It's the fastest acne treatment you'll ever use
First we had pore-clearing nose strips now acne patches are stopping breakouts in their tracks.
Why do we get spots in winter?
Acne is an unwelcome visitor at this time of year.
‘A lack of humidity in the winter air plus drinking more alcohol (a diuretic) and indulging in sugary treats in the lead up to party season can cause dehydration and an excess of insulin,’ says facialist Sarah Chapman. ‘This is the perfect storm for stimulating sebum production, which leads to blocked pores and spots.’
Another cause of acne is lack of sleep as stress causes the hormone cortisol to produce more oil in the skin and hinder the healing process.
That’s where acne patches, also known as pimple patches, step in and stage an intervention.
What are acne patches?
Remember those plasters your dad would pop on his chin when he nicked himself shaving? Acne patches are not dissimilar to those.
You whack the small, circular sticker on a spot after cleansing; leave it to work its magic overnight then simply peel it off the next morning to reveal flattened, redness-free skin where your spot once was.
The majority of acne patches are made of hydrocolloid, which is used in topical wound treatments.
‘Hydrocolloid patches are hygienic – they stick to your skin and create a shield from other irritants like daily dirt and pollution,’ explains Chapman. ‘Used on spots, they also calm redness and irritation, encouraging the skin to heal.’
Many acne patches also contain salicylic acid, which is known to be a formidable enemy for acne, explains skincare expert Teresa Tarmey: ‘Salicylic acid is lipophilic, meaning it can penetrate oily skin and works inside the pore to unclog it and regulate sebum secretion.’
Another bonus: acne patches stop you from picking or popping your spots so there’s less chance of inflammation or being left with scars.
Here’s our pick of the best acne patches to ensure you sail through winter without a hitch…
Woke up with a deep, cystic shiner lurking under your skin? Meet its nemesis: an acne patch covered in tiny needles, filled with blemish-busting ingredients. These self-dissolve and flood the epicentre of your spot with hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and niacinamide to resolve the situation before it blows up. To use, swipe on the cleansing cloth—soaked in exfoliating, de-stressing ingredients—then place on the patch.
Got every type of pimple going on? This three-piece kit caters for all its shapes and forms. Choose The Pimple Shrinking Salicylic Acid + Tea Tree Dots for regular pesky spots to nix redness and puffiness. The Whitehead-Absorbing Hydrocolloid Dots help extract impurities while The Blackhead-Eliminating Nose Strips contain a potent blend of charcoal and Moroccan lava clay to decongest pores.
Note: these acne patches aren’t made with hydrocolloid technology. Instead overnight transparent gel stickers cover a spot to allow a continuous flow of antibacterial blemish-fighters like tea tree oil and salicylic acid to calm inflammation while you get your ZZZs.
Purse-friendly and effective? Win win. These K-beauty hydrocolloid circles come in three different sizes, depending on what kind of coverage you need, and work to extract the bacteria and other unspeakable gunk from your blackheads and spots. You can see them working, too, as they turn white while absorbing your blemish.
Perfect when you need an emergency skin fix. The stickers go on clear so remain completely invisible if you need to pop one on during the day and come in a handy mirrored wallet for on-the-go application. As soon as they hit your skin, salicylic acid and soy oils unclog pores while nutrient-rich grape seed encourages speedy healing.