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Pimple patches

Your Complete Guide to Which Pimple Patches Work Best for Your Acne

Shopping for a simple acne treatment? Look no further than a pimple patch. With so many available on shelves, there’s an option for every type of breakout. Keep reading to learn about our favorites and how to choose the perfect pimple patch for you.

To us, pimple patches are a modern miracle. If you haven’t tried one yet, you’re seriously missing out. A pimple patch is a small, usually clear sticker that helps treat acne in a gentle and effective way. It can be worn anywhere on your face and works to protect a pimple, like a wound, keeping it away from dirt, bacteria, and even your own fingers.

Pimple patches are typically infused with acne-fighting and healing ingredients to help draw the sebum and impurities from your pores for over six-plus hours of wear (you can wear them during the day or at night while you’re asleep). 

Types of pimple patches

There are usually three types of pimple patches: medicated, non-medicated and microneedle. If your skin is prone to papules, nodular or cystic acne, medicated pimple patches are for you. Medicated spot patches are infused with active ingredients, such as salicylic acid or tea tree oil, to help kill acne-causing bacteria and treat inflamed acne. If you are looking to both target and heal acne, non-medicated pimple patches are for you. These pimple patches are widely known as hydrocolloid bandages or patches. 

Back in the day, hydrocolloid bandages were used mainly to heal wounds. Why? Hydrocolloids are made of gel-forming agents that work to create a moist environment around the wounded area to draw out excess fluids and pus from the wound. Creating a “moist environment” was important since this would prevent the wound from drying out and sticking to the bandage.

Hydrocolloid patches work the same way for pimples. Applying a hydrocolloid patch will absorb excess fluids, like sebum or pus, from your pimple and form a soft gel-like substance to promote healing and keep your blemish area sterile. You will find that most pimple patches out in the market these days are made from hydrocolloid due to its effective and gentle approach in healing acne.

Finally, if you are looking for a simple way to target deep cystic or hormonal acne, microneedle patches are for you. Don’t worry – don’t let the word “microneedle” fool you. These patches are totally pain-free. These unique pimple patches use dissolving microneedling technology to gently penetrate deeper layers of the skin to deliver acne-fighting ingredients more effectively.

RELATED: There’s Finally a Pimple Patch That Treats Your Cystic Acne

When can you use pimple patches?

There’s truly nothing more satisfying than peeling one off of your face and seeing all of the gunk that was extracted from your zit onto the back of the sticker.

Here’s when to use one: 

  • When an inflammatory pimple is at or coming to a head and you want all that pus to come to the surface when you’re trying to get an open pimple wound to completely drain.
  • When you’ve just popped a pimple and want it to heal without spreading the infection.
  • Whenever you need to stop yourself from picking at your skin.

While these stickers couldn’t be simpler to use, you may need some help choosing the best one for your acne concerns. Below, we’ve detailed two of our favorite pimple patches, how to use them, and what they are best for. 

If you like to wear pimple patches around the clock…try the Neogen A-Clear Soothing Clear Spot Patch.

These adhesive hydrocolloid stickers are relatively thin and have an elevated center to better latch onto the skin’s surface. A pack contains 24 patches in two sizes – medium (10mm) and large (12mm) – for $5.99.

If you love an elevated classic… opt for The Klog Soft Shield Pimple Patch

This breathable, 100% hydrocolloid patch contains beveled edges for a secure fit that’s nearly invisible on all skin tones. The versatile 10mm and 14mm sizing also ensures these patches will work for acne of varying types and sizes.

At $6 for a pack of 42 patches, these are also some of the most price-accessible patches on the market for the quantity you get. 

If you want to target hormonal or cystic spots….try the Acropass Trouble Cure, which works to heal acne beneath the skin.

These patches are dotted with tiny dissolving microneedles (similar to a derma roller) made from a crystallized serum (ingredients include hyaluronic acid to hydrate and niacinamide to treat and clear) shaped into a needle-like structure. These needles are super tiny (1/3 the thickness of hair) so you don’t have to worry about any pain from incision, yet mighty. The serum  dissolves into your skin and is sent directly to where it’s needed the most.

The patches come with cleansing swabs meant to prep the skin before application. The cleanser is packed with great acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree oil and salicylic acid.

And here’s the real draw: Not only does the system help heal regular acne quickly and reduce scarring, it also works on hormonal and cystic acne!

If you’re looking for subtlety then this will not be your top choice. The stickers are definitely larger than more traditional pimple patches, and because you can see the texture from the needles, they look more like a bandage. However, they’re perfect for nighttime wear.

Each box contains six swabs and six patches for $18. We recommend saving these for hard-to-treat pimples under the surface of the skin, aka cysts, and using one of the options above for your other breakouts.

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