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How Redheads Should Patch-Test Beauty Products Before Use

Are your products 'redhead friendly'? has followed the Redhead-Friendly approval process since its launch in 2011. It usually takes the H2BAR team 10-14 days to fully approve an item. The products are then considered for an article (like this one) and/or placed in a monthly or Deluxe H2BAR Box.

It’s important to do this at home for items you don’t receive in your H2BAR Box. Due to redhead skin, eyes/eyelashes being very sensitive, redheads should always test their products first with strip tests. Then, if no reactions, begin to use sparingly (every other day/night). Once you notice no reactions, begin to use daily or as directed. Redhead skin requires testing and gradual usage for the best results.

This is what I do at home to approve products for my red hair or sensitive redhead skin:

How to perform a patch-test

Once I purchase an item, I patch test it. If it’s for a skincare or beauty item, I either patch it on the back of my hand or my inner wrist. If it’s for a hair product, I choose a small chunk of hair on the nape of my neck.

I also read and follow all instructions that come attached to the product. This way, I know how it’s reacting to my redhead skin but I also know how it’s supposed to be used. Many times, people have adverse reactions simply because they didn’t follow instructions — for instance, a face mask may only need to be applied for 1-2 minutes but if you leave on for 10-30 minutes, you may experience a rash or breakout. No one wants that!

Once I do the patch test I wait a full 24 hours to see any reactions and keep an eye on the spot for any reactions that might come in later on.

Why do any of this?  

The process takes a hot minute but it could potentially save you the time of breakouts, itchiness, dry patches, or something more severe in some cases.

If I test more than one product, I label them by number to make sure I don’t get them mixed up as my day passes and the patch test goes on. Numbers 1 and 4 went on the back of my hand while 2, 3, and 5 went on the inner part of my wrist to account for skin sensitivity.

Below are a few items I tested and tried. You can get a sense of how I approved the items and the steps I took:

1. Freeman Feeling Beautiful Hydrating Cactus and Cloudberry Water Gel Mask

I was only able to find this product in a 6 oz, which for testing is quite large but for the price, it’s quite a good amount. My initial impression is that it has a tropical refreshing smell to it due to its multiple berries, roots and extracts that make up the ingredient list.

It maintained a gel-like substance for the entire 15 minutes and wiped off quite nicely. My skin is a little tender but that could also be attributed to wiping off the face mask.

After a few days, my skin feels refreshed and I am excited to use it again. As most redheads know, reactions can occur days after using products. So, this one is definitely redhead-approved in my book.

2. L.A. Colors Dramatilash Lash Adhesive in Clear

Most redheads, like me, have very sensitive eyes. For special events, you may need to use a false eyelash adhesive. From what I’ve read the main issue with this product is that it’s runnier than more eyelash glues which could result in difficulty getting eyelashes to set in place.

The glue took a little over 40 minutes to turn clear on the spots where I put it on the thickest and it remained sticky as a whole even on the thinner spots. I definitely see there being an issue if you’re applying lashes quickly if the glue takes this long to dry. Once it does dry and set it definitely has some stick to it.

If you have time to spare, this product did not upset my eyes. I will turn to it next time I have to apply false eyelashes.

3. Wet n’ Wild Mega Jelly Eyeshadow in shade ‘Wedding Season’

This shiny little pot caught my eye for its almost coppery shine. I love the color but the smell reminds me more of acrylic paint which does press some concern due to this being an eyeshadow. It went on smoothly with a few clumps and I personally liked the particular shade.

At the 24-hour mark, there were no negative reactions when I tested the products. I was worried about the scent but I didn’t smell it at all when it was on my eyelids. I really love the shade with my red hair and look forward to using it again.

4. Tressa Color Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner 

Found in the H2BAR Shop, my red hair does fade during some points of the year. The redhead shampoo and conditioner is great because I apply it in the shower and I get a nice vibrant shade. It’s non-permanent, never causes roots and naturally washes away. I carefully read the instructions: Use this if your hair is fading or you want more red in your hair. Always strip test first + do NOT use if you have blonde highlights in your hair. Apply to wet hair. Lather for 2-3 minutes, Rinse. Repeat for added intensity.

I chose the nape of the neck. I chose a small section, wet it and applied the shampoo. I also did the same in another section for the conditioner. I did this for 4-5 days, and I didn’t receive any issues. My hair looked great in those areas. I waited a few more days and about a week after I received it, I used both in the shower.

For those who want to test it quickly, you can mix the Tressa conditioner with your regular conditioner and the Tressa shampoo with your regular shampoo. It will dilute it and give you a very subtle glow.

Rock it like a Redhead! 

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