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NOW READING What Are Acne Patches and Do They Actually Help Get Rid Of Pimples?
February 25, 2021

What Are Acne Patches and Do They Actually Help Get Rid Of Pimples?

Dealing with breakouts? A leading dermatologist weighs in on popular acne patches.


It’s 10:00 p.m. the night before an important meeting—err, Zoom call—and you’ve sprouted a pimple on your forehead that rivals an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Yikes! But rather than reciting a “Hail Mary” and praying for it to disappear in your sleep, you may want to turn to the latest Korean beauty fad: acne patches


acne patch
Acne patches are made to target surface-level breakouts like whiteheads, and not blackheads or cysts.


What Are Acne Patches? 


Hydrocolloid bandages with acne-fighting ingredients that absorb fluid from the pimple while flattening it and reducing redness in the process. They’re also said to be better alternatives to some topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide creams, which are prone to drying out your skin. It’s important to note that most acne patches are made to target surface-level zits like whiteheads and not blackheads or cysts. 


Do Acne Patches Work? 


The short answer is “yes.” According to Dr. Ryan Turner, M.D., P.C. of N.Y.C.-based Turner Dermatology, “the reason that the patches can work so well is that they help draw out inflammation in the form of water [and] serum and this can acutely reduce the size of the acne spot.” They’re also multi-purpose and easy to use. “Patients enjoy the visual aspect of applying something that they can see to give their mind feedback that something is working on the acne,” says Turner. “Acne patches [also] give a physical barrier to stop the user from picking at the acne, which only inflames it.” 


Acne Patches
“Patches help draw out inflammation in the form of water [and] serum and this can acutely reduce the size of the acne spot.” according to Dr. Ryan Turner, M.D., P.C

Why Have Acne Patches Become So Popular? 


Many acne-sufferers are reluctant to take prescription therapies like Accutane or even antibiotics. “They are looking for antibiotic-free, more natural treatment options,” says Turner. Acne patches are also easy to use and can be applied before bed for overnight results, satisfying a demand for instant gratification when it comes to clearer skin.  


What Ingredients Should You Look for in Acne Patches? 


“Many deliver targeted treatments with naturally-derived ingredients such as tea tree oil, vitamin A, or salicylic acid,” says Turner, though he advises consumers to keep the risks of skin irritation or sensitivity in mind while testing different products, especially if retinol is present. 


Which Acne Patches Do Professionals Recommend? 


COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch


Mighty Patch from Hero Cosmetics is Turner’s personal favorite. The company offers an array of patches that target specific needs, including blemishes, “pimple emergencies,” and those who require bigger stickers to cover larger surface areas. “The patch infuses well-known ingredients that target hyperpigmentation,” says Turner, adding that they’re great for “skin of color.” 


CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch has essentially been dubbed as the O.G. among the dermatological community, touting thousands of rave reviews on Amazon. They’re also manufactured in Korea, where the trend originated. 


ZitSticka is, perhaps, the trendiest on the scene, offering a variety of options for consumers to choose from. “[One box] provides the physical patch, as well as a swab with ingredients that target acne and pigmentation,” raves Turner, making it a product that can tackle two issues at once. 


If Acne Patches Don’t Work and You Need a Quick Fix, What Should You Do? 


“As a board-certified dermatologist, I see patients in-office for quick cortisone injections to help shrink stubborn acne cysts,” says Turner. This is certainly one of the most efficient options for a resolution but should be reserved exclusively for special events like weddings, red carpets, or on-air segments. 


Ultimately, consumers should consult their dermatologist to come up with an acne care plan that is tailored to them, says Turner. “There are a lot of products out there and it can be confusing as to what works, what products are redundant, and what products work best for different skin types and skin tones.” 


Needless to say, acne patches are at least worth a try. We haven’t been this excited about stickers since decorating our elementary school trapper keepers with Lisa Frank. 

Joey is a writer/editor, TV/radio personality, lifestyle expert, former entertainment publicist and author of Basic Bitchen. He was most recently editor-at-large of CBS Interactive’s Chowhound and his work has also been featured in major outlets like Food & Wine, People, CNET, InStyle, Yahoo!, Travel + Leisure, Lonny, and BuzzFeed. In addition, he is the host of Awesomeness TV’s Dish This and has appeared on Wendy Williams, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, HLN, NBC, CBS, and SiriusXM. Currently based in New York City, in his spare time Joey enjoys volleyball, worshipping Beyonce, fine dining, writing depressing poetry, interior design, and perfecting his stand-up comedy routine. You can find him on Instagram @joeyskladany.



Until Beautytap and COSRX came into my life I would have thought this was another gimmicky beauty "fidget spinner" type of product. All my skepticism was debunked when I put that small circle of relief on. Within hours I could see the oil being absorbed into the patch and the next day the swelling, redness, and pimple were GREATLY reduced. Mad love for these patches!

Pimple patches have saved me so much! I hated wearing makeup while dealing with breakouts because there’s just so much texture. My favorite patches are the cosrx and the mighty patch by Hero- these were small and thin enough for me to apply to my pimple and then wear my makeup over the patch for a perfect application.

I am just here to say that I am super super late to the party as I discovered that acne patches actually do work in 2021 . The mighty patch from hero cosmetics is single handedly my favorite. It literally destroys your acne in less than 24 hours . I just ordered the cos rx after hearing great things .


Pimple patches are one of the best selling products in the teen category. If you have teens, get them a box of these and they can use easily anytime they start generating a pimple.

From personal experience these are amazing! With the material being the main player here there is no fear of a harsh active ingredient reacting to your sensitive skin.

I've been interested in trying the COSRX patches for a while, and now I can't wait to order and try them! To have a product act as a barrier so as not to touch that area and introduce bacteria and inflammation is a win for me!

I have thought about ordering the COSRX acne patches for my daughters many times. After reading this, I definitely think they are a must to have on hand. I never realized they could help with hyperpigmentation. One of my daughters is faired skin and has to be very careful with wearing sunscreen to prevent hyperpigmentation from breakouts. Excited to try these!

I always have zit patches in my “at home pharmacy.” They help me not touch blemishes, so no more bacteria from my fingers introduced, they minimize the blemish, they make me feel better about clearing my skin when I sleep with them on, and they keep me from picking because out of sight out of mind! Definitely a yes for me.


I LOVE acne patches. They're so easy!


Anything that's easy and gets rids of pimples is a slam dunk!


My 13 year old swears by these patches. Certainly worth trying!