For most of our adolescent and adult lives, at-home acne-treatment tactics have been limited to over-the-counter creams and doctor-prescribed topicals. But when you need to phone a friend to zap a pesky pimple and can't make it to a dermatologist to pull out the big guns (hello, cortisone shot), acne patches are the real MVP. The innovation has exploded in the skin-care world, and many brands have successfully been able to put the power of acne-fighting ingredients into teeny stickers that put the kibosh on your breakout.
When left on for a few hours, acne patches vacuum the gunk from a bulging whitehead and soothe redness and irritation from a painful bump. They're great to keep in the back of your skin-care cabinet for when those breakouts decide to set up shop on your face — and the best part? Most of them are made of transparent material, so you can treat your skin while you're at work or grocery shopping and no one will ever know.
To help enhance your emergency acne kit, we rounded up the acne patches Refinery29 staffers swear by, ahead, from five-dollar hydrocolloid stickers to our Beauty Innovator Award-winning system.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Check out the rest of the 2019 Beauty Innovator Award winners.