Finding a new skincare product that promises out-of-this-world results -- i.e. wrinkle-reduction, anti-aging, lightening and brightening, etc. -- is like striking gold. And ladies, who doesn't like a little extra help in the beauty department these days? But before you race into your boudoir to slather on the latest and greatest serums, creams or lotions, beware of the potential for an allergic reaction. Here's the one test (let’s call it the patch test) you must always perform before starting a new skincare treatment (we’re talking non-negotiable, gals).

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1. Dispense a small amount of the product onto a saucer. Make sure to avoid touching it.

2. Use an application tool like a makeup spatula, popsicle stick or cotton swab to apply a small amount on the inside of your wrist near the pulse point. Another good testing spot is the inside of your elbow.

3. Leave the area unwashed for 24 to 48 hours. Be on the lookout for any signs of an allergic reaction: redness, rash, breakouts, itching, flaking and the like.

If you experience any of these reactions, take this product off of your list of skincare options and consult with a dermatologist or esthetician to find a suitable replacement. If you don't experience any of the symptoms noted, proceed with including this product into your regular skincare routine. However, continue to keep a vigilant eye on your skin’s reactions within the first week of using the treatment.

Another tip: While products labeled hypoallergenic, non-irritating or dermatologist-tested are fabulous, that doesn’t necessarily mean your skin is in the clear from an allergic reaction. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently, so make sure you test something before you buy the whole bottle. Better be safe than sorry, right?

Just because you should proceed with caution, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t step out of your beauty comfort zone and try a new skincare product or regime. In fact, it’s important that you do. If you’re not sure where to start, let us recommend L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Day Cream.

Have you tried the patch test described above? Tell us how it worked for you in the comments below.