Acne patches filled with hydrocolloid are my savior, but I didn’t always use them – not until one desperate day in Target, when I turned into the aisle in hopes of finding something to cure the mass on my chin.
My MO was to scrub zits with rubbing alcohol (after popping them, because I may run a beauty blog, but I’m ALSO the worst when it comes to blemishes), then throw on some of my prescribed acne medication, maybe put on some form of protection, and go about my day.
And then touch my face, because like I said, I’m the worst with zits.
So when I finally, finally turned to those Target pimple patches – and they worked – I was an addict.
But I had to know: what the eff was in pimple patches?
Hydrocolloid, y’all. That’s what’s in there. And now that I’m a beauty editor, I’m here with info on what this magical ingredient is, plus my favorite acne patches filled with the zit zapper.
What Is Hydrocolloid?
Hydrocolloid is a gel-like substance that’s been used to treat wounds for years. (The concept came from ancient Egypt, where they would use grease-soaked gauze for wounds.)
Hydrocolloid is usually made out of gelatin and sodium carboxymethylcellulose (the thickening agent that creates the consistency). It draws out the oils and pus in wounds, helping to heal while providing moisture that won’t cause infection.
Hydrocolloid bandages are doused in the liquid, and they’ve been used for years. In the past 10-15 years, the idea for using it to treat acne came up. It was only a matter of time before the skincare trend picked up in Korea and Asia, and Hero Cosmetics began selling them in the US in 2017 on Amazon. From there, the rest of the world caught on…
And boom: the trend was official. It was a solution to that icky, un-fun problem we all deal with.
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Brands have since come out with five billion different types. Some are fun colors, while others are skin-tone shades so they’re unnoticeable. You can wear some at night, or subtle ones during the day. Hydrocolloid is in most – sometimes as the only ingredient – but not always. It’s up to you and what you want to put on your skin!
To pay homage to Target, all of the following pimple patches come from the holy place. Snap them up immediately, because the prices are great… and the products work.
ZitSticka wasn’t fucking around when they created their pimple patches, and Target wasn’t fucking around when it decided to carry them. The ingredients are what make this patch magic: not only is there hydrocolloid, but exfoliating salicylic acid, soothing niacinamide, and antioxidant-filled tea tree. All together, your zit’s a sucka.
Just read Marissa’s review of the Mighty Patch, and you’ll know it’s 100% legit. These pimple patches are made solely from medical-grade hydrocolloid, but Hero didn’t just take the ingredient and slap a label on it — the hydrocolloid is clinically tested and dermatologist-reviewed. It promises to defeat blemishes within six hours, and the ultra-thin, ultra-matte stickers blend into skin seamlessly.
Okay, like The Mighty Patch, these only come with hydrocolloid, too. So why am I including them? Because if Target is going to carry frickin’ adorable pimple patches, I’m gonna cover them, dammit. Aside from the carrier being the cutest, these patches come in the shape of yellow stars — perfect if you don’t want to blend in and want to challenge the status quo. After all, we all have acne — why not own up to it in 2022?
When doing SEO research, PanOxyl kept popping up as a super popular search. I didn’t quite understand why… until I read some of the 2,240 5-star reviews raving about how people’s zits vanished overnight. It could be because some are sensitive to the latex in other patches, whereas PanOxyl has said “no” to the use of the material. There’s only hydrocolloid in this pimple patch, but somehow, 2,240 Target reviewers wouldn’t choose any other brand, so… do with that what you will.
Pacific has proven that you can’t put too many good things into one acne patch. These spot dots are filled with hydrocolloid, of course; however, they also have exfoliating salicylic acid, soothing aloe and niacinamide, and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-filled wild cherry extract. All together, you have a patch that extracts, cleanses, then soothes its work — all on its own.
Sweet Chef is right, because these acne patches kinda seem like they were created in a kitchen, not a laboratory. It’s probably due to the ingredients, which seem to belong at home: ginger to rejuvenate and carrot to smooth, for example. Then there’s the hydrocolloid, of course, plus salicylic acid to exfoliate and cleanse. All of that oil, debris, and gunk clogging your pores? They’re no match for these pimple patches.
Pair hydrocolloid with other skin agents, and your acne will be easy to treat. Just make sure to regularly apply, and do what I do not: avoid touching and picking. Trust me, do as I say, not as I do. Meanwhile, Target has the pimple patches to come to my savior every time — and for that, I’m grateful.
Did you know the 411 on hydrocolloid? Have you used any of Target’s pimple patches? Tell us in the comments!