Almost everyone has seen their skin sprout a particularly obvious and painful pimple, one that takes forever to heal and is impossible not to squeeze. So many of the breakout-prone among us vouch for the skin-clearing wonders of acne patches, which offer a triple-threat solution to zits: They can conceal, heal and prevent you from picking at them.
Whether you know them as pimple patches, zit stickers or acne dots, these patches are usually made with an absorbent hydrocolloid material that draws out excess sebum, fluid and superficial debris from a breakout, making it appear less obvious while expediting the healing process. Some also come infused with skin care ingredients like acne-fighting salicylic acid or calming tea tree oil.
Most of the time these patches are ultra thin and translucent, making them easy to wear beneath makeup across a wide range of skin tones, or simply on their own in order to prevent wandering fingers from wreaking even more havoc on the skin.
Whether you’re a seasoned acne patch pro or want to try them out for the first time, it’s good to have an idea of the options out there and, most importantly, those that are the highest-rated. Find quicker healing in the upcoming lineup of pimple patches that happen to be some of the internet’s favorites.
Large patches for on-the-surface acne
4.7 out of 5 stars
When you want a patch that will cover a larger surface area, these non-drying hydrocolloid patches by Rael can do the trick. Designed to gently draw out pus and impurities from surfaced blemishes like whiteheads and pustules, these stickers feature seamless tapered edges and a contoured design that works for areas like the nose, chin, cheeks or forehead. This pack includes 10 patches.Promising Target review:
"I don't break out much usually, but I got some bad cystic acne on my chin the other day (pretty sure it was stress acne rip). But I got these yesterday, and after 2 patches (one overnight, one in the day), it's basically all gone! They stay on very well and weren't too noticeable imo (I have fair skin, they are translucent white, so that probably won't be the case deeper skintones). I just have one small, mostly flat bump left that I could probably knock out with a single microneedle patch. These seriously work! :D" – emy
Hydrocolloid patches infused with calming ingredients
4.3 out of 5 stars
These thin and transparent hydrocolloid patches claim to shrink surfaced zits overnight and come infused with redness-reducing calendula and tea tree to minimize swelling along with centella asiatica
, an ingredient popular in K-beauty
products for reducing redness and irritation. The pack comes with 40 patches in three assorted sizes to cover blemishes big or small.Promising Amazon review:
"I love this brand! I have tried all their products- the variety of sizes they offer are wonderful for different needs. I was moving 2 weeks ago and between the stress, dust and sweat both my cheeks broke out- I used the xl patches and it took care of those clusters overnight! I’m 46 so I definitely don’t get as many pimples as I used to (aside from when I’m moving) but as a professional woman having a breakout is embarrassing. I love that these take care of my blemishes right away. My son is 10 and just starting to get an occasional blemish- he also loves these and they work. My niece is 19 and she loves them too! Great for all ages and stages of skin breakouts. Definitely recommend this product and this brand as being reliable and very effective! It’s my go to!" – Laura
A sulfuric liquid acne patch
4.9 out of 5 stars
Unlike traditional acne patches, this sulfur-based treatment applies as a liquid and transforms into a lipid-based, skin-mimicking film that appears invisible, yet offers a breathable barrier that protects pimples and allows them to heal. In addition to 5% colloidal sulfur, Dermalogica's liquid patch contains niacinamide to reduce redness and fade post-breakout marks, as well as camphor intended to help soothe any zit-related discomfort.Promising Ulta review:
"I have very sensitive and acne prone skin and i have tried so many spot treatments and have gone through numerous pimple patches. This stuff makes sure deep underground pimples never reach the surface. I would say depending on the size of the pimple this product eliminates it in just a few days. Awsome product!" – mya
Extra strength pimple patches for early-stage zits
: 4.6 out of 5 stars
For fast-acting blemish healing, these extra strength patches by ZitSticka are specifically formulated to heal deep-rooted pimples before they've had the chance to surface. They offer self-dissolving microdarts to deliver acne-fighting ingredients like 2% salicylic acid, niacinamide and peptides, which can help promote wound healing and skin health. This pack comes with four patches.Promising Amazon reviews:
"Totally recommend this product, specially if you have a big pimple/cyst coming out. I placed it overnight and the next day the pimple was flat." — noemi flores
"I have normally used one of the salicylic acid and sulfur concoctions on the blemishes you can feel coming under the skin. Works well, though messy and smelly. These patches from ZitSticka serve the same function but without the mess or the smell! They work within a few hours to reduce or eliminate that coming blemish." — Pupspicacious
Microdart patches for deep blemishes
Amazon and Ulta rating
: 4.3 out of 5 stars
This highly rated patch that also uses a microdart delivery system is made by Peach Slices, another well-known K-beauty brand. These nine fast-acting patches each have 176 microdarts containing actives like salicylic acid, tea tree and niacinamide, which can help quell inflammation and fade post-mark scarring. These patches are ideal for early-stage blemishes or for pimples that are deep below the surface of the skin.Promising Amazon review:
"These are great when you catch the pimple at the early stage- the ones that are just becoming painful and red, but haven't come to full fruition yet. Use these little suckers ( make sure to press on it for at least 15 seconds when applying) and usually the next day the guy is much smaller or almost gone. Love them- they are a staple in my beauty routine." — Samantha F.
