Acne patches: best spot stickers for a clear complexion | The Independent

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Acne patches: best spot stickers for a clear complexion | The Independent

May the appearance of a spot never fill you with dread again

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We tested the patches throughout the day and over night

Getting a spot is the absolute worst – particularly as an adult. All our childhood and teenage years, we’re told these pesky blemishes will be gone by the time we’re grown up. Does anyone else feel lied to?

If you’re nodding in agreement as you read this and perhaps are nursing a sore spot or pimple on your face right this minute, this article is for you.

We’ve all tried tea tree oils and other blemish-banning spot treatments to try and rid our faces of these explosive intruders. From salicylic acid to benzoyl peroxide, we know the ingredients we need to battle these breakouts.

But now there are these acne patches and spot stickers on the market and we’ve found ourselves highly intrigued. Easy to carry and very discreet, you can wear these to bed and let them work their magic overnight or subtly wear them during the day. You can even wear make-up over the top and allow these super stickers to do their thing.

If you, like us, are intrigued about these magic acne-busting stickers but, perhaps, are at a slight loss of where to start, fear not, we’ve got you (and your spots) covered.

A bittersweet moment of testing, we had to wait until a pesky pimple popped up on our skin but we used these as soon as we started to feel a bump or blemish arising. We tested them throughout the day, when working from home, as well as using the stickers overnight. We also used them on their own, without any influence of spot creams or gels, so we could fully see the pimple patches’ magic at work.

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What’s nuts about these spot stickers is that there aren’t any active ingredients and the aim of the patch isn’t necessarily to dry the spot out which is great news for those with dry skin already. Instead, the spot stickers just get to work doing what they do best: allowing the wound to heal. Doctors actually recommend to keep wounds moist (which also helps you stop having the urge to pick!) and the same logic is applied to spots.

What we loved about these spots is firstly, there are thicker ones and invisible stickers – depending on whether you’re wearing them day or night; at home or out and about. They’re feisty little things, staying put overnight and what really impressed us was that there was no sign of any slipping when putting our skincare or makeup over the top.

However, what truly made Hero’s acne stickers nab the top spot was that after using them, you could really see the pus and moisture on the sticker. Now, guaranteed, not the most pleasant of sentences we’ve had the pleasure of writing in our reviewing career, however this really showed that without drying out the spots, these aptly named “mighty patches” really do God’s work.

We also really loved trying Hero’s invisible stickers (£9.99, which really did sit seamlessly and hidden on our skin, with or without makeup – and for larger clumps of acne, the mighty patch surface (£14.99,

What we loved most about this product was the variation in size of the stickers – after all, we all know those beasty blemishes can be large and small. These patches are well-equipped to handle everything from a pus-filled pimple (apologies for the visual there) to battling a blackhead.

We felt these transparent (and very thin) patches work their magic as they dried out spots, reduing the size after just one use, while ensuring the skin around the affected area was left alone. We were also impressed by the fact no one could tell we were wearing the smaller size when tackling our spots on the go.

These breakout patches from Skin Choice use hydrocolloid to absorb fluid from the spot, while keeping the area around it unaffected and moisturised. This is said to decrease the possibility of scarring, too.

The patches were efficient in their zapping of pimples and spots on our face, and they felt particularly secure, not moving in the slightest, even as we tossed and turned in our sleep.

Unfortunately, they only come in one size – which is a shame, as, at times, we wished we could treat pimples of different sizes. However, luckily the size it does come in was able to battle the volcanoes that erupted on our face from time to time.

We were particularly drawn to the holy trio of ingredients used in these spot patches from Nip+Fab. While salicylic acid is in the product name, the ingredient is assisted by two other key ones when it comes to spot soothing: tea tree oil and witch hazel.

Not only did we feel that these spot stickers speedily healed our acne breakouts when in use but when we wore them out and about, with a bit of make up on, they were neither visible nor tempted us to start picking.

Of course, Queen Kylie has her own solution to any spot problems. The first thing to note about Kylie Skin’s clarifying patches is that, unlike many on the market, these stickers are designed to be seen, coming in the form of on-brand pink hearts. Well, if you’re going to wear them, wear them with pride, right?

Salicylic acid and niacinamide work to cleanse and exfoliate the area, while the tea tree oil, neem extract and moringa seed oil are the ingredients that aim to soothe and reduce redness. We found these worked a treat and it was a comfort to know that all those ingredients were working their magic (in however small a form). Our spots definitely felt less swollen after using these patches.

These blemish patches from Pixi Beauty are packed full of alicylic acid, cica and green-tea-leaf extract – which all work together to help reduce the appearance of blemishes.

After trialling these stickers, we did find they worked better on smaller spots and particularly when catching a zit in its early stages. However, we cannot complain: they stayed on through the night and our blemishes were smaller in size by the next morning. The skin around the affected areas also felt calmer and less inflamed than before, which was an added benefit.

Australian brand Etto has also thrown its hat in the ring for pimple patches, with its hyaluronate micro-dart stickers. Aiming to penetrate, clear and cover the breakout before it becomes a bigger thing, the patches use tea tree oil, hyaluronate and salicylic acid to work their magic.

As well as discretely covering our spots (we even used these stickers in public), we found that any redness and rough texture was reduced, in addition to the spot itself. While the pimples were not magically eradicated overnight, we did notice a sufficient decrease in size and swelling, while our skin still felt hydrated.

Not content with offering up pimple patches alone, Patchology has crafted the perfect breakout box – designed to assist you with any spot that dares surface on your skin.

What’s undeniably great about this product is that it is a kit, equipped with all the essentials to battle your breakout. Containing three different kinds of patch – 24 pimple-shrinking salicylic acid dots, 24 whitehead-absorbing hydrocolloid dots and three blackhead-eliminating nose strips – to treat all skin emergencies, we’d be lying if we said this wasn’t a skincare saviour.

However, while the nose strip was great at extracting dirt from our pores, we are here to evaluate the spot stickers.

The salicylic acid dots were great for drying out pus-filled pimples or fresh breakouts, putting on a powerful performance to reduce the swelling very quickly. However, the hydrocolloid stickers were also impressive, working effectively on smaller spots and blemishes.

These spot patches from Glacia aim to act as a barrier between your blemishes and any opportunity for further irritation. In that sense, they’re more like a protective patch, so your skin can return to its usual self in no time.

Working to minimise the appearance of redness and a full blown breakout, we did find that these spot stickers weren’t so great at tackling the bigger breakouts, instead being more suited to smaller spots, but they certainly helped in keeping our hands away from the affected areas. Using tea tree oil and calendula oil to fight our blemishes naturally, these patches were also thin and translucent enough so as not to draw attention to our skin.

After testing out the above products on a variety of sized spots – and at all stages – we found the Hero mighty patch original to be the best at blitzing our blemishes and really absorbing the moisture from our spot wounds. We used the original for nighttime and when at home, swapping to the invisible patches (£9.99, for daytime and even relied upon the mighty surface patch for when we had larger spells.

We also really loved the results from using the Cosrx acne pimple master patch . Working efficiently, as well as being inconspicuous in appearance, these were another strong favourite. An honourable mention also goes to Nip+Fab’s salicylic fix spot patches, which we also really enjoyed using.

Want to cover all bases? We’ve rounded up the best foundations for every skin type

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Acne patches: best spot stickers for a clear complexion | The Independent

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