For most of us, acne and breakouts aren’t anything new. Some of us will have had acne since our teenage years, while others experience issues later in life. The lucky ones might only get a spot or two very occasionally; but the point is, we all have had to deal with them at some point, regardless of how often or badly.
Over the years, spot treatments have changed dramatically, and 2020 has officially been the year of the pimple patch. What’s more, spot stickers just got the seal of approval from Caroline Hirons, who shared her love for the Starface Hydro Stars on her Instagram page.
So why are the acne patches so brilliant?
The benefits of spot stickers and acne patches
They prevent skin picking: Skin picking is a stress/anxiety-related condition that can lead to serious damage. While some of us may experience it mildly, and not even notice we’re doing it, others will see it spiral into full blown Dermatillomania, which is a condition listed by the NHS. Pimple patches have become a god-send for those of us who struggle, as they prevent a physical barrier that stops us from being able to get to an area and cause more damage.
‘One of our favourite things are pimple patches,’ say Megan Felton and Ksenia Selivanova, founders of skincare consultancy lion/ne. ‘They make you feel like you are being proactive and like putting a plaster on a wound, remind us not to touch!’ Even just for that reason alone, they’re worth investing in.
They protect from bacteria: In a similar vein, a physical barrier can prevent spots from worsening as it protects them from outside bacteria, that comes from touching, and environmental aggressors like pollution. This also helps at night, when spots have the potential to catch.
They contain spot-fighting ingredients: Most pimple patches are made from a material called hydrocolloid, which is a healing dressing often used on post-surgery wounds. That alone makes a pimple patch an unrivalled choice, as it naturally helps to dry out a breakout. But many also contain a range of spot-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, niacinamide, and tea tree oil, all of which act as a concentrated cocktail of targeted goodness to battle your spot at its peak.
The best pimple patches for every type of spot
The best all-rounder
A team favourite here at YOU magazine, these are great all-rounders, for any stage of a breakout. At Starface, they keep it simple, with one ingredient: Hydrocolloid. This surgical dressing material absorbs fluid and protects against bacteria. They’re also perfect for a spot-proud selfie.
For early signs of a spot
Spot a blemish that’s brewing but not reared its ugly head just yet (literally)? Opt for a ZitSticka, which uses preventative measures rather than treatments. The stickers use micro-darts, which pierce the early spot and flood it with ingredients like niacinamide and salicylic acid. Your new pimple will be gone before you know it.
For raised red bumps
COSRX’s patches target redness and discolouration, making them a great option for those horrible, bright red spots that can’t even be covered with concealer. The killer ingredient here is Centella Asiatica, which creates the illusion of a smoother, clearer base.
For multiple breakouts
Got a whole host of blemishes you need taking care of? Invest in one of these boxes, which features two types of spot stickers. The Pimple Shrinking Salicylic Acid + Tea Tree Dots are best to apply to early spots, to prevent them from properly manifesting. If they manage to get past you, use one of the Whitehead-absorbing Hydrocolloid Dots to help extract those nasty squeezers.
For those poppable zits
Get your fingers away from your skin! Popping a whitehead might be satisfying in the moment, but you’ll regret it later when you’re left with that tell-tale red scarring. ZitSticka’s recently launched (and fantastically named) Goo Getter stickers are hydrocolloid patches designed to flatten superficial zits and draw out fluid. While many hydrocolloid patches are without infused ingredients, each Goo Getter patch is impregnated with niacinamide, salicylic acid, vitamin c and tea tree to accelerate skin clearing and renewal.
For finishing the job
For spots in their last stages, these Flower Power Acne Patches are a nice addition. They have healing and protecting ingredients, along with a non-irritating hydrocolloid material, meaning they are great for protecting spots on their way out, particularly overnight.