Say Goodbye to Blemishes: The Best Acne Patches Recommended by Top Dermatologists

Say Goodbye to Blemishes: The Best Acne Patches Recommended by Top Dermatologists featured image
We may earn commission from links on this page. Each product featured has been vetted and chosen by our editors.

Acne patches have become increasingly popular in recent years as a convenient way to treat the occasional spot. These small, hydrocolloid-packed stickers absorb excess oil and impurities to minimize blemishes and some even deliver active ingredients, too. But do dermatologists really recommend them? While there is some debate about the extent of their efficacy, many experts say acne patches can be a useful tool for clearing up breakouts. In fact, several top doctors recommend these patches as safe and effective solutions for mild to moderate acne. Here are the patches these pros love most.

What Are Acne Patches?

Acne patches are hydrocolloid-based stickers that adhere to your skin, absorbing excess oil and impurities from pimples to promote healing. Some patches also contain active ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.

When Should You Use Acne Patches?

According to Washington D.C. dermatologist Neelam Khan, MD acne patches work best when applied right away. “It’s best to use them on any new and fresh pimples when they first arise,” she says. “You want to apply them to fresh clean dry skin, using clean hands and fingers.” Dr. Anna Chacon notes that acne patches are especially useful for controlling the urge to pick.

How Long Should You Leave Acne Patches On?

“A minimum of six hours is advised when applying pimple patches,” notes Miami dermatologist Anna Chacon, MD.  “Remember that we advise using them at night, right before bed, and leaving them on all night.” 

Dr. Kahn also recommends leaving acne patches on overnight for optimal results. “Overnight works best but depending on the type of acne patch some can also be replaced with a fresh patch during the day.” Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias agrees, noting that overnight application allows the patches to work while you sleep.

Why Do Acne Patches Turn White?

“When the fluids from your acne have been completely pulled out, hydrocolloid patches that were translucent turn white,” says Dr. Chacon. This color change indicates that the patch is doing its job by absorbing excess oil and pus from the pimple.

When Should You Not Use Acne Patches?

While acne patches are generally safe, New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD advises against using them on large, painful cysts. “In these cases, seeing a dermatologist for a cortisone injection is a much faster way to get rid of the painful acne cyst without scaring.”

1 / 11

SEEN Unseen Pimple Patch ($18)

This patch offers a discreet protective barrier that jump-starts the healing process for blemishes. West Palm Beach dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD likes acne patches with a seamless application. “It provides a subtle, protective cover that promotes healing without being noticeable,” he points out.

BUY NOW – $18

2 / 11

Starface Hydro-Star + Tea Tree Pimple Patches ($14)

These vegan, cruelty-free patches contain tea tree oil for added antibacterial action. Dr. Khan notes, “Certain pimple patches also contain concentrated acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid or tea tree oil to help reduce acne causing bacteria. No matter which type of acne pimple patch, they all ultimately work best in reducing the temptation to pick at acne pimples—which is ALWAYS a bad idea that can potentially lead to permanent scarring of the skin,” she says.

BUY NOW – $14

3 / 11

Hanhoo Extra Strength Blemish Patch ($6)

These patches contain salicylic acid to fight stubborn pimples while keeping out dirt and grime. Dr. Elias recommends patches that can be worn overnight for their versatility.  “Acne patches are typically best at night, where they can do their job while you sleep,” he notes.

BUY NOW – $6

4 / 11

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Nose ($18)

Ideal for treating acne on the nose, this patch uses absorption instead of adhesion, reducing skin irritation. Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD prefers it over traditional nose strips. “It works by absorbing, not by sticking, so there’s less risk of irritation,” she explains.

BUY ON HERO. – $18


5 / 11

Neutrogena Stubborn Acne Ultra-Thin Patches ($8)

Affordable and non-irritating, these patches are a go-to for Dr. Beer. They adhere seamlessly to your skin, targeting stubborn pimples while minimizing irritation. “They are priced well and effective without causing unnecessary discomfort,” he says.



6 / 11

Peace Out Acne Healing Dots ($19)

Combining hydrocolloid with salicylic acid, these dots help clear clogged pores while reducing redness. Dr. Chacon likes them for their gentle formula that works on a variety of skin types. “These patches are soothing and effective, ideal for reducing inflammation,” she notes.



Photo Credits: Peace Out
7 / 11

Hero Cosmetics Invisible Mighty Patch ($18)

This ultra-thin, clear hydrocolloid patch is practically invisible, making it perfect for daytime use. Alix Earl is a fan of the brand for her spot control and Dr. Peredo recommends it for its subtle design.

BUY ON HERO. – $18


Photo Credits: Hero Cosmetics
8 / 11

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch ($6)

Ideal for day and night use, these clear hydrocolloid patches can even be worn with makeup. Dr. Elias finds them effective for speeding up pimple healing. “There are all types of acne patches, and most are patch forms of hydrocolloid dressings that we use commonly in dermatology to dress wounds. Hydrocolloid dressings draw fluid from the pimple, shrinking them,” he says.



Photo Credits: Cosrx
9 / 11

ZitSticka Killa Extra Strength ($16)

These premium patches feature microdarts with 2% salicylic acid to target deep pimples. Dr. Waldorf recommends them for their effectiveness on stubborn blemishes. “The patches with microdarts embedded in the hydrocolloid contain the pimple-fighting ingredients salicyclic acid or benzoyl peroxide,” Dr. Waldorf says. “I recommend these when the plain hydrocolloid patches aren’t working because the ingredients can be irritating.”

BUY NOW – $16

10 / 11

Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots ($5)

These patches can help flatten blemishes without irritating. “I’m on board for these,” says Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby. “Look for ‘hydrocolloid patch’ without too many other ingredients as the skin may react to the other ingredients. They should be safe for all skin types as they are basically water bandages and can be used anytime and be left on for at least several hours.” 



11 / 11

Clearasil Ultra Overnight Spot Patches ($12)

Designed for rapid healing, these patches are recommended by Dr. Russak for their quick action. “They are designed to help treat acne by absorbing excess fluids, such as sebum (oil), from the pimple and creating a protective barrier to prevent hand touching and UVB light from reaching the skin surface,” she advises.


BUY ON CVS – $15

Related Posts

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you

Give the Gift of Luxury

NewBeauty uses cookies for various reasons, including to analyze and improve its content and advertising. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more about how we use this data. By continuing to use this site, you agree to these policies.