After years of struggling with my acne-prone skin, I finally thought I had it under control. Splays of random whiteheads and hormone-driven cysts plagued me for the better part of 10 years, until a spironolactone prescription and the discovery of retinoids and AHAs dropped my zit average lower than the girl with Apple Bottom jeans in that Flo Rida song.
But then the COVID-19 crisis hit. Within days, every worry about the social and economic effects of the virus had translated into a new red spot dotting my face, each passing day bringing fresh horrors and fresher pimples. I had to do something — if I couldn’t control the news, at least I could control my skin (or try to).
Enter Cosrx’s Pimple Patches. Since my usual combo of acids and creams weren’t doing enough, I wanted to treat each spot directly, giving my skin the most targeted treatment available outside of a derm appointment. And the thought of a remedy that I could wear during the day (hello, WFH) instead of relying solely on nighttime concoctions seemed like the perfect solution for this unique time. Normally I wouldn’t waltz into the office with a fresh zit sticker proudly displayed on my face (props to people who do), but since right now just about the only human interaction I’m getting is with my admittedly grainy webcam, a practically invisible sticker is no issue at all.
Using the pimple patch is easy: After washing your face in the morning (or at night), choose a sticker a little larger than your zit (I find it works best on whiteheads that have just come to the surface of the skin) and press it on, repeating as many times as it takes to cover all your zits. Do your best to avoid allowing any other treatments or lotions you apply to the rest of your skin to seep under your patch. Then, allow the sticker to work its magic for up to 12 hours, or until it turns from translucent to white and cloudy. Replace as needed until, voilá, the pimple is gone.
According to dermatologists, pimple patches work because they help to keep you from picking at your spot, either absentmindedly or with the express intention of popping it. Since the ingredients are focused right at the precise location, and they’re protected from the elements, they’re able to penetrate the skin more deeply and, theoretically, work better in a shorter amount of time.
Though pimple patches have become widely available in the beauty world, I’m a fan of these from cult-favorite K-beauty brand Cosrx for a few reasons. For one, they stick better than any flimsy patches I’ve tried in the past; once I stick these bad boys onto my skin, they don’t budge for the better part of a day, even if I’m tossing and turning in my sleep. Their hydrocolloid cover keeps the ingredients in place while protecting my pimple from my own wandering fingers even when I’m bored and feel like picking at it.
Cosrx Pimple Patches also more visibly treat the spots than others I’ve used. You know when you remove a pore strip, disturbingly excited to see the little mountains of oil and debris that have collected in your own nose? It’s sort of like that. By the time the patch is cloudy and ready to un-stick, I can see the puss and gunk (sorry) that was formerly inside my zit. It’s satisfying to see, and even more satisfying to notice the difference on the spot itself, which is typically much smaller than it was just a few hours earlier. I’m not saying it’s a magic zit-shrinking, cure-all solution, but it comes pretty close.
Finally, each Cosrx Pimple Patch pack comes with a variety of sticker sizes, so it’s easy to find the one that best fits each spot. This pack includes three sheets of the brand’s OG Master Patches, plus one sheet of the extra-thin Clear Fit Master Patch, so you can customize without feeling like you have to conserve patches like with smaller sets. I just go wild with my stickers, since this pack contains so many, I never feel like I’m wasting them.
While we can never control what’s going on in the world, Cosrx Pimple Patches are a simple way to control those stress-related acne flare ups, and they’re perfectly suited for the WFH age.
Cosrx Pimple Patch Set
Shop now: $19; ulta.com
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