The 9 Best Acne Patches That Clear Up Pimples Fast

More than just a cute accessory for your face.

starface pimple patches
(Image credit: fizkes)

A good acne patch will stay put on your face, suck out all the gross stuff from your pimple, and not leave dry patches behind. These stickers are more than just a fun accessory for your face: They're designed to "absorb exudate" (a.k.a. the gunk in pimples) and promote healing. I tapped dermatologist Dr. Caroline Robinson and founder of Peace Out Skincare Enrico Frezza to give us the lowdown on these magic stickers. The ingredient to look for in your acne patch of choice is hydrocolloid, Dr. Robinson says. Other ingredients common in acne patches are tea tree oilsalicylic acid, and niacinamide—all used to target pimples and repair the skin in micro-doses.

Not all patches are created the same, however. “There are different patches to help at different stages of the life cycle of a pimple, from its earliest stage to post-pimple marks,” says Dr. Robinson. Regular acne patches are ideal for surface pimples with whiteheads, while dark spot patches usually contain microneedles to penetrate the skin to lighten the marks left behind from pimples.

For patches that stay on, Frezza urges: “Do not apply over makeup, serums, or moisturizer as some skin textures cannot successfully absorb the active ingredients or keep the acne dots fully applied to the face with a layer of product under them.” It may take more than one use to rid the pimple entirely, he says. “Sometimes it takes one acne dot, and other times it has taken two to three acne dots to achieve this. It depends on your acne, the depth of your pimple, and the amount of gunk your pimple is producing.”

Acne isn’t something to be embarrassed about—pimples happen, but we know sometimes you just want it to go away. While not a cure-all, using a patch is a great way to keep yourself from picking and help speed up the healing process. Thankfully, there are plenty of great acne patches choose from.