These tiny stickers may look like they don’t have the power to defeat your biggest blemishes, but spot patches one of the best ways to get rid of unexpected and untimely breakouts, fast. Best applied to surface level spots or spots that have already come to a head and broken through the skin, they have a multi-pronged approach to blemish-busting that absorbs fluid from the spot, creates a safe environment for healing, and in some cases infuses skin with spot-clearing ingredients.
An alternative to drying spot treatments, patches won’t leave your skin red and flaky – and most can be worn stealthily during the day or under makeup. They’re essentially tiny plasters made with hydrocolloid, a gel film which absorbs fluid from the spot. You’ll see it working when the patch starts to expand and turn white – after a few hours, the skin where the spot was will be flat and unmarked.
In addition, spot patches have the added benefit of forming a protective barrier which shields skin from external aggressors like bacteria or picking fingers (guilty!) – both of which cause inflammation and prevent skin from healing properly.
Here are some of our favourite spot patches to clear breakouts quickly.
Need to pull out the big guns? These are some of the most advanced patches on the market – each one is embedded with 24 tiny microdarts that dissolve spot-clearing ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide into the skin while the hydrocolloid draws out the build-up. They’re also accompanied by cleansing swabs (soaked in salicylic acid, tea tree, and alcohol) that help to prep the spot for the patch.
CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
If you struggle with stubborn blemishes, these K-beauty bestsellers are amongst the most highly-rated spot patches – they provide fast results and flatten even the most inflamed of breakouts. What’s more, they have impressive staying power and remain almost completely invisible on skin, so they’re perfect for wearing during the day or under makeup. They come in three different sizes to suit all spot types.
Oh K! SOS Clarifying Blemish Patches
These paper-thin patches aren’t made with hydrocolloid, so they won’t draw anything out of spots. Instead, they form a watertight protective barrier over the spot and press in a blemish-battling cocktail of ingredients like tea tree and salicylic acid to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation.