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They’re A Targeted Treatment
Spot-healing patches are small, translucent stickers which can be applied to a forming or already developed pimple. “They act locally, providing an anti-bacterial and healing effect,” says Dr Tiina Meder, dermatologist and founder of Meder Beauty. “They’re a good, targeted SOS treatment when you need to make something fade or take down redness at speed.”
There Are Two Types
Pimple patches come with or without active ingredients. Many of the options available are formulated with hydrocolloid dressing, which is traditionally used to promote the healing of wounds. It gets to work absorbing excess fluid and drawing out unwanted debris from the affected area. Other patches also contain active ingredients like niacinamide, bakuchiol and benzoyl peroxide, which can further reduce redness and inflammation. Dr Anita Sturnham explains: “Pimple patches have been around for years, and they keep getting revamped with new ingredients to amplify their existing benefits. Try looking for patches that contain salicylic acid as the main active, as it works well to treat bacteria deep down and unclog dirty pores.”
The Benefits Are Multiple
Aside from drying out your spots and minimising their appearance, patches also prevent you from picking or touching an active pimple. Picking not only increases inflammation and slows the healing process, it can also cause scarring and possible infection. Patches also lock down and seal active ingredients into the skin, making them extra effective.
Remember, They’re Only A Quick Fix
“Pimple patches are another fun import from the Asian market, but they shouldn’t be relied on entirely, unless you’re someone who only suffers from the occasional zit,” adds Dr Tiina. “On their own, they can’t make your skin healthier, regulate sebum production or restore the skin’s natural protection barrier. However, they do make for a good complementary product in your routine – just don’t count on them to play the starring role if you’re battling acne.”
The Bottom Line…
If you’re concerned about unusual breakouts or if spots are returning more frequently, you should always ask a skincare professional, GP or dermatologist. Pimple patches aren’t a practical treatment for everyone and they’re not one-size-fits-all either. It’s important you get some advice before relying on them as a key treatment.
Shop Our Favourites…
ZitStika Clarifying Microdart Patch Kit, £27
Best For: Calming Inflammation
Why We Rate It: Draw out stubborn, under-the-skin spots by placing one of these patches over the area of concern. They contain hydrocolloid which dissolves germs and dirt inside your spots to help heal it faster, as well as bring down redness. Completely see-through, these patches sit on your skin invisibly, so you can go about your day without anyone noticing. Don’t be alarmed if you feel a tingling sensation – this is just a sign it’s working to unclog blocked pores.
Available at CultBeauty.co.uk
Squish Flower Power Acne Patches, £18
Best For: Sensitive Skin
Why We Rate It: These aren’t the most discreet option, but Squish’s Flower Power patches are guaranteed to give your breakouts a more cheerful disguise. Aesthetics aside, they work hard, drawing out impurities from your pores without ever drying out the skin. Even better, the vegan, fragrance-free formulation is kind to sensitive skin and stops the spread of bacteria in its tracks. Keep them on overnight for a more intense treatment.
Available at SquishBeauty.com
Starface Hydro Stars, £11.99
Best For: Reducing Inflammation
Why We Rate It: Starface might be the bestselling pimple protector on the market, and we can see why. Using that key hydrocolloid ingredient, these little patches reduce inflammation and shrink spots almost overnight. Once you put them on your skin, you’ll find they form a protective seal that stops you picking or scratching your spots. The compact packaging is handy, and includes a mirror for on-the-go application.
Available at StarFaceWorld.co.uk
CosRX AC Collection Acne Patches, £7
Best For: Speedy Results
Why We Rate It: One of the worst aspects of a spot is the unsightly inflammation. That’s where CosRX Patches come in. Designed to reduce redness, they promise to significantly take down the appearance of any spot. As soon as you feel one appearing, pop one of these patches on and keep it on for as long as you can. Each one is brimming with hydrocolloid, but also centella which is known for its soothing benefits. Better still, these are made to be thinner around the edges so that once they set on the skin, they won’t budge all day.
Available at BeautyBay.com
Peace Out Dark Spots, £25
Best For: Fading Dark Spots
Why We Rate It: Created to tackle dark spots and scarring, Peace Out’s patches use tiny, dissolving microneedles to even out discolouration within the skin. They also tackle rough texture, while simultaneously diffusing the appearance of pigmentation. For best results, apply them after a thorough cleanse to allow the ingredients to fully penetrate your skin. Given their potency, they may cause some sensitivity, so use them with caution.
Available at Boots.com
Beauty Pie Emergency Pimple Patches, £30
Best For: Normal & Sensitive Skin Types
Why We Rate It: Beauty Pie’s patches take a three-pronged approach. Salicylic acid helps to reduce the size of pores, smooth skin and prevent future breakouts, while the niacinamide protects the skin's barrier and calms excess redness. If that wasn't enough, the patches are also infused with something called ‘madecassoside’, which acts as a helping hand to soothe irritation – completing the perfect trio of ingredients for normal to sensitive skin.
Available at BeautyPie.com
Patchology Breakout Box Treatment Kit, £18
Best For: Detoxifying Skin
Why We Rate It: If you’re serious about treating spots, you’ll love this kit. Housing stickers, pore cleaning dots and nose strips to tackle blackheads, everything works together to deliver a smoother-looking complexion. You don’t need to use everything every day – once or twice a week will suffice to see results. It’s also budget-friendly – a must-try if you want to give your skin an overhaul.
Available at Patchology.co.uk
Good Light Luna Pimple Patches, £16
Best For: Varying Shapes & Sizes
Why We Rate It: Beauty junkies love new brand Good Light’s inclusive ethos and wide range of products. That includes its pimple patches, which have been created in different shapes and sizes to cover all kinds of spots. Laced with hydrocolloid, they suck up all bacteria and fluid from inflamed pores, helping breakouts to heal and shrink as quickly as possible. While they’re not a long-term solution, they’re certainly a quick fix to reduce redness and whiteheads, giving spots a less visible appearance almost immediately. Ideal if you’re prone to picking.
Available at CultBeauty.co.uk