I moved to South Korea to teach English nearly nine years ago, and in my time there, I discovered many amazing skincare products. You know, stick cleansers, hydrating toners, gel creams, sheet masks, etc. And still, to this day, one of the most innovative products I’ve ever seen EVER is the acne patch.
I still remember the first time I was introduced to them. My first year, I taught at a middle school and all the girls were really into looking like their favorite K-pop stars—I can’t even tell you how many mirrors and bang rollers and lip glosses I had to take because they weren’t paying attention. But the thing that always stood out to me the most was the tiny, circular patch I saw many girls wearing (and trying) to cover up with a little BB cream. I got up enough courage to ask the salespeople at my local Innisfree store about them, and that’s when I was first introduced to the amazing, iconic, legendary acne patch.
So What Are Acne Patches?
If you’re wondering, “girl, what is an acne patch?”, allow me to explain. Acne patches are small, thin, circular patches that you apply to active acne blemishes. You know during that time of the month when Mother Nature decides to bless you with a lovely beard of acne around your jawline (OK, maybe that’s just me). Well, you can place a patch on your skin at night, and by the morning, it should have considerably reduced its size.
Most acne patches are technically hydrocolloid bandages, which means that they absorb all the gross stuff out of your pimple. Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than waking up in the morning to remove your pimple patch and it’s all white with the remnants of your pimple. Gross, of course. Satisfying, 1,000%.
And if you’re a skin picker (don’t worry, I’ve been there, done that, it’s not worth it), wearing a patch acts like the mask we should all be wearing during this pandemic—it keeps you from touching and picking at your face as well as preventing more bacteria and debris from getting in your skin. Basically, acne patches do it all.
In addition to their ultra-cool absorption properties, acne patches may also contain a host of ingredients that help acne inflammation, redness, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (or PIH for short). Look for ingredients like salicylic acid to really get in there and degunk your pores, niacinamide for brightening any PIH, and soothing, hydrating ingredients like Centella asiatica and hyaluronic acid.
How to Use an Acne Patch
Using an acne patch is incredibly simple. First, you want to make sure your skin is clean and dry, without any product applied to the areas you’re planning on applying patches. If your skin is oily or slick in any way, the acne patches won’t stick. I like to apply mine at night so I don’t have to worry about going out in public in them (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but I like to make sure that they have their full eight hours to work their magic.
My favorite acne patches? So glad you asked! Here are a few options I always make sure I have in my stash.
CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch
The CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch is the #1 gold standard in acne patches. I’m pretty sure they are hands down the most popular (and in my opinion, the most effective). They stick to your face like glue, and once they are on, they will not come off unless you take them off. And don’t worry, they don’t harm your skin. They are available in three different sizes so you can customize your patch experience. Iconic!
Dr. Jart+ Focuspot Blemish Micro Tip Patch
If you’re looking for next level pimple patches, these are the ones for you. Instead of your normal, hydrocolloid sticker, these patches have tiny microneedles infused with vitamin B3 and a host of peptides. The tiny microneedles deliver the active ingredients straight to the pimple and then melt into your skin, so you get targeted acne relief. I use these when I have a massive cyst that the CosRx acne patch can’t handle.
Do you use acne patches? What are your faves? Let me know in the comments!