Assorted acne patches from a beloved K-beauty brand
: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Made by the same brand that brought us the viral and skin-transforming snail mucin essence
, these assorted-sized patches by Cosrx are made with hydrocolloid to create an ideal level of moisture for accelerating recovery while also preventing the acne area from scarring.Promising Amazon review:
"This is my go to pimple patch. I have been using it for many years and always have extra in the house. I usually put it overnight on clean skin( no toners ) and leave it there. It’s not water proof but if you use it on your body you can totally keep it for couple days and even take shower with it, it won’t come out. Works best if your pimple about to pop or already did and needs a little more drying. Highly recommend!" — Galina B.
An adorable anti-inflammatory zit sticker starter kit
: 4.4 out of 5 stars
These cute zit stickers from Starface use their unique star shape to hug more difficult contours of the face, like around the nose and lips, to ensure the best adhesion possible. They are made just using hydrocolloid to absorb fluid, reduce inflammation and shrink spots and come perfectly packaged in this refillable compact, which holds 32 stickers.Promising Amazon review:
"Decided to make the purchase after seeing them advertised. Applied overnight before a formal event and my pimples were flat and less red (like the packaging instructions, I applied after washing my face). Definitely recommend. I even wear these under my mask at work on nightshift. They don’t fall off, just don’t pick at them! 100% will be buying the refills when I run out!" — Jessica Curtis
Subtle-looking hydrocolloid patches
4.6 out of 5 stars
Mighty Patch's original pimple patches are one of the most-purchased patch options on Amazon and promise to blend seamlessly into skin using a translucent matte finish and an ultra-strong adhesion. Each box comes with 36 UV-sterilized and medical-grade hydrocolloid dots that draw out impurities and keep out bacteria.Promising Ulta review:
"I have the type of rosacea that causes acne. Two days before the the most important job interview of my career I had one of the worst breakouts of my life. I put these patches all over my face, went to bed, and woke up the next morning with a dramatic reduction in pustules. My skin looks nearly perfect. Of everything I've tried in the past to treat a flare up these patches stand head and shoulders above all other products. I'm going to make sure I always have some of these on hand from now on." — Jamie
Acne healing dots infused with salicylic acid
4.8 out of 5 stars
This 20-pack of acne healing dots are medicated with encapsulated salicylic acid, a highly efficient form of this loved acne-fighting ingredient that deep cleans pores to help treat and prevent new breakouts, without causing excess irritation. The hydrocolloid polymer is also infused with time-honored ingredients like retinol and aloe vera leaf extract for soothing benefits.Promising Ulta review:
"I've used hydrocolloid patches from a well-known K-beauty brand before and was never very impressed with the results. Ordered these Peace Out ones on a whim thinking they were overpriced and probably wouldn't do much but might as well try. This morning I woke up with a huge pimple on my cheek so I decided to test these out and washed my face and stuck one on. First off, they stick super well compared to the other brand I tried. Second, and most importantly, it started absorbing the gunk almost immediately. I took it off after four hours to see the results and my pimple had decreased significantly in size and redness. I applied another one just to be safe but its barely noticeable at this point. Will reach for these in the future!" — Christine