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The other morning when I was removing a pimple sticker, I actually thought, what did we do without these things? Pimple patches haven’t been around forever but I still can’t remember a time when I didn’t reach for one to flatten a zit overnight. That’s why I had to round up some of the best pimple stickers so I can spread the word about how amazing they are. There used to be only one or two options from Korean beauty brands but now there are a dozen (or more!) great choices. How do you decide which is best for you and your pimple? There are a few ways.
First, you have to know what acne patches actually are. Almost all of them are made from hydrocolloid, which was originally made to be a bandage for wounds in the 1980s. Hydrocolloid is made from gelling agents such as pectin or gelatin (some patches are vegan and made without gelatin) that actually absorbs pus and fluids inside the wound (or pimple) and locks it into the material. Think of pimple patches as a safe way to “pop” a pimple without scarring or risk of bacterial infection. They also protect the area from outside irritants, which includes your picking fingers.
In recent years, brands have taken this hydrocolloid patch to the next level by adding active ingredients. I find that typical hydrocolloid patches are best for mature pimples that have come to a head. If you can see white, these will work for you. For pimples that are new and deep under the skin, choose a patch with ingredients such as salicylic acid to attack the spot deep into the pores and flatten it before it gets big and angry. These are sometimes less “satisfying” but work really well for more cystic acne.
Mario Badescu Drying Patch
The cult-favorite Drying Lotion is now a convenient clear patch
. Mario Badescu finally released its own pimple patch, containing pus-sucking hydrocolloid, but also bacteria-busting salicylic acid, soothing niacinamide, brightening vitamin C and hydrating hyaluronic acid.
Bioré Cover & Conquer Blemish Patch
These new ultra-thin, hydrocolloid patches
suck out the pus of a whitehead and help reduce inflammation.
CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch
from cruelty-free Korean beauty brand CosRx helped kick off the pimple sticker trend. Many have tried to replicate it but it’s still one of the best and most affordable hydrocolloid options on the market. They’re best used on mature pimples, ones with a white head you can see.
Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Invisible+
Peace Out Acne Healing Dots
For people who want some extra acne-fighting power, these hydrocolloid patches have salicylic acid to clear bacteria, as well as vitamin A and aloe vera to soothe and reduce the appearance of pores.
Avarelle Acne Absorbing Cover Patch
This hydrocolloid pimple patch
is infused with tea tree, cica and calendula oil to not just absorb the pimple but also keep them from coming back.
The Klog Soft Shield Pimple Patch
Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho recently launched an affordable acne brand under her editorial website, The Klog. First up? These hydrocolloid patches that are slightly bigger than others to fully cover a pimple. We especially love how the beveled edges make these almost invisible on the skin.
Rael Acne Pimple Healing Patch
You get a whopping 96 hydrocolloid patches
(in two sizes) in one box from organic menstrual brand Rael.
ZitSticka Killa Kit
This two-part system includes a little cleansing pad to calm the zit before application. The patches themselves feature tiny microdarts that self-dissolve into even a deep, underground pimple. The darts are full of acne-busting ingredients such as salicylic acid and niacinimide. Use one of these on a new pimple before it’s reached maturation for best results.
Squish. Flower Power Acne Patches
The Crème Shop BT21 Brilliant Skin Hydrocolloid Acne Patches
The BT21 collab includes hydrocolloid patches infused with zinc featuring the cutest BT21 characters.