We've all been there: we wake up on an important day, hoping and praying for clear skin, and pow, a surprise spot is there to welcome us in the mirror. And while there are many formulas that help out spots, pimple patches are the go-to treatment of the moment thanks to their discretion and targeted approach. The good news is that there are plenty out there to try, too, including options for all budgets. I've picked out the most effective pimple patches available in the UK, to reach for in times of need.
Pimple patches are, quite simply, small (usually circular) self-adhesive stickers that are designed to be applied to a spot. They are usually transparent, meaning you can even wear them throughout the day with little chance of detection. They often contain active ingredients designed to minimise inflammation and speed up healing, such as salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and niacinamide. Many are made from hydrocolloid, which is a brilliant healing dressing that helps to dry out a wound. Some are also microdarts, which contain microneedles that prick the spot in order to disperse the active ingredients more effectively.
Perhaps one of the main benefits of using spot stickers is that they prevent you from picking or touching your breakout. "Picking can increase inflammation and healing time and increase the risk for infection, discoloration and scarring," New York-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, told Huffpost. "So, if you have a tendency to pick, that’s certainly a positive there," he added.
Into the idea of pimple patches? Here are five of the best:
These may not be super wearable for day time (they're not as inconspicuous as the others!), but they are great for overnight use. They are made from hydrocolloid, which enable to spot to heal far quicker, and can be left on for a full night's sleep. They luckily now ship to the UK, and don't cost an arm and a leg to send.
Perhaps the best known in the UK right now, Zitsticka uses microdart technology to disperse active ingredients such as salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide into the affected area. The patches are semi-sheer and therefore mostly discreet, and are even water resistant.
If you're looking for the full package to really detoxify your skin, this breakout box has everything you need. With 24 Pimple-Shrinking Salicylic Acid Dots, 24 Whitehead-Absorbing Hydrocolloid Dots, 3 Blackhead-Eliminating Nose Strips, all types of spots will be less fierce, and pores will look refined.
These patches come in various sizes to cater for every type of spot, from the minimalist to the true monster. They can be worn overnight, as well as during the day under foundation, which is impressive in itself. They work to absorb acne secretion, and act as a barrier to keep the spot clean.