We're trying our best not to wax hyperbolic here, but it's a rare pimple that can stand up to the power of acne patch — even the biggest, most inflamed, most stubborn, reddest blemish is going to look (and feel) a lot better post-patch. Plus, they really do help cut down on healing time, thanks to the fact that they help the affected area retain moisture (fun fact: hydrocolloid dressings are often used post-surgery for this very purpose). Oh, and we'll try to keep it polite, but there's something to be said about the gross sense of satisfaction you get when you remove these in the morning and can see exactly how much oil and gunk they've absorbed (it's a feeling akin to removing a Biore pore strip, minus the pain).
Some swear by using them to bring their spots to a head, while others love to use them on zits that have, ahem, already ruptured. There are also a few types at play: medicated, non-medicated, hydrocolloid, non-hydrocolloid — but no matter the mode of use or materials, pretty much everyone can agree that they get the job done. We've rounded up a few of our favorites — keep reading for the lowdown on all the best acne patches in town.
Image via @peaceoutskincare
Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots, $4.49
It might sound a little intimidating but we assure you: It doesn't actually hurt at all (seriously, the swab was the scariest part). Now, it didn't make our breakouts vanish like magic, but it definitely helped reduce inflammation while shortening the breakout's lifespan significantly. At $18 for six patches (and six prep swabs), they're quite pricey — but they're definitely worth keeping on hand for pimple emergencies (like job interviews, first dates, picture days, etc).
As for the patches themselves, they're of excellent quality: They stay in place as long as you need them to (without being overly sticky) and help draw out a lot of gunk. You also can't go wrong with the OG Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch, $6, if you're looking for something a little more heavy duty.
It's also worth noting that these cover a lot more surface area than most of the other patches we've seen (the larger patches are roughly the size of a small Band-Aid). You can cut them into smaller pieces if you're dealing with smaller spots or they work well for covering a few pimples at once (which makes them ideal for those pesky hormonal chin breakouts).