"Have you seen these new pimple patches all over the internet lately?" my roommate asked me the moment I walked through the door last night. "Oh, those? They've been around for years," I confidently replied. Dissatisfied with my answer, she quickly whipped out her phone, flashed through a few images, and nearly shrieked, "No, but these ones SUCK THE WHITEHEAD RIGHT OUT!"
The photos she was referring to come by way of the Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches. If you haven't heard of them, that's because until recently, the K-beauty brand was hard to get a hold of in the U.S. — sold almost exclusively through third-party retailers like Amazon (which, yeah, is not exactly the safest source). But last month, the clear stickers hit Ulta Beauty, and with them came a string of curious customers just itching to experience the pimple-purging magic for themselves.
The patches work a lot like blister Band-Aids: "Hydrocolloid dressings are commonly used in wound healing," explains dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. "They provide a physical protective barrier over the skin and absorb excess fluid, making them particularly useful in the treatment of pus pimples." That is, whiteheads that have popped or bubbled up to the surface (not cystic acne or closed comedones).
Simply scanning the first few testimonials on Amazon had me convinced, and I knew I had to get my hands on a 24-pack. When I opened it, I noticed that the stickers came in three different sizes. As for my own pimple, I declared it on the "large" size, and slapped the sticker on my dry, freshly-washed chin. Sure enough, within three hours of wearing it, the debris was suctioned from under my skin like it was the face equivalent to a Dyson Vacuum. The gunk clung to the sticker, as evidenced by my disgusting (yet strangely satisfying?) photos, at right.
But before you proclaim these suckers the end-all to your pimple problems, there's a caveat. "These do not have any acne-fighting ingredients in them, like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid," Zeichner says. That means the dot won't prevent an undergrounder from emerging, but you can use it alongside your traditional acne medications. But for just $6, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than paying a visit to Dr. Pimple Popper — and, yeah, almost just as satisfying.