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The Skincare Heidi Safe Introduction Protocol: Adding New Products to Your Routine.

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Starting a new product is one of the best parts of Skincare. You have a box of shiny new bottles... Hurrah! The rush! The excitement! The questions!?! You know it's a bad idea to do the thing you really want to do and just start dripping them all over your face...

But what should you do instead? To get to your best routine you need to plan out these steps:

  • Patch Test Week. Rule out any allergies and get to know your new product.

  • Plan Your Progress. How are you going to get the best results from your new product?

  • Find Your Maintenance Level. The Three Tent Poles of Routine Building.

Every new product is an opportunity for better skin and every new product will do one of three things, either: nothing, make your skin better, make your skin worse.

My Introduction Protocol is a system to evaluate new products and to assess what is happening to your skin. This article will break down the Safe Introduction Protocol so that you can feel completely confident at each step along the way.



The boring first step of all skincare. The bit you just want to get out of the way. Pointless. Wasteful. Right? Wrong! Time to change your mind and discover the joy of getting to know your products. Just because patch testing isn't as glamorous as a Red Peel selfie doesn't mean you should ignore it! Don't treat patch testing as a necessary evil, but instead think of it as a way to play with your new friend without all the hassle.

Why I love to Patch Test:

💘 You don't have to slot it into your routine 💘 You don't have see if it conflicts with every other thing you use 💘 You don't even have to decide when or how you are going to introduce it. You can just play!


My idea of a Patch Test is a bit more in depth than a quick swipe and be done. The goal of the patch test is to discover something about your skin and your skin won't tell you much with only one little drop of product. The first week with your new product is your chance to learn as much as you can about how it works and what it does for you. Each daily step is another opportunity to collect information.

Use this information to plan out your first week of testing any new product. Make notes - there is a template to copy and paste below. Evaluate the product. Assess your skin.

💙 SH SIP: Safe Intro Protocol, Patch Test Week 💙

There is no reason to be intimidated or to overthink Patch Testing. It's not a complicated process. You don't have to worry about messing it up. I've provided a lot of detail because I want you to feel completely confident about each step.

• Day One: test one drop of product on your on inner arm or elbow fold by lightly patting the product into the skin. I know, arm skin is not face skin and you're only likely to have a reaction on your arm if you have an actual allergy. However, testing for adverse reaction is only one reason to patch test. The main reason is to observe the product: texture, colour, consistency etc. Record your evaluation of the product and assessment of its effect on your skin in your Bullet Journal (you can use the template below). And besides, if you DO have a reaction won't you be glad it's not on your face?

• Day Two: test one drop of product under your jaw or behind the ear. This is because you want to test close to the face but in an area that's not too visible. Ideally you should do this patch test after cleansing, on clean dry skin. Avoid the area when you're doing your normal skincare that day, or better yet, test at a time of day when you don't normally do skincare, like mid-day, for example. You may choose to skip actives altogether on this day so you don't have to worry about affecting the results.

• Day three: Patch test your full *test routine* on your arm (shout out to Ali K for this idea!) By *test routine* I mean the routine that you expect to test for the rest of the week. In most cases this will mean adding one drop of your new product into your night cream. The goal is to evaluate how your new product will fit in with the rest of your products. If you plan to use the product in different toutines (ie morning and night) test one routine today and one on Day Four. It's surprising what you can learn by patch testing your routine. I learned that NAAP will make Euk sink straight in, but only IF the NAAP goes first, not after.

don't use the new product on your face this day.

• Day four: add one drop of the product into your moisturiser or face cream, PM only. If you are feeling experimental try using the new product on only half your face, as this will give you the most information - I apply my usual night cream and then tap one drop of the new product on top, but over half of the face only. It's interesting what you may discover - with CAIS there was a clear improvement in hydration on the CAIS side. Unexpected!

Don’t use any other actives this day.

• Day five: Day off. Do your normal routines AM and PM as usual but don’t use your new product.

• Day six: add one drop of the product into your moisturiser or face cream, PM only, after your normal routine. You may want to repeat the *half face* technique from Day Three.

• Day seven: repeat day six. Go full face if you tested half face on day six.

Wonderful! You have completed your Patch Test Week for your new product. 💙💙💙

Next step: plan your second week for how you will build this product into your routine.


PRODUCT NAME: Start date for Day one:

• Day One: One drop on your arm.