How Did I Only Just Get Into Pimple Patches?!?


It's almost too good to be true. Adhere a tiny sticker—a translucent one that bystanders won't even notice—onto a pimple for anywhere up to eight hours. Remove when you are ready and see whatever grime was deep in your pores under the sticker, now safely trapped within the confines of that sticker. Then look at your face. Now cheer because you have defeated yet another zit, and you didn't even have to stomach your way through any of those Dr. Pimple Popper videos.

People have been extolling the virtues of pimple patches for years; don't let me fool you into thinking they're new. In fact, the technology isn't even native to the current skincare boom we're experiencing. Pimple patches are a descriptive name for pimple-sized hydrocolloid bandages—basically sticky cellulose keeps water out and absorbs wound fluid. These babies aren't even medicated! Given some time to shine, they'll literally suck the gunk out of your face sans salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or alcohol. Like a pore strip—yet gentle and actually effective.

For the sake of beauty writing, I've been sticking these little guys all over my face, on any kind of pimple I can find, with a fair amount of success. They're best suited for any pimple that could be comfortably extracted (basically rules out cystic bumps and other zits where it's too soon to tell). On whiteheads, already-popped suckers, and even those enlarged pores that probably have some gunk in them but aren't quite black or whitehead eligible, a sticker could be your best friend. First of all, it keeps you from touching the zone. Which means you won't be prodding it with your grimy hands. Instead, you'll be letting your new hydrocolloid best friend suck all the goo without lifting a finger. What you'll be left with is a flattened site of the former pimple, and a no-longer-translucent sticker. If the patch turns hazy white, know that's all your gross face juice that's no longer your problem. Chuck that in the trash. Cheer, again.

In fact, I've found this method so universally successful, brand doesn't even matter. Nexcare, Cosrx, Mighty Patch, Peach Slices—they all work. Choose the branding that most suits your lifestyle. And stop wondering if your spot treatment is working. Ditch it and stick with these instead. They're a sure bet.

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Curious what the French do about their acne? Wonder no more.