So you woke up with the biggest zit of your life.
You panic. The world stops moving. You wonder where it all went so wrong. Truth is, there are so many factors that could’ve caused your throbbing, red pimple that stressing out about it could only make it worse.
Sure, there are spot treatments that would be helpful in bringing down the inflammation, but chances are they’ll leave your skin flaky; some even dry out the surface of your skin before they can get to the zit. Still, you’ll be tempted to pick at it, which aggravates the pimple further, causes scarring and increases your risks of infecting it even further.
Which brings us to pimple patches and why they should be your best friends. These hydrocolloid stick-ons are super breathable, biodegradable, and work by gently absorbing excess fluids, like pus and sebum. They’ll also protect your zit from bacteria, gunk, and your nasty little fingers, keeping it in a sterile, moist environment — ideal conditions to minimise scarring while speeding up the healing process. They’ll also protect the pimples from rubbing against your face masks.
By the end of it, you’ll emerge triumphant with a flattened spot, the ghost of what would’ve otherwise been the biggest nightmare since your teenage hormones first kicked in. Here are the best tried-and-true pimple patches to use the next time you get jumped by an angry zit.
This K-beauty offering has become a favourite for many reasons, the biggest being it simply doesn’t budge, even after a shower. The medical-grade hydrocolloid circles come in three different sizes to match any zit you’re currently waging war with, and are so thin and clear that they almost camouflage into the skin upon application.
Some people like their pimple patches hidden, some prefer to show it loud and proud. Starface is an acne-positive skincare brand that makes these outrageously adorable star-shaped hydrocolloid protectors. Thin and shaped to fit the contours of the face, these stickers adhere like a medal-of-honour for being perfectly comfortable and proud in your own skin, all while reducing inflammation and shrinking pimples overnight.
Unlike your regular hydrocolloid patches, these are flecked with aloe vera extract to gently soothe inflammation and vitamin A to promote clearer skin faster. The star ingredient here, however, is salicylic acid, an anti-acne active that penetrates and exfoliates from deep within to add extra oomph to your zit-erasing quest. The treatment minimises the appearance of blemishes in as little as eight hours, although it’s recommended you keep it on overnight for best results.
Pimples have never been associated with fun — until now. These flower-shaped hydrocolloid patches by Squish help your blemishes come to the surface and pop on its own, and are even available in five shades of cute to match your outfit for the day. When you’re done, the little glass diamond studs on each of them can be peeled off to decorate other items, like little rewards for treating your skin right.
This one isn’t quite your average pimple patch, but it works miracles for the most stubborn of spots. Designed with dissolving microdarts that penetrate deeper into your early-stage zit, the patches release blemish-busting and skin-healing ingredients, including salicylic acid (to exfoliate from within), niacinamide (to calm inflammation), hyaluronic acid (to moisturise), and oligopeptide-76 (to kill bacteria). The box of eight comes with individually-packed cleaning wipes soaked with tea tree oil and Vitamin E to prep the skin before the patch.
Inspired by micro-needling procedures, these innovative Dr. Jart+ adhesive patches contain small micro tips made of hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and peptides that melt in contact with the skin. These tips then deliver actives deep within the targeted spot, and promise to not only speed up the acne cycle but also help prevent scarring, making it a fast and effective option if you have an important event coming up soon.