As if having acne wasn't frustrating enough already, there's nothing more uncomfortable than going to bed covered in lotions and potions in a bid to bring down a particularly troubling breakout. Sulfur, while effective, smells awful; benzoyl peroxide creams often leave skin flaky by morning; and salicylic acid gels can be weirdly sticky — and being glued to your pillow all night is not ideal.
But the conundrum of choosing between sleeping flat on your back so your products can work their magic without being absorbed into your bedsheets or just giving up and letting your monster zit take over is officially no more. Hydrocolloid acne stickers exist — and the cult-favorite Mighty Patch from Hero Cosmetics has me completely sold.
If you're not yet familiar with the K-beauty-inspired product, it's just a circular gel sticker (vegan and drug- and cruelty-free, FYI) that adheres to your pimple. It may not look like much, but the simple treatment is actually brilliant. Thanks to fluid-absorbing agents like pectin, it takes zits with a visible head (you know the ones) and works to draw out the pus without the need to squeeze, a habit which often leaves behind areas of hyperpigmentation that can sometimes take weeks — or longer — to fade.
I've struggled with hormonal acne for around 10 years and find it so difficult not to pop and pick before bed, which ultimately leads to a spread of bacteria (and subsequently a cluster of brand-new breakouts in the AM), not to mention scarring and flaking. But I just stuck this on, went to bed, and woke up to a much smaller, more manageable blemish, instead of an unsightly whitehead — which are notoriously difficult to cover up, even with the most pigmented of concealers.
Think of it as a blister patch for your spots: Instead of drying out the area with chemicals, it simply extracts and prevents the bacteria from spreading to other areas of your skin. It is pretty gross to see the pus stuck to the patch when you peel it off, but it is so satisfying, too. Also satisfying: the price, which will only set you back $12.99 for 36 patches, or $21.99 for 72. (Hero Cosmetics also offers a subscribe-and-save program, so you can shave off a couple bucks to get them delivered to your door every 30, 45, or 60 days.)
After removing the patches, give your face a good wash with a gentle foaming cleanser like La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Gel Cleanser, which is alcohol-free and uses zinc to purify and cut down on excess oil without drying, and apply the rest of your products as normal. Clear skin is only a pimple patch away.