment, your insurance won’t be able to cover you if a client makes a claim against you. To make sure you can show you haven’t been negligent and forgotten to test anyone when needed, keep a record of patch tests in your notes on each client.

4. How does it work?

As every product is different, take a look at the manufacturer’s guidelines. Whatever the treatment, though, the purpose of the test is to check whether your client will have an allergic reaction to your products. As well as covering yourself against damages and protecting your client from skin issues, it’s an ideal time to talk through the treatment and discuss the look they’d like to achieve. Why not turn a legal necessity into a benefit for your customer?

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