pimple patches

Peace Out

I can’t recall what life was like before pimple patches, but I suppose it was a never-ending cycle of popping, picking, and peeling. Skincare products have evolved to address a broader range of issues, from inflammatory, severe acne to the dark marks left behind by those breakouts. However, very few treatments come close to the wonderful world of pimple patches. Because cream or liquid spot treatments might rub off during the day or overnight, pimple patches are an excellent option for a more targeted remedy to pesky breakouts. Why?

“They are designed to shrink the pimples quickly. They promote wound healing and also help prevent patients from picking or squeezing their pimples, which often makes matters worse and can lead to dyspigmentation or permanent scarring,” Dr. Lauren Penzi, MD of MDCS Dermatology New York, tells

However, pimple patches aren’t a magic bullet and require some additional support—such as potent serums, full-coverage SPFs, and moisturizing moisturizers—to ensure all of their efforts aren’t in vain. Ahead, shop the 17 best ones on the market.

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Best Overall

Mighty Patch

The Original


Best Celeb Favorite




Best For Hormonal Acne


KILLA Kit Deep Zit Microdart Patch 4-Pack


Best For Beginners

Peace Out

Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots


Best For Different Blemish Sizes

Sweet Chef

Carrot Ginger Blemish Rescue Patch


Best For Stubborn Acne


Overnight Spot Patches


Best For K-Beauty Lovers




Best Skincare Ingredients

Mario Badescu

Drying Patch


Best Invisible Patches


Miracle Invisible Spot Cover


Best For Large Pimples

florence by mills

Spot a Spot Acne Patches


Best Value

Alba Botanica

Alba Botanica Acnedote Pimple Patches, 40 Count


Best For All Types

The Klog

Soft Shield Pimple Patch


Internet Favorite


Acne Pimple Master Patch


Best For Whiteheads


Face Savers


Best Complete Kit


Breakout Box 3-in-1 Acne Treatment Kit

Now 25% off


Best For Deep Blemishes

Peach Slices

Deep Blemish Microdarts


Best For Frequent Breakouts

Peter Thomas Roth

Acne-Clear Invisible Dots


What ingredients should you look for in acne patches?

As you browse the interwebs for pimple patches, you’ll notice one word appearing on every box: hydrocolloid. “Pimple patches contain hydrocolloid gel that has powerful wound healing properties. It acts to absorb excess fluid and remove excess dirt, oil, and sebum, which helps to quickly shrink the appearance of pimples,” Dr. Lauren Penzi, MD, explains. Of course, many patches are formulated with other familiar ingredients found in your daily skincare products.

“Some patches also contain specific acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid and tea tree oil. The patch helps to occlude these acne-fighting ingredients, which make them more effective, “she adds.


How do you apply acne patches?

Like adhering a sticker to a computer or book, acne patches work similarly. However, you’ll need to prep your skin beforehand to ensure you’re getting the most out of your pimple patches. Dr. Penzi suggests applying acne patches at nighttime just before heading to bed.

“After removing your makeup, cleansing your face, and ensuring your skin is dry, apply the patch to your pimple. I recommend leaving it on for six to eight hours. Avoid wearing the patch for more than 12 hours, as this can lead to potential irritation,” she explains. Even though you want to suffocate the pimple as much as possible, it needs to breathe. “After removing the patch, I recommend again cleansing your face to remove any pus or bacteria,” she says.


How often should you use acne patches?

“You can use acne patches as often as you like. I recommend first testing the product on your inner forearm to ensure you don’t have a reaction to an ingredient in the patch before leaving it on your face for a prolonged period of time. I also recommend reserving pimple patches for larger inflammatory papules and nodules,” Dr. Penzi says.


Meet the expert

Dr. Lauren Penzi, NY-based board-certified dermatologist who specializes acne, rosacea, skin cancer, eczema, psoriasis, and hair loss.


Why trust ELLE Beauty?

Nerisha Penrose is the Beauty Commerce Editor at Since joining in 2017, she has interviewed countless skincare professionals and has personally tested the latest and greatest products across makeup, skincare, and hair care.

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