Last Updated on August 3rd, 2019
Acne patches promise you on-the-spot treatment of nasty zits, but some brands work better than others. Here is a quick review of the best and worst acne patch products.
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Acne patches have been in use for over 10 years, mainly in Asia and Korea, but they are starting to become more popular in the US. There are basically two types of patches: medicated and unmedicated. They are usually packaged as thin, vinyl-like sheets of sticky dots. The patches are removed from the sheets and applied on the affected area. They usually have an active ingredient that is meant to get rid of pimples or acne on your face1. The most common medications applied on the sheets include tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. These patches work by keeping the medication on your skin long enough for the ingredients to work on the pimple2. They also prevent you from touching the affected area, keeping the extra dirt and grime from your fingers out of your skin and preventing bacteria from multiplying on the area.
The downside to these patches is that if you have sensitive skin, you can get skin irritation if the products are left for too long on your face. Also, the adhesive used on the patches can cause skin irritation or cause acne breakouts on the areas where they have been applied. The major advantage of this spot treatment is that you only use the patches on the affected area, sparing the rest of your skin from being treated since treating healthy skin can result in dryness and flakiness.
The unmedicated patches, otherwise known as hydrocolloid patches, work by sucking out water from pimples3. The hydrocolloid material is meant to attract water to a thin plastic film. This material is made out of carboxymethyl cellulose, pectin, and gelatin, while the outer layer of the patch is made out of polyurethane material. This helps lock the moisture in the patch and prevent water from evaporating, so the wound doesn’t become dry, enabling it to heal faster.
The patch you remove from the pimple at the appropriate time should be swelled up with some whitish stuff on it. This is supposed to be evidence that the patch has worked. The pimple may become much flatter and less inflamed. These patches also help to keep you from constantly touching the pimple, which helps keep germs away from the wound4. According to some studies that have been done on the use of 3M dressings on pimples for a week, it has been found that the severity of the pimple decreases, along with the oiliness, redness, and hyperpigmentation. This is in contrast to the use of tapes.
The advantages of using these patches include the fact that they can help your pimples heal faster since they provide a moist environment. They make it possible for active ingredients to penetrate the skin and act on the pimple5. You don’t need to reapply them after washing your face with water, since they are waterproof. They also protect the blemishes from UV light, which can help you maintain an even skin tone by preventing pigmentation.
Whether you choose to use medicated or unmedicated patches, you need to realize that they will not make your pimples disappear overnight. Yes, the affected area will likely look better than before but the acne will not be cleared, especially if you have severe acne, like cystic acne. Also, even though these patches are essentially made using the same ingredients, they perform differently6, so it is worth checking out reviews about how each patch works before buying it. Unmedicated patches are best used if your pimple is raised and has pus that needs to be sucked out. If the pimple doesn’t have pus, but it is inflamed, then a medicated patch is the best option7. The medicated patches have the advantage of being thin that means that if your pimple is flat, the patch will not be very visible when you wear it on your skin.
When purchasing the patches, you need to be careful to ensure that you buy the right one, since you can easily confuse unmedicated patches with medicated patches, as they look very similar. Just keep in mind that unmedicated patches tend to be slightly more expensive than the medicated patches. They normally have the term “hydrocolloid” written on the packaging and medicated patches usually list the active ingredients. Some of the places where you can buy these patches include online on Amazon and eBay. You can also get them at different pharmacies, such as Priceline. Asian shops also stock the patches, so you will find them in shops like RoseRose Shop, Sasa, and Tester Korea.
If you are looking for round unmedicated patches, there are many options to consider. Check out our brief reviews below to determine which acne patch is best for you.
Not really marketed as an acne product, Claudia Stevens Hydro-Gel Overnight Patches are actually one of the few patch products that can really clear up pimples. Unlike the products that are marketed specifically for acne treatment, all of which contain benzoyl peroxide, this skin patch is made with tea tree oil. Benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria but does not reduce redness or inflammation. Tea tree oil both kills acne bacteria and reduces redness and inflammation8. You will get much better results from this “overnight patch” than you will from any other “acne patch” for pimples.
Peter Thomas Roth-Acne Clear Invisible Dots patches can be bought at Sephora, Ulta, or on Amazon. These patches contain tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid that can help prevent the skin from drying out.
These are high-end UK medicated patches that can be bought at Net-a-Porter.com. they are made by Sarah Chapman, who is a UK facialist. They contain vitamin A, salicylic acid, and different botanicals and hydrators.
These patches can be bought online at Dermstore, Sokoglam, or Amazon. They are packaged in a ziplocked bag to help them stay fresh. They are non-medicated patches, which help suck out pus and decrease the size of pimples and swelling.
These are available on Amazon. They are produced by the 3M US Company and they are in high demand in Asian countries. They are the original unmedicated patches.
These non-medicated patches can be bought on Amazon or Ollie Belle’s website. They are very similar to the other non-medicated patches and are probably a better option for those with sensitive skin who may have a reaction to ingredients in the medicated patches.
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