If one thing is true about blemishes, it’s that they always pick the worst time to show up. It may be on the day you have a date, job interview, presentation, or any other occasion where you need to show yourself in public, in a best shape. This is the time when acne patches come handy and this review deals with hydrocolloid bandages, also called acne (pimple) stickers or acne patches.
Hydrocolloid is a kind of gelatin material containing a bunch of barely pronounceable elements that aid wound healing. Some wise guys realized that it could help with acne, as well. And, it does!
Hydrocolloid bandage is basically a band-aid used by many acne sufferers. These bandages have been used for a long time to treat infections and wounds. If you’ve ever got a blister on the back of your foot (from wearing heels, for example), you’ve probably used one. Basically, it will seal up the area, make it completely bacteria proof and waterproof. Then, it will absorb any bacteria in the wound and, in a way, pull it out and keep it within the band-aid. When you take of the bandage, after being used, you can actually see that it’s pretty gross.
There’s one obvious drawback to acne patches: you can use them to treat a small number of single pimples. One patch goes to one blemish. In case of severe acne, patches aren’t practical, so you’d better go with standard acne washes and skin care products. Think of acne patches as the first aid.
Second: hydrocolloid dressings are designed to treat uninfected wounds. That’s why they work best on pimples that haven’t popped yet (no whitehead formed), but can work on whiteheads, too.
And, no, acne stickers don’t work on blackheads.
Benefits of pimple patches:
- They protect ‘your’ pimples from rubbing and touching. I.e, they protect them from you.
- They absorb fluid from your pimples
- Minimal disruption to healing
- Airtight against bacteria
- Easy to apply (wash your face before putting the patch)
There are different acne patches on the market. I have tested and picked the top ones and I’m here now to report about my findings. Imagine that you’re about to see your friends today, but you have a pimple (or more of them) that looks like a bomb on your face. Acne patches are here to help, but which one to pick?
Let’s start with a brand that first released their patch. And, also, to save you the long read, this is also the recommended product, and winner of this review:
When they first launched them, they were literally giving them out like hotcakes. The Mighty Patch from Hero Cosmetics is relatively expensive, comparing to other similar products, but read on, it also offers a lot. The packaging is cute and, on the back, it shows how it works. Basically, you have a pimple, you put the patch on and then the patch absorbs, hopefully, all the bacteria and all gunk, that is inside of your pimple, and then protects it while it’s healing. This patch comes with a couple different sheets with total of 36 patches in it. All patches are the same size, quite big (diameter of 12mm = 0.5”), so, if you get bigger pimples, this is a good choice for you.
This product also gets the award for the stickiest, the longest staying, patch. Don’t worry if you have sensitive skin, since this one feels like really smooth and discreet. I just kept touching my face, throughout the day, to make sure it was there. Regarding the color and texture, it has a little bit of yellow tint just like the other one doesn’t blend and seamlessly but it’s not that thick.
When you try to pull it, it’s sticky and it stretches. Some people don’t like how it pulls the skin but, if you want to wear it for 1-2 days (although the producer recommends the application time of 6h. Generally, don’t hold a patch on one spot for more than 2 days in a row), it definitely has the staying power. It stays on when taking a shower or through the workout. If, after pulling it off, your skin remains red and irritated, wash it with cold water, and apply ice, if needed.
My rating: 8.5/10.
The second patch comes from a well-known band-aid producer, Nexcare. This one was one of the cheaper products, also one of the thickest and most absorbent patches you’ll find. They come in two sizes, 24 covers of 5/16″ diameter and 12 covers of 15/32″ diameter. There aren’t any special active ingredients in it (don’t take this as a minus), this is simply a patch that dries the moisture from acne.
Patches have a kind of yellow-orange color, won’t really blend into your skin and are quite noticeable. That’s why I’d recommend wearing them at night.
This one doesn’t stretch as The Mighty Patch from Hero Cosmetics and is easier to pull off. However, this is not bad acne patch, and, especially having in mind the lower price, it could be your best bet against pimples.
My rating: 7.5/10.
The third patch, one of the most top-rated among users, is the Acne Pimple Master Patch by Cos RX. Cos RX is a Korean brand and this one’s super popular there. It doesn’t have additives in it, like many of acne patches contain, it’s just the hydrocolloids. So, there’s not going to be any tea tree, oils, Aloe Vera or anything like that in it. Some patches also have like salicylic acid to help the pimple heal, this doesn’t.
However, I found this patch to be quite good. I would say these are the most bang for your buck. The pack comes with one little sheet containing many different patch sizes. Comparing to previous products, it has medium thickness, medium absorbency and is not that sticky. It’s right in the middle in terms of performance, but it’s cheap and it gets the job done. This is still not a well-known brand and they’re not really ‘hit’ among Instagram influencers or something, but it’s worth giving a shot.
My rating: 8/10.
The previous product was not, but this was is, one of the top rated on Instagram. However, take this only as an indicator that the producer pays attention to this marketing channel. Sticker contains Tea Tree and Caledula oil.
Avarelle Acne Cover Patch has 40 patches, comes in a bunch of different sizes. You can cut big ones into smaller too, if you want. There are easy tear away strips and these patches are the thinnest, comparing the other ones. You can freely wear them with make-up, they are transparent and blend in, almost seamlessly, with any skin tone. You can wear them throughout the day and nobody would notice.
Unfortunately, this sticker doesn’t really absorb that much, so I would only recommend these during the daytime and then put some more absorbent one on at night. Once the patch becomes ‘cloudy’, peel it off, since it has done its job.
If you’re spending money on two acne patches, I would either go with this in the morning and Nexcare at night, or you could do just Avarelle Acne Cover Patch because it’s in between in terms of quality. I think this one is a mix of these two best deals. Avarelle Acne Cover Patch has long stick time, solid absorption power, it’s best to wear during the daytime.
My rating: 7.8/10.
So, that would be it regarding acne stickers. As I said, they are good as an urgent aid for single pimples. However, don’t forget to use proper face washes (see our washes review), and nourish your skin.