8 Pimple Patches To Help Clear Just About Every Type Of Breakout
As mask wearing remains a necessity in 2022, Ashleigh Cometti explores the newest wave of pimple patches that promise to keep dreaded maskne at bay
While there’s no shortage of over-the-counter options for banishing breakouts, when you only have a couple of pimples pop up at any one time, there’s little need to treat your entire face. Cue pimple patches.
The K-beauty innovation has been praised for its user-friendliness and efficacy, not to mention its ability to keep you from picking or popping spots (because sometimes self-control isn’t enough).
The premise is simple: slap on a hydrocolloid sticker for a few hours or overnight, and allow the gunk-absorbing formula get to work flattening your pimple and help skin make its full recovery.
How They Work
Unlike other spot treatments which can leave skin dry or flaky, most pimple patches are crafted from hydrocolloid, a transparent, gel-like material that attracts moisture and draws impurities from your pimple.
It then traps those impurities away from skin — you’ll know it's working when the patch turns from clear to white and begins to expand, and the skin (where your zit was parked) flattens out.
In other cases, stickers are designed with ultra-slim microneedles that deliver acne-fighting actives even deeper into skin to confront even the most stubborn hormonal or cystic breakouts.
This trauma-free method of extracting zits (with no squeezing in sight) fast tracks the healing process with the addition of skin-soothing ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid.
How (And When) To Use Them
For best results, wait until your pimple forms a head on its surface.
Press the pimple patch onto freshly cleansed and dry skin, directly on top of the zit itself.
Leave it in place for two to eight hours (read the back of the packaging as duration can differ from brand to brand) to allow it to fully extract sebum and grime.
At the end of your wear, peel it off to reveal the accumulated gunk — grossly satisfying — before cleansing and hydrating the area how you usually would.
If one application didn’t quite nail your zit, feel free to repeat the process over a couple of days — but be mindful that patches shouldn’t stay on longer than 12 hours.
Just remember to never apply a pimple patch on broken skin. If you’ve already popped your pimple, it’s too late.
Picks Of The Patch
Zit stickers, pimple patches, spot dots, blemish busters... whatever you like to call them, read on for our helpful guide to which ones have your spots quite literally covered.
Sweet Spots Pimple Patches 36pk, $15
This rip-and-stick sheet allows you to cover as many or as few pimples as you like, not to mention they offer a breathable seal over blemishes to absorb gunk from pores while side-stepping secondary infection. Each ultra-thin, hydrocolloid patch helps bring down redness and fast tracks the healing process, so you can leave scabby spots in the past. Added bonus, they’re waterproof — meaning you can swim with confidence knowing your patch will stay in place. Sweetspots.co.nz
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch 24pk, $6
Regarded as the original pimple patch, K-beauty brand COSRX’s Acne Pimple Master Patch works wonders on whiteheads and stubborn acne cysts alike. Serving up a generous dose of hydrocolloid in each hygienic sticker, each patch extracts impurities and maintains a moist environment on skin for faster wound recovery. Designed for overnight use, these patches max out on adhesiveness so you can target any bump with minimal effort. Plus, they come in three different sizes — 7mm, 10mm and 12mm — to treat almost every sized spot. Available from Hikoco Newmarket or Queen St, or online at Hikoco.co.nz
Peace Out Skincare Acne Healing Dots 20pk, $38
Prepare to be in it for the long haul with these focused treatment dots, which are said to work best when applied for a minimum of six hours. Containing a 0.5 per cent concentration of salicylic acid, each patch harnesses hydrocolloid polymer technology to flatten and soothe spots overnight. A home run for all skin types, these small-but-mighty stickers have garnered a sizeable fan base for their ability to reduce inflammation and redness thanks to the addition of soothing aloe vera. Available from Sephora or online at Sephora.nz
Mecca Max Spot Dots Blemish Busting Patches 12pk, $11
Arm yourself with these overnight blemish busters in the battle against acne. Take on pimples full force with these transparent treatments, which protect skin and absorb excess moisture to heal spots quickly sans scarring. Apply to freshly cleansed skin that’s dry to touch, and allow each sticker to act as a second skin that gets to work healing and clearing the blemish. Available from Mecca or online at Meccabeauty.co.nz
Mario Badescu Drying Patch 60pk, $27
There are a handful of ingredients which spring to mind when we think of heavy-hitting spot treatments — not least salicylic acid, niacinamide and tea tree extract. These detoxifying spot treatments by minimalist beauty brand Mario Badescu delivers a 1-2-3 punch of all three, alongside vitamin C and sodium hyaluronate to dry up pesky pimples to leave skin soothed and complexion clarified. Apply one day or night to help you resist the urge to pick at your pimple (just don’t apply makeup over the top). Available from Mecca or online at Meccabeauty.co.nz
ZitSticka Killa Clarifying Microdart Patch Kit 8pk, $35
If a Mt Vesuvius-sized pimple threatens, then summon this deep-diving microdart patch from Australian beauty brand ZitSticka. Designed with stubborn and inflamed blemishes in mind, each patch uses self-dissolving microdarts loaded with clarifying, blemish-busting ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to target the epicentre of an early-stage zit before it erupts. The pack also includes ingredient-soaked Cleana swaps which prime skin ahead of Killa patch application. Recreateyourself.co.nz
Peach Slices Deep Blemish Microdarts 9pk, $13
It’d be remiss to attempt to count them, but each Peach Slices patch contains 176 microdarts which harness the brand’s Melt-Tech technology to self-dissolve into skin, delivering niacinamide, salicylic acid, willow bark and tea tree oil where it’s need most. These extra sharp, microdarts took months to formulate — ensuring maximum efficacy with minimal pain. Wear yours for a minimum of eight hours (the microdarts take approximately two hours to dissolve into skin) on bare skin overnight or under makeup in the daytime. Their slimline and transparent appearance render them virtually imperceptible on skin. Peachandlilly.com
Patchology Breakout Box 3-In-1 Blemish Fighting Kit, $32
Send in the big guns with Patchology’s acne treatment package, which contains three different types of patches to fight every kind of breakout — from blackheads to whiteheads to cystic acne. Take your pick from 24 Blemish Shrinking Salicylic Acid Dots, spiked with tea tree oil to bust blemishes before they come to a head; 24 Pore Clearing Anti-Blemish Dots which use hydrocolloid to extract the gunk from whiteheads; or try the single Detoxifying Charcoal Nose Strip to unclog blackheads. Available from Mecca or online at Meccabeauty.co.nz
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