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Pimple Patches Are the Surprisingly Satisfying Way to Shrink Your Zits Overnight

Two words: Game. Changer.
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Have you been introduced to pimple patches yet? If not, prepare to fall in love. Put simply, they're little hydrocolloid stickers that you place on your blemishes as an acne treatment. Their genius is manifold: the sticker helps keep the area sterile, prevents picking and stays in place as long as you need it as it works on drawing out impurities and oil, shrinking your zits before your very eyes.

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

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Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots, $4.49
Hailing from Peach & Lily's drugstore sister brand, Peach Slices, these acne patches have got it all: quality, value and cute packaging. With each pack, you get 30 patches in three different sizes, which makes them extra convenient and easy to use — and you'll find that they last you a pretty long time too (especially if you're thrifty like us and cut the larger patches in half). They're on the thicker side and really adhere to your face, meaning that they draw out a ton of oil and impurities from your pimples, shrinking them down almost before your very eyes. Suffice it to say, there's a reason why this nifty product picked up a 2018 TotalBeauty Award!

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Acropass Trouble Cure, $18
How far are you willing to go to stop a pimple in its tracks? Would you microneedle it into submission? These genius little patches incorporate microneedling technology to deliver a zit-zapping treatment straight to the source, while also using the standard hydrocolloid bandage to protect and further treat your blemish. It even comes with tea tree-infused alcohol prep swabs for maximum sanitation factor! (Though, beware, the routine of applying the alcohol swab may cause Pavlovian flashbacks of all the times you got vaccinations as a kid).

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).

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Cosrx's popular pimple patches were one of the first to really gain traction as an acne treatment (Stateside, anyway) and they recently came up with this sleek new version. They work much like the original, though have a thinner texture, ostensibly so you can wear them during the day (and even apply your makeup over them). We weren't quite bold enough to wear them out of the house, but they definitely did have a more incognito look than many of the other options.

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.

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You can never go wrong with brightly colored camo, which offers a nice change of pace from the standard clear option (though this pack comes with some of those as well, for days when you're feeling a little less extra). We imagine it's only a matter of time before they start offering Hello Kitty options and the like.

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).

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