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. According to Glimpse, interest in pimple patches has grown a staggering 69 percent over the past year, with 54K monthly searches behind the term bolstering its popularity in the industry.
If you’re one of the millions with a collection of patches in your skin-care regimen, you might be making this common mistake that’s leading to a less-than-stellar outcome. The blunder? Applying your moisturizer 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.
When to Apply a Pimple Patch
Ashley Paulino, product development director for Hero Cosmetics, says this is the most common error she sees users make with the brand’s best-selling Mighty Patch ($13). “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.”
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.
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 buts, oil absorption and of course pimples.” We love a multi-use beauty product.