Acne is one of the most common skincare concerns and breakouts aren’t isolated to teenagers. While most of us have experienced breakouts in our teens and 20s, acne can affect people later in life too. And now that Covid-19 has resulted in the normalization of face masks, many of us are facing breakouts on our noses, mouths and on our cheeks; what is popularly referred to as ‘maskne’. One remedy to help spot treat your pesky breakouts is to employ pimple patches.
Pimple Patches Introduction
Hydrocolloid patches—aka pimple patches—are made from a moisture-absorbing material that’s been used for decades in the medical community to help with wound healing. Hydrocolloid helps skin heal from the inside out in a moist environment.
If you pop a pimple, stick on a hydrocolloid patch and the material will gently absorb excess fluids, like pus and oil, from your popped pimple while also protecting the wound. Now your zit can heal in a somewhat “sterile,” moist environment. Hence you’ll be left with a flatter, less inflamed pimple by the time you take it off.
You should not be popping or picking your zits. However, if you can’t help it, that’s where these patches come in. The patches stick to your skin and attack your oozy spots. Leave it on overnight. Peel it off in the morning, wash your skin, and put on another patch if it’s still oozy.
A few years ago, the only pimple patches that existed were plain, semi-clear, hydrocolloid patches. Either you made your own by cutting dots from big sheets of hydrocolloid bandages or you managed to find pre-cut hydrocolloid patches online or from beauty shops. Eventually, hydrocolloid patches became known as pimple patches and hence they also evolved.
Since then, patches have morphed from their basic hydrocolloid beginnings to spot-treatment hybrids, using acne-fighting ingredients (like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, glycolic acid, and niacinamide) to treat your pimple while also protecting it. Not all of these new types of pimple patches use hydrocolloid as their base material anymore.
A lot of pimple patches will either have:
(1) a layer of acne-treating ingredients on their sticky side to cover your zit in a targeted way, or
(2) micro darts – little needle-like darts made out of acne-treating ingredients that push very gently into your skin before dissolving.
Bottom line: Acne patches really work!
They won’t get rid of your un-popped pimple overnight and they also won’t completely undo all the damage you inflicted during your skin-picking session. But, they can help treat your zits, calm inflammation, speed up healing, and, most important, make you feel productive in a situation where you’re more or less waiting around for your body to do its thing. And that, as we all know, can be absolutely maddening.
Here are four pimple patches that work well: