Patch testing – why it’s so important

Blog image for patch testing - female eye area

When we buy a new top or skirt it’s usually because we love the way it looks. When we wear it, we hope it will feel good against our skin as well as making us looking fabulous!

But what if it’s not comfortable? What if the zip digs in? Or the material is rough and grazes our skin? Well, we are disappointed, but we can take it off and we probably won’t wear it again. But that’s usually the (sad) end of the story.

It’s not quite so simple for beauty treatments. If you really want those long, luscious lashes because you know they’ll make your eyes look fabulous, if they end up not being right for you, removing them won’t take the discomfort away and the situation can be a lot more serious than wasted money.

This is why patch testing is vital. Here at Indulgence we understand the severity of what can happen if not undertaken, and we insist that all our clients have a patch test for the following treatments (as at Oct 2018 – this list may change as our treatment range grows)

Any tinting

Any lash treatments

Any brow treatments

Cryopen treatment

HIFU facials


We get asked a lot about patch tests so we’ve come up with a list of what you need to know.

What is a patch test?

A patch test is the process of applying a small amount of treatment mixture to either the crook of the elbow or behind the ear at least 48 hours before the full treatment is applied to the client. If the client has a bad reaction this area will become red, irritated and sometimes itchy. The treatment cannot go ahead if there is a bad reaction. The client must inform Indulgence Beauty Salon as soon as possible if this happens and other options can be discussed. If there is no reaction, it is safe for the treatment to take place.

Note that it is not good enough that you have had the treatment previously elsewhere. You will still need to have a patch test at Indulgence Beauty Salon. It is also important that you have a patch test once a year, even for repeated treatments as regular exposure can develop into an allergy.

Is a patch test required before every treatment?

We (and you) need to know whether your skin is going to react badly to a product. Ingredients may change over time, so having a patch test for a treatment just over a year ago won’t guarantee that the treatment will be ok for you now. And you’ll need a new patch test for every new applicable treatment you have.

For our insurance, we absolutely must have performed a patch test prior to applying a treatment. If we performed a treatment without a patch test, our insurance would be invalidated.

What does the law say?

If we have not performed a patch test ahead of a treatment, our insurance will not cover us. We keep a secure record of all patch tests in line with our insurance requirements.

Even if a client suggests signing something to say it is their decision to proceed without a patch test, this waiver would not stand up in court. Additionally, our reputation means everything to us, and we just wouldn’t do this.

Do I need an appointment for a patch test?

No, you can pop into the salon during opening hours at any time and our receptionist can do it for you. It only takes a few minutes of your time.

What if I haven’t had a patch test?

If you come in for an applicable treatment but have not had a patch test, we will not, under any circumstances be able to perform the treatment for all the reasons listed above.

Not only will we not be able to perform the treatment, you will also lose your deposit/full cost of the treatment as it clearly says in our terms and conditions that customers must have a patch test at the salon at least 48 hours prior to a treatment booking. We have a member of staff at our salon ready to perform your treatment. We still need to pay for the therapist, whether or not you are able to have the treatment.

What if I can’t get to the salon for a patch test?

If you call the salon at least 24 hours before your appointment, you will be able to rearrange your treatment for a new date, allowing you to factor in a visit for a patch test, without loss of deposit or the full cost of the treatment. Cancellations within 24 hours of the appointment or failure to show will result in the loss of deposit or full treatment cost.

You can view our terms and conditions at (link to web page)

So we hope you can see that patch testing is a must, for your own safety as well as ours and we hope this article answers any questions you may have. If you’re uncertain of anything, please get in touch. We’re very happy to discuss or answer anything to do with patch tests or Indulgence Beauty Salon!

Email us at or call us on 020 8304 7220.




Indulgence Beauty shortlisted in the finals for the South East Region of The 4th London Hair & Beauty Awards 2018 in the Beauty Salon of the Year Category.

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