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17 Pimple Patches That Actually Work

pimple patches

Calm down

I can’t remember what life was like before the pimple patches, but I guess it was a never-ending cycle of popping, pinching, and peeling. Skincare products have evolved to address a broader range of issues, from severe, inflammatory acne to the dark marks left behind by breakouts. However, very few treatments come close to the wonderful world of pimple patches. Because cream or liquid spot treatments can fade during the day or overnight, pimple patches are a great option for a more targeted remedy for pesky breakouts. Why?

“They are designed to reduce pimples quickly. They promote wound healing and also help prevent patients from scratching or picking pimples, which often makes things worse and can lead to depigmentation or permanent scarring,” Dr. Lauren Penzi, MD of MDCS Dermatology. New York, she tells

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However, pimple patches are not a silver bullet and require additional support such as powerful serums, full-coverage SPF, and hydrating moisturizers to ensure all your efforts are not wasted. Shop the best 17 on the market below.

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better overall

mighty patch

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The original


best celebrity favorite

star face



The best for hormonal acne


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KILLA Kit Deep Zit Microdart Patch 4 Pack


The best for beginners

Calm down

Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Spots


Best for different sizes of blemishes

sweet chef

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Carrot Ginger Blemish Rescue Patch


Best for lovers of Korean beauty


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The best skin care ingredients

Mario Badescu

drying patch


The best invisible patches


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Miracle Invisible Spot Coverage


The best for large pimples

florence by mills

spot to spot acne patches


best value

Alba Botany

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Alba Botanica Acnedote Pimple Patches, 40 Count


The best for all types

the clever

Soft Shield Pimple Patch


internet favorite


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Master patch for acne and blackheads


The best for pimples


face shields


best complete kit


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Breakout Box 3-in-1 Acne Treatment Kit


Best for deep stains

peach slices

Micro darts for deep stains


Best for frequent breakouts

Peter Thomas Roth

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transparent invisible dots for acne


What ingredients should you look for in acne patches?

As you browse the web for pimple patches, you’ll notice one word appearing in each box: hydrocolloid. “Pimple patches contain hydrocolloid gel which has powerful wound healing properties. It works to absorb excess fluid and remove excess dirt, oil, and sebum, helping to quickly reduce the appearance of blackheads,” explains Lauren Penzi, MD, MD. Of course, many patches are formulated with other familiar ingredients found in your daily skin care products.

“Some patches also contain specific acne-fighting ingredients, such as salicylic acid and tea tree oil. The patch helps occlude these acne-fighting ingredients, making them more effective.”

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How are acne patches applied?

Just like sticking a sticker on a computer or book, acne patches work in a similar way. However, you will need to prep your skin beforehand to ensure you get the most out of your pimple patches. Dr. Penzi suggests applying acne patches at night, just before you go to bed.

“After removing your makeup, cleaning your face, and making sure your skin is dry, apply the patch to your pimple. I recommend leaving it on for six to eight hours. Avoid wearing the patch for more than 12 hours, as this can lead to potential irritation,” she explains. Even though you want to suffocate the pimple as much as possible, it needs to breathe. “After removing the patch, I recommend cleaning your face again to remove any pus or bacteria,” she says.

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How often should you use acne patches?

“You can use acne patches as often as you like. I recommend testing the product on the inside of your forearm first to make sure you don’t have a reaction to an ingredient in the patch before leaving it on your face for an extended period of time. I also recommend reserving pimple patches for larger inflammatory papules and nodules,” says Dr. Penzi.

Dr. Lauren Penzi, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist who specializes in acne, rosacea, skin cancer, eczema, psoriasis, and hair loss.

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Why trust ELLE Beauty?

Nerisha Penrose is the Beauty Trade Editor at Since she joined in 2017, she has interviewed countless skincare professionals and personally tested the latest and greatest makeup, skincare, and haircare products.

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