A woman smelling lotion in her hand

7 Steps To Test If New Skincare Products Work for Eczema

As an eczema patient of over 30 years, when it comes to testing out different skincare and treatment options for my eczema, there are a few criteria that I go through to see if they really work for me or not.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a scientist so I cannot back up any of these statements with any kind of scientific or medical proof other than first-hand experience from my specific lens and set of circumstances. I hope that these personal, anecdotal insights will be interesting and possibly useful for other eczema warriors trying to figure out their own specific way of testing new skincare products on their sensitive skin.

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Step #1

The first thing I do is (if I am able to) smell the product, if there is a tester available. I am a highly sensitive person and for me, I notice that sometimes I can tell if a product will be good or bad for me just by smelling it. Sometimes I will smell a skincare product and if there is a strong fragrance, it is a red flag because my skin gets both dried out and irritated by fragrances. Sometimes there is not a perfume-type of fragrance, but another kind of fragrance and it will trigger some sort of irritated reaction in my gut or my skin and I know it is not good for me to apply topically.

Step #2

If I am not able to smell the product, I will try to get a sample or the smallest size of the product that I can purchase. This is in case it does not work for me and is not worth paying for the full size version.

Step #3

Then, I will apply a small amount of the product on the healthiest skin that I have because I want to avoid irritating skin that is already damaged. I figure that if it does not negatively affect my healthy skin, it should at least be safe enough to apply on my irritated skin and hopefully either be harmless or actually helpful.

Step #4

If my healthy skin starts getting irritated, then I am not going to put the product on irritated skin and I'll stop using it immediately. And at least I didn’t make a bad situation worse even though I may have more irritation elsewhere. I think that in the heat of the moment, many of us warriors will get desperate, buy the first thing that says it will “heal” or “cure” eczema and then slather the product on thickly on rashes without doing the due diligence of testing the product on healthy skin first to make sure it is at least safe before putting it on damaged skin.

Step #5

If the product does not create any irritation, I will then apply a small, thin layer about the size of a quarter on the edge of damaged skin and healthy skin and see how it goes. I’ll wait at least 24 hours before judging whether or not it passes this first step of application.

Step #6

If there's still no irritation after 24 hours, then I will go ahead and try to put a slightly thicker layer on the irritated part, but only a small amount like before. I will wait another 24 hours before judging whether or not it is truly safe to put as much of it as I want on my rashes.

Step #7

Now, if I have a product that has passed all of these steps and tests and I actually decide to seriously use it over a longer period of time, I will give it at least 2 weeks to see how much it could potentially do for me.

In my experience and observation of other people with chronic illnesses, it seems to me that it takes about 2 weeks to see if a new treatment, product, or protocol will make any kind of significant difference one way or another. And if it does make some kind of noticeable positive difference, then it is something that could be considered to be used for even longer than 2 weeks—so long as there are no consequences or side effects from longer term use.

What’s your routine when it comes to trying out new skincare products? Let’s learn together in this community! Please share your thoughts, opinions and insights in the comments below and good luck!

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