2 Common Pimple-Patch Mistakes You’re Probably Making

2 Common Pimple-Patch Mistakes You’re Probably Making featured image
Getty Images
We may earn commission from links on this page. Each product featured has been vetted and chosen by our editors.

Dabbing toothpaste on a pimple was once the go-to salve for drying out a blemish at home. But in the past few years, pimple patches have taken center stage as the go-to fix for flattening a pimple in a hurry. If you’re one of the millions with a collection of patches in your skin-care regimen, you might be making two common mistakes that lead to a less-than-stellar outcome.

The Mistakes

The first blunder? According to Ashley Paulino, product development director for Hero Cosmetics, it’s applying your moisturizer or full skin-care routine before applying the pimple patch. This can cause the hydrocolloid (the main ingredient found in these patches) to be less adhesive to the skin and thus less effective in drawing out pus, oil and bacteria. Plus, it can cause the pimple to slip off the face, especially if you wear it to bed.

The second mistake, according to Mark Curry, cofounder and lead formulator, The INKEY List, is putting patches on non-whiteheads. “That will be useless,” he says, “and will do nothing to treat the pimple.” Pimple patches are formulated to be used on whiteheads—not blackheads or red blemishes—in order to draw out the gunk and flatten the pimple.

When to Apply a Pimple Patch

Paulino says applying skin care before patching is the most common error she sees users make with the brand’s best-selling Mighty Patch ($13). “Instead, we suggest using it on clean, dry skin,” she says. “Or, wait 30 minutes for the moisturizer or serum to be absorbed into the skin before applying the patch.”

Curry continues, “In order to create that seal for the hydrocolloid to draw out impurities, the patch must be applied on freshly cleansed, dry skin, so the adhesive can affix properly,” he says. “Any excess products can cause a patch to fall off and therefore affect the efficacy.  Plus, you want the patch to absorb your pimple gunk, versus your skin care!”

Extra Credit

For a little double-duty action, Paulino says the brand has developed their products to work better together, “so you can use Pimple Correct ($20) underneath the patch to get two pimple-fighting products in one.” The key here is waiting 30 minutes for the product to absorb before applying the patch. If you have a favorite spot treatment, apply it to the area, wait for it to dry completely and then apply your pimple patch to form an occlusive seal.

If you want to stick with one product, The INKEY List’s latest launch, Hydrocolloid Invisible Pimple Patches ($9) have your back. “They are formulated with acne-busting and calming ingredients such as salicylic acid, succinic acid and ectoin to treat active blemishes while the hydrocolloid creates a protective seal and extracts the gunk,” Curry explains.

As for her best pimple-patch tip, Paulino says she’s used healing hydrocolloid patches on “everything from scratches, scrapes, wounds, ingrown hairs, paper cuts, bug bites, oil absorption and of course pimples.” We love a multi-use beauty product.

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.