Welcome to Dear Soko, a series dedicated to answering your biggest skin care questions with advice from Soko Glam’s skin experts. Whether you’re confused about specific ingredients or what you need to do to achieve healthier skin overall, our experts are here to guide you.
This week’s question is: “Where do pimple patches fit into my skin care routine and what type of acne should I use different types on?”
Here, a Soko Glam skin expert’s answer:
Pimple patches are a must have for me. I keep some at my desk at work and some back home on my bedside table. Patches help to keep my hands from picking at the pimples and spreading bacteria, and help to shorten their stay on my face! Let’s talk about how they work and when to use them.
The OG K-beauty pimple patches like the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch are made of hydrocolloid. Hydrocolloid bandages can be found in the first aid section of any drugstore. They are used in hospitals to suck out the blood and pus of open wounds to encourage healing and prevent infection. What pimple patches like the ones by COSRX do is take that same technology and create small, thin, and often clear, pimple-sized patches that can be used to conveniently and discreetly to cover up acne. Some patches are also infused with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil.
You apply the patch on freshly cleansed and toned skin once the acne has come to head with a bit of white pus. By covering up the acne once there is a small opening, the hydrocolloid will be able to get to work by draining the spot and collecting pus in the patch. Although slightly gross to look at when pulling off hours later, it’s also pretty satisfying to see all of the junk that is now out of your face and see how much smaller and less raised the acne spot becomes because of that. You can follow your patch application with your serum, moisturizer, and SPF, just be sure to avoid the patch when applying so it doesn’t slip or rub off.
Of course, not all acne comes to a head. Painful cystic or hormonal acne spots tends to be located under skin. Hydrocolloid patches won’t be able to help you in these cases (aside from acting as a barrier between the spot and your hands and the outside world that could make it worse) because the hydrocolloid has no opening in which to start extracting the pus. For acne located under the skin, you’ll want to use patches that can target the issue directly with newer technology.
The Acropass Trouble Cure is one example of the kinds of futuristic patches that have been created to target cystic acne at its source. This patch has rows of tiny, thin microneedles that are 1/3 the thickness of hair. They are made from a crystallized serum including ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide and soothe and treat the acne. After preparing the area with the included cleansing swab of tea tree oil and salicylic acid, you apply the patch to the spot and tap the needles into the skin. Again, they are super, super tiny and thin so at most you’ll feel a slightly tingly experience but nothing painful! After two or three consecutive days of applying these patches you’ll see that the bump under the skin is significantly reduced and been able to heal itself faster than usual.
Pimples always seem to crop up at the most inconvenient times. Though of course it’s never really a convenient time to be breaking out. Pimple patches are the perfect quick line of defense because they don’t attack and dry out the skin like many other acne treatments but help to speeding up the acne own’s healing process. By identifying the correct type of patch to use for different kinds of acne as well as the most effective time to be using them you’ll be able to see the best results and clear up the skin faster.
Your Skin Expert