5 Best Times to Stick On An Acne Patch
Pimple patches — also known as acne patches, blemish stickers, or hydrocolloid patches — work wonders at treating breakouts and preventing future ones from forming. They work by absorbing a zit’s fluids, bringing them to the surface of the skin, and then injecting the blemish with acne-fighting ingredients to speed up healing.
Acne patches are generally much more effective than your average spot treatment. Unlike spot creams and solutions, acne stickers create a barrier between your blemish and other outside sources, such as your fingers and pillowcase. You won’t have to worry about it being rubbed off because the patch stays in place for hours.
The spot patch also protects the zit from further irritation and infection by providing a sealed environment, allowing the skin to heal.
So, when should you apply an acne patch? Before a zit pops up? After? And what about acne scars? Here are five of the best times to stick on a pimple patch to get the most out of these magical little stickers.
#1: When A Breakout Appears
The moment a pimple pops up, stick on a patch. Don’t hesitate to do this, as you’ll be more tempted to pick and prod at it, leaving you prone to infection. Once a pimple surfaces, you want to apply a topical acne treatment that will extract sebum and impurities, while injecting it with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. This way, it’ll heal much more quickly without leaving behind acne aftermath — scarring and discoloration.
Not all types of acne respond to pimple patches, however. According to dermatologists, they work best on surface-level acne like pustules, papules, blackheads, and whiteheads. Unfortunately, they are not effective for cystic acne. If you are experiencing severe acne such as cysts, seek professional help from a dermatologist.
#2: When You’re Eager to Pick
Picking fingers can get you and your skin into a lot of trouble! The problem with picking, is that you think you’re fixing the problem, when in reality you’re simply pushing more gunk and bacteria into your blemish, making things worse. In fact, picking your zits often leads to more blemishes. Even if you’re a serial hand washer, your hands carry oils and germs that can easily be transferred to the skin.
Acne patches are a great solution for people who pick. Anytime you feel the urge, stick on a pimple patch. Instead of contaminating your pimple with more germs, you’ll be nourishing it with a slew of active ingredients that treat and target the blemish. What’s more, picking leads to scarring and hyperpigmentation. By creating a barrier between your spot and your hands, you won’t be able to pick — and your skin won’t suffer for it.
And honestly...it’s easier to put on a patch than it is to heal acne scars once they’ve formed. It can take months, even years to get rid of scarring.
#3: When You Just Picked a Pimple
Too late? You already popped your spot? Don’t let the picking and prodding go any further. Instead, patch up your freshly popped pimple and let the patch do the rest of the work. While we’d never recommend picking or popping your pimples, if it’s too late, the best thing you can do is stick on an acne patch. This saves your skin from further damage — and further breakouts.
Ideally, you want to look for acne patches that contain ingredients with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, such as tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. If you’ve got sensitive skin, look for gentle formulas that contain soothing ingredients like aloe and niacinamide, which can help prevent and reduce irritation.
#4: When Your Blemish is Oozy
It’s oozy, icky, and in need of some SOS TLC. When your breakout gets oozy, apply an acne patch. Hydrocolloid absorbs this fluid, keeping the area clean and speeding up the healing process of your acne spots. It also helps to prevent dark spots, scarring, and discoloration which can often result from breakouts.
Using pimple patches to treat your oozy blemishes stops things from getting worse. Just think about it. If you start touching your oozy breakout, and then you touch another part of your face, all that gunk is going to be transferred elsewhere. As a result, more breakouts will appear.
The moment your zit gets oozy, patch it up!
#5: When You Have an Acne Scar
Some dermatologists say pimple patches do not work on acne scars. It’s partly true, but some formulas can be helpful in regenerating skin cells and promoting healing. The best ingredients with healing powers include salicylic acid, retinol, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
Include these healing acne patches in your daily skincare routine to actively treat scars on a daily basis. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to skincare. You really need to stay on top of things to see results.
If you have an acne scar or too, follow a solid skincare routine that includes a resurfacing cleanser, nourishing moisturizer, pimple patch, and sunscreen. Select clearing, hydrating, and soothing ingredients such as the ones mentioned above along with hyaluronic acid, tea tree oil, and lavender.
BEST ACNE PATCHES
There are many brands out there, including Microdarts, Mighty Patch, Cosrx, Starface, Pimple Master Patch, Peace Out Acne Healing Dots, and Zitsticka. Here are two of our favorites.
Clear Blemish Patches
A pack of 36, cloud-shaped pimple patches with exfoliating salicylic acid, bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide, and oil-cutting hydrocolloid to drain, soothe, and heal active breakouts.
Bye Bye Blemish Patches
A pack of 24, emoji-shaped blemish patches formulated with hydrocolloid to drain and flatten active blemishes while promoting speedy overnight healing.
If you suspect you may be dealing with hormonal acne, visit your local dermatology office for professional advice. While you can try this K-beauty trend, it won’t get to the root cause of your acne. You should seek professional help if you’re dealing with cystic acne, lesions, or severely dry skin. If your acne can’t be cleared with an acne patch, clearing lotion, or another topical treatment, it’s time to get expert help!