Once upon a time, if you had a pimple, you’d bust out a tube of white paste or clear gel treatment and hope for the best. “The best,” of course, meant not only shrinking the offending blemish but hoping you didn’t forget you put it on and accidentally leave the house with dried, flaky treatment spots all over your face. And that was if it didn’t all rub off on your sheets and pillowcases at night! These days, things are easier and more efficient, thanks to the invention of the pimple patch (or acne sticker). Small, circular, adhesive hydrocolloid bandages–many invisible enough to wear out under makeup during the day–have Changed. The. Game. So which is the best pimple patch for your under-the-skin enemy? We’ve done a little digging–but no picking, obv-to find the most beloved blemish banishers.
What makes an acne sticker more effective than the old-school treatments in the battle against blemishes? It’s all about how it absorbs fluid from a pimple (it literally sucks the gunk out front under the skin), penetrates more deeply with treatment, and blocks against other aggravating offenders like bacteria and pop-happy fingers. The result: less inflammation and redness, faster healing, and less likelihood of scarring–perfect for those of us who really struggle with just leaving those damn pimples alone. Ahem.
Of course, not every pimple patch is created equal. The options available vary in size, transparency, thickness, ingredients, and what type of blemish they’re best for. Some are best worn overnight and some can hide in plain sight. If online customer reviews are any indication (they are), the top-rated acne-sticker options ahead can be considered leaders of the pimple-fighting pack. Scroll on to find the best pimple-patch pick–er, purchase–that will have your skin in the clear.
The Mighty Patch has been beloved among acne-sticker devotees for a while now. With the Invisible+ option, these hydrocolloid pimple patches are even thinner than before, with tapered edges for blending easily into the skin. Meaning: You can wear these during the day under a bit of concealer and no one will know (and you’ll avoid nervous picking!). According to one reviewer, “They are thinner than other patches, so yes, you can wear these and they are less noticeable. They are just as effective, though.” In addition to being clear and matte to suit all skin tones and types, the Invisible+ patches are made with natural, cruelty-free, vegan ingredients, and come in two sizes, 12mm and 10mm. Note: These are best used on pimples with pus or fluid inside that have come to a head, i.e., not blackheads.
The best pimple patch set for all types of blemishes, CosRx’s pack comes with three sizes of thin hydrocolloid stickers that break down blackheads and whiteheads, as well as cystic acne. These super-adhesive patches get rid of infection, bacteria, and all the gross crap underneath the surface that causes unwelcome bumps–and will even stay on through showering and washing, if desired! Apparently, these pimple patches are giving the people what they want: The positive reviews online number well into the quadruple digits, including one satisfied customer who noted “I’ve tried so many products, including product prescribed by dermatologists and none of them works as fast as the acne pimple master patch. My pimples are resolving quickly.” Another mama said, “Love this product! I’m acne prone in my adult years after having kids, and this has saved me a few times! I put it on after my toner at night and I swear it’s better by the morning.”
The brand name kind of says it all. Peace Out’s hydrocolloid acne stickers use a combination of salicylic acid, Vitamin A, and Aloe Vera to pentrate pimples, fight bacteria, and soothe skin at the same time. Meant for all skin types, this pimple patch option is also free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and more–and it’s vegan and cruelty-free! But does it work? According to an enthusiastic cystic acne sufferer, “My face flares up at just about everything…IDK why but this stuff works. It doesn’t totally stop the cysts, but it does prevent them from spreading and shortens their lives significantly…Worth it if you’re struggling with bad flare ups.” For a more objective take, independent consumer study data online reports 91% of participants said this product healed the acne it was applied to, 95% of participants said it helped soothe their skin where applied, and 95% said it helped in preventing them from picking at their acne. *Adds to cart.*
Another set of acne sticker recommended mostly for nighttime use, Medical Miracles hydrocolloid patches unclog pores and absorb fluids and pus, as well as reduce inflammation and redness. Just wash and clean your face, apply an acne patch to the offending area, and allow it to work its blemish-fighting magic for 6-8 hours. Made with ingredients including tea tree oil, these pimple patches are an all-natural alternative to prescription drugs–and don’t underestimate their potency, either. “I have been having trouble with my skin this season and I have sensitive skin,” wrote one reviewer, “I have tried other natural products, but nothing has compared to how these patches have worked. They do not cause any irritation to my skin, yet they are clearing up what I need all while I sleep!” Another picker (no judgment) touted, “I’m on my 4th purchase now and use them every night. Reduces redness and swelling and also very discreet to wear in public…I have a problem with popping pimples and these patches have greatly reduced those urges.” In other words, try these.
Made of super absorbent, thicker material, these hydrocolloid pimple patches are literally described in one review as being “ like magic erasers for your face.” Sakura Skin’s acne stickers absorb fluids and pus from whiteheads and/or stubborn cystic acne without leaving marks once they’re removed. Due to their thicker nature, these might be better for overnight acne fighting: So says another reviewer, “Best patches I have used. They stay on all night, unlike other patches I’ve tried that usually fall off while I sleep.” One huge fan asserts, “If the pimples are forming, these stickies keep them from getting too inflamed and prevent me from picking at them. If the pimples have already formed and I’ve “popped” them, these stickies help draw out extra fluid so that the pimple heals flat, quickly, and less red than usual. I’ve even gotten my boyfriend to use some of them if he breaks out after shaving.” Duly noted!
If you find yourself suffering from hormonal breakouts every month, this is the best pimple patch for pesky period acne. Just wash and dry the trouble spot, then apply Rael’s healing hydrocolloid sticker for 4-8 hours, and let it pull out all the pus and impurities. Once the patch turns white, it’s ready to peel off, which one reviewer describes as “always oddly satisfying” (totally get it). Rael’s pimple patch pack includes two sizes, 10mm and 12mm, both thin and transparent enough to wear outside, and according to another happy customer, “nearly undetectable”. Still another says it “cuts my healing process down and way less hyperpigmentation since I can’t pick at it constantly like I normally would!” Making periods less unpleasant and preventing scarring? OK, where do I sign up?
An acne sticker you can wear for up to 24 hours? Yup, that’s a thing. Iconic’s pimple patches have a breathable and waterproof design, so they can reduce inflammation, absorb pus, calm redness, flatten your infected pore, and protect it from dirt all day long. Made from hypoallergenic natural ingredients like tea tree and Calendula oil, these can be worn under light makeup, without drying out your skin. Of course, you’ve also got the option to battle blemishes while you sleep. One reviewer notes, “I love this product. It really works when used correctly. I put one on my breakout before bed and by morning, the pimple has drastically shrunken if it’s not gone most of the time,” while another describes them as ” absolutely awesome! Sometimes it takes a few, depending on how deep/ big the pimple is but they work!” Sounds worth it to us.
Made from all-natural ingredients, Le Gushe acne stickers are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and hypoallergenic. Whew! Oh, and they’re suitable for all skin types and will prevent picking (“These are my go to for clearing up pimples. No need for popping,” one reviewer added). Designed to treat whiteheads–but not blackheads–these slightly thicker pimple patches are best for overnight use, so they can absorb pus, oil, and gunk while you sleep (they can actually be worn for up to 24 hours!). Choose from two sizes, 8mm and 12mm, and just remove the patch once it turns white. “These definitely helped with my acne. I had a large and painful pimple on my cheek and I used one of these patches overnight,” said a reviewer, “When I took it off everything that was in there oozed with no damage to my skin.” A tad gross sounding, but they get the job done!