Drug-free and non-drying hydrocolloid patches. Works as a skin protectant and conceals blemishes fast. The easy-to-use formula works by extracting impurities and heals your skin in a minimum of 6 hours.
Patches may need to be reapplied after 6 hours.
Made from an effective formulation of cica, tea tree, and calendula oil. The product is drug-free and is infused with hydrocolloid technology which reduces acne in 6 hours. Optimized to extract impurities from your skin and cover the blemishes. Quick-working, even on that nastiest pimples.
Not suitable for use on cystic acne and might cause rashes.
Healing patches with high-grade hydrocolloid. The matte finish patch blends seamlessly with all skin tones. Tapered edges adhere firmly to the skin and form a protective barrier for quick healing. Comes in 2 sizes and is free from chemicals. Vegan and cruelty-free.
Works if your pimples have come to a head.
Features an A.D.F. dressing hydrocolloid patch that protects and heals affected area. Available in 3 different sizes that cover multiple spots easily. Formulated with chemical-free ingredients which are safe to use on the skin.
The price of the product is on the higher side of the scale. Best when used at night.
Clears zits in 6-8 hours without any pain. Sticks well and doesn't fall off face. Uses salicylic acid to deflate zits while nourishing your skin with vitamin A and aloe vera. Suits sensitive skin very well.
It can leave some redness for 3-4 days even after the zit is gone. Pricey. Fairly large.
After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested the Peace Out Acne Dots to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.
Waking up to a red, throbbing pimple is never a good way to start a day, but nearly everyone struggles with acne on occasion. If you’re tired of the same old acne treatment creams that dry out your skin, acne patches are a good alternative for spot treating pimples.
An acne patch is a small circular sticker that you place directly on a pimple to treat it. All patches work by absorbing excess oil and fluid to help reduce inflammation and redness, but some also contain targeted acne-fighting ingredients to deliver a super dose of treatment right to the spot. Acne patches vary in terms of how deeply they penetrate the skin and provide treatment, but there’s usually an option available for every type of skin and acne breakout.
Not all acne patches are effective for all types of acne. For the most effective treatment, determine first which type (or types) of acne you have.
Blackheads: Blackheads occur when excess oil gets trapped in the pores. The pore head stays open, and the oil turns black when exposed to air. Acne patches can’t help with blackheads.
Whiteheads: Whiteheads also occur when pores become clogged with oil, bacteria, and dirt, but the top of the pore is closed, which creates a white bump on the skin surface that is filled with pus. These blemishes can respond well to acne patches.
Papules: Papules also form when a pore is blocked by excess oil and bacteria, but they appear as small red bumps because the surrounding skin becomes inflamed. They don’t contain pus, but they also respond well to acne patches.
Pustules: Pustules are small bumps with a white center and red, inflamed skin that surrounds it. They form when a clogged pore becomes infected and contain yellowish pus. Pustules can also be treated with acne patches.
Nodular acne: Nodular acne typically consists of red or flesh-colored bumps below the surface of the skin. It usually results from bacteria causing an infection within the skin, but the bumps don’t contain pus. Nodular acne responds well to some acne patches.
Cystic acne: Cystic acne is a severe form of acne that occurs when infection happens deep beneath the skin surface. The cysts are large, red, and inflamed, and they contain pus. Cystic acne is extremely difficult to treat, though it can sometimes respond to acne patches.
Acne patches are available in three types: non-medicated, medicated, and microneedle.
Non-medicated acne patches are also known as hydrocolloid bandages. Traditionally, these bandages are used in wound healing, but they can also help with acne. That’s because the moist environment that the patch creates helps draw out fluid, oil, and pus from the acne. These patches also keep the area sterile to allow the acne to heal. The majority of acne patches on the market are non-medicated and can help treat whiteheads and other basic pimples.
Medicated acne patches are hydrocolloid bandages that also contain acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil. They work well on inflamed acne, including papules, pustules, and mild nodular or cystic acne.
Microneedle acne patches use a special microneedling technology that allows them to penetrate the skin more deeply. This means the medicated ingredients target the acne more effectively, while the hydrocolloid action draws out more fluid and pus. These patches work best for severe nodular and cystic acne.
Acne patches come in boxes or resealable envelopes with multiple patches. Packages vary in quantity. Some include as few as nine patches; others include up to 120 patches.
If you only get the occasional breakout, a smaller package of patches is usually sufficient. For regular breakouts, it’s best to opt for a larger quantity so you always have a patch when you need one. A larger box of patches typically offers a better value per patch, too, even though the upfront cost may be higher.
Not all blemishes are the same size, so you’ll probably need acne patches of various sizes. Whiteheads, papules, and pustules usually only require a small patch, but nodular and cystic acne may require medium to large patches for adequate coverage. To make sure you’re adequately prepared, look for acne packages with several different patch sizes.
Acne patches typically need to be left on for at least a few hours to be effective, so it helps to choose a waterproof formula. That means you don’t have to worry about the patch coming loose if you wear it in the rain or other damp conditions.
The majority of acne patches are clear or skin-colored, so they’re nearly invisible on the skin. However, some patches are available in fun colors. If you only plan to wear the patches at night and prefer a more whimsical look, this might appeal to you.
Most acne patches are round, but some larger patches are rectangular. You can even find some in cute shapes, like flowers.
Severe nodular or cystic acne that occurs deep within the skin may not respond to acne patches. This type of inflamed under-the-skin acne may require a cortisone shot from a dermatologist.
Acne cleaner: Elta MD Foaming Facial Cleanser
To help treat and prevent acne, you’ll want to pair your patches with a good acne cleanser. This formula from Elta MD is free of irritating chemicals and contains enzymes to soothe and exfoliate the skin.
Scar serum: CLEARstem CELLrenew Collagen Infusion Serum
Even after an acne patch treats a breakout, you may have scars left behind. We like this serum from CLEARstem because it can reduce scars and inflammation in less than a week.
Inexpensive: Inexpensive acne patches are usually non-medicated patches. These typically come in larger packages with multiple sizes and include as many as 120 patches per box. Expect to pay between $0.07 and $0.34 per patch.
Mid-range: Mid-range acne patches are typically medicated patches with tea tree oil and/or salicylic acid. They usually come in mid-size packages with as many as 40 patches per box and offer multiple sizes. Some packages contain only large or extra-large patches to treat more severe breakouts. Prices for these patches range from $.10 and $1.20 apiece.
Expensive: The most expensive acne patches are microneedle acne patches that contain salicylic acid and/or tea tree oil. They usually come in smaller packages with as many as 10 patches per box, and usually only one size is offered (medium or large). These tend to cost between $0.54 and $3.60 per patch.
A. You can incorporate acne patches into your skincare routine with other acne products, but you shouldn’t use them at the same time. Acne patches should be applied to clean, dry skin that doesn't have any toner, serum, moisturizer, or treatment products on it. After you’ve removed an acne patch, you can use any other skincare product you like on your face.
A. An acne patch can take some time to work, so it’s usually best to wear it overnight or at least for several hours. Avoid wearing a patch for more than 12 hours.
A. Despite how it may sound, microneedle patches do not feature the kind of needles you may be thinking of. Instead, they use dissolving microneedles, which are extremely small, fine needles. As the needles dissolve, they penetrate the skin deeply to help with nodular or cystic acne. Best of all, no pain is involved. You might experience a slight tingling, but that’s typically a sign that the product is working.