Do Pimple Patches Actually Work?

Since middle school I've been on a journey to achieve perfect poreless skin, clear of blackheads, whiteheads and everything in between. I've tried accutane, a number of dermatologist-prescribed topical creams, salicylic-acid infused foundation, activated charcoal masks, clay cleansers, niacinimide and zinc serums, collagen everything, pore strips that rival an exorcism, and now pimple patches. Granted my skin has drastically changed in college, and I now only suffer from the occasional hormonal acne and blackheads on an extended stay vacation on my nose. This review is another chapter in my very extensive skincare novel.

Mighty Patch Hydrocolloid Acne Absorbing Spot Dot, $12.99 on Amazon

I recently discovered the concept of pimple patches while reading an Into the Gloss article on them and bought these on the spot. Put a clear, unmedicated, circle-shaped dot on top of your zit for 4-6 hours and watch that sucker die. What could go wrong? Everything.

Just kidding, they're actually not totally useless. Though I was thoroughly unimpressed with all the hype and they absolutely do not work on blackheads or large, concealed-carry whiteheads, they can definitely be useful for cystic acne that has come to a head. Whether you've popped it already or not, these are a great way to suck the life out of a nice big juicy one overnight and wake up not having to worry about whether or not this zit has nine lives.

The way it works is the patch seals to your skin, keeping you from touching or irritating the area, and proceeds to pull all the wound fluid from your pore. When the patch starts to turn white above the pore, that means the fluid has been extracted. This doesn't happen for at least two hours, which is why I recommend using them overnight and apply them after cleansing and toning. The patches themselves are pretty incognito, but you will definitely be able to spot them on your face if you brave them in broad daylight.

Overall, not as miraculous as I expected them to be, especially in the blackhead department. They won't make your cystic acne disappear fully overnight, but it will depuff them by extracting sebum and leave you with a flat surface. Next day I recommend topping with Glossier Super Pure to defeat redness and clear up the remaining blemish. I'll be keeping these around for getting rid of any watery nastiness that comes my way, but they're not an everyday staple in my book.