When you get a blemish on your face, you typically have a few treatment options. You can reach for an acne spot treatment, spend 10 to 15 minutes masking, or stay the course with your skin-care routine and let your skin do its thing. But another option that has quickly become a favorite among us here at Allure is using pimple patches.
Pimple patches are adhesives that are filled with different acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid or tea tree oil, that you place on top of blemishes. “These acne patches offer an air-tight seal from the environment and its contaminants, while drawing out impurities from the skin and suspending it in the gel-like matrix of the patch,” says California-based and board-certified dermatologist Melanie Palm. “Some of the patches offer the power-packed punch of active ingredients such as anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, or anti-acne ingredients to soothe and treat acne blemishes.”
They are pretty simple to use and you can just follow the instructions listed on the packaging. Palm says the “stealthiest” way to apply an acne patch is overnight; it will work to treat spots for seven to eight hours while your skin is in its restoration period. But you can also wear them during the day to help prevent you from picking. She says regardless of which acne patch you decide to use, always apply it to dry and freshly-cleansed skin.
Most people are able to use acne patches, though Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, warns those with sensitive skin to be cautious when choosing which to use; having too much exposure to an ingredient such as salicylic acid can be irritating and drying. Garshick also says deep breakouts may not respond at all to these. She’d normally recommend visiting a dermatologist for a cortisone shot. But until we are no longer under quarantine, your safest and best option for this type of acne is to turn to teledermatology and virtually consult with a dermatologist.
Another thing to consider before using an acne patch is that different types of acne require specific types of pimple patches. To figure out which one is best for you, we asked dermatologists to break down which types of patches (and ingredients) are most effective for every type of acne. Scroll through to see what they had to say.