Beauty Reviews Skin

Mermaid Marissa: I Tried The Mighty Patch, And I’m Never Going Back

No matter how many times I wash my face, drink water, and use clean face-friendly-products (like non-comedogenic sunscreen – I live on a boat, after all!), it seems like I am still prone to zits. So, I’ve done plenty of research and read tons of reviews on products that not only cover the problem spots, but also heal them – which is when I came across this little gold mine of a product: Hero Cosmetics’ Mighty Patch.

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To be honest, I was skeptical of this highly-reviewed product: how could something so simple be so good? Hero’s Mighty Patch was relatively inexpensive, so I loaded a pack into my cart to give them a try and, at the very least, write a review for QUILL.

There is nothing “wow” about this packaging; it is very straightforward. But as always, it is what is on the inside that counts. So, I ripped open the package and peeled off a patch to place on one of my problem spots and let it do its magic. 

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The patch was well-hidden against my very pale complexion (like one scoop away from being vanilla-ice-cream white) and was quick to start absorbing all the “yuck” in my skin. The Mighty Patch uses medical-grade hydrocolloid to gently absorb pimple gunk throughout the day or night.

It was kind of satisfying to peel away the sticker and see the white spot where all the “ick” went! 

My problem spot was a problem no more, and there was no popping necessary. I was really impressed by the product’s ability to deliver what it had promised and bought a new pack as well as their larger patches for the bigger problem areas. However, the acid in the patches do make the areas I put them on dry (hello, that’s the whole point), so I make sure to use a very heavy moisturizer after the fact.

Additionally, I will note that the patches blended well into my skin for a great low-key-camouflaged-blemish moment, but I was severely disappointed to see that there are no shades to accommodate for darker skin tones. There are clear options, but even those are obvious and fail to blend in.

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Overall I give this product 4.5/5 stars. Want to try it for yourself? Grab Hero’s Mighty Patch and share your review with us!

Read More Skincare Articles:

Target’s Hydrocolloid Pimple Patches Are Life-Changing
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Lithium-Induced Acne: How To Deal With It

When I first started Lithium for my bipolar 1 disorder – a last-ditch attempt to stop the mood swings – I was warned about Lithium-induced acne. But I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it is.

I’ve always had acne on my back and chest, and when I heard that it was one of Lithium’s side effects, I shrugged. Eh, I’ve dealt with it my whole life, I thought.

But no. Lithium acne is a whole ‘nother beast.

Instead of the little whiteheads and blackheads I’d get for decades, I started having huge lumps that would explode or painful cysts that would sit and ache should I so much as brush upon them. 

I still have them, tbh. And the bipolar 1 mood swings have died down since starting Lithium, so I’ll take the zits with the W. But what causes Lithium acne? And how can you combat it when the cause is coming from the inside?

I’ve got the deets!


Why Does Lithium Cause Acne?

I’m gonna start with the bad news: doctors aren’t 100% sure why Lithium-induced acne is even a thing, so there’s no treatment for it. However, it’s hypothesized that Lithium causes neutrophils – white blood cells, which fight infections – to rise to the surface, causing inflammation and, therefore, your lumps and bumps.

While the good news is that this can be reversed, that also means stopping the med, so… not really helpful in my case, or many others’ cases – one-third of people taking Lithium will get the dreaded Lithium acne.

Taking Care Of Your Lithium-Induced Acne

If your Lithium acne is really, really bad despite your efforts, a visit to the dermatologist can be helpful. They have medical-grade products you can’t buy OTC – the good stuff, as I like to call it. Keep in mind that Lithium-induced acne IS more resistant to treatment than your typical hormonal acne, and some skin conditions may be almost completely resistant to treatment. I know, I know. 

Which leads me to my next important thing to do: keep seeing your therapist. Body image is a real thing that can lead many down dangerous paths. (The irony does not escape us with Lithium acne, thank you.) Speaking honestly with your therapist and finding ways to deal with your body image is not only beneficial for the acne – it can improve your overall wellbeing in other manners, too. Those other imperfections you used to worry about, on top of the acne? Meh. 

But Imma tell you the REAL secret to keeping your skin as clear as possible despite taking Lithium: a solid, consistent skincare routine.


I’m not talking fancy creams and sprays and all of that expensive s*it, though if you want to, go ahead and use it all! What I am talking is a good cleanser with salicylic acid to reduce swelling and unclog those pores, plus a moisturizer that keeps your skin from drying out.

We love these products for their anti-acne ingredients!



Do you deal with Lithium-induced acne? How do you treat it? Share your secrets in the comments!

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11 Non Comedogenic Sunscreens For Everyday Wear

Non comedogenic sunscreen is kiiiind of a no-brainer when you have sensitive, acne-prone skin — take it from me and my Lithium-laden epidermis.

I’ve always had issues with bacne and chest acne, but as I’ve mentioned, they’ve become worse with Lithium — and I’ve realized that some of my sunscreen is to blame. So, I’ve switched to non comedogenic options, and let me tell you: the sun is my friend, and now, so is sunscreen.

If you find yourself feeling clogged up after a day in the sun (or at your desk — always! wear! sunscreen!!!), try these 11 non comedogenic sunscreens to keep skin clear AND safe.


Invisible Shield

GLOSSIER invisible shield

Okay, so we’ve all had that moment: we think we look good AF, only for us to get home and notice that giant swatch of white from the sunscreen we put on. So, Glossier has saved faces everywhere – literally and figuratively. Microcapsules with Avobenzone, Homosalate, and Octisalate act as UVA/UVB filters, while an antioxidant complex (featuring yummy ingredients like vitamin E and aloe) fights free radicals, and fermented yeast and vegetal extracts create a barrier against free radicals. With a light orange scent and a whole lotta water, your skin will thank you.

BUY NOW – $25

Beauty Wonderscreen


This is the perfect facial sunscreen for those looking for broad-spectrum protection without the heavy, greasy feel. Formulated with zinc oxide, this sunscreen provides SPF 30 protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, its natural ingredients like beetroot and squalane help to reduce premature aging caused by sun exposure. Best of all, this sunscreen won’t leave your face looking pale or feeling dry – it’s the perfect way to start your day and keep your skin healthy!

BUY NOW – $44

Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

Unseen sunscreen from supergoop

This multipurpose, antioxidant-rich sunscreen glides onto the skin without leaving any residue. Plus, it’s perfect for all skin types – even sensitive skin! Frankincense helps the skin’s resilience and provides a soothing effect, while the complex derived from meadowfoam seed increases hydration levels, resulting in even skin. This unique formula contains SPF 40 and leaves a velvety finish. 

BUY NOW – $20+

Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30

tula non comedogenic sunscreen

This sunscreen not only protects you from the harmful effects of the sun, but also gives you a gorgeous glow. This non-greasy, SPF 30 formula is packed with skincare benefits that will leave your skin looking and feeling its best. Probiotic extracts help improve smoothness, while pineapple and papaya work to promote an even-looking skin tone. Wild butterfly ginger root extract helps protect skin from the damaging effects of blue light and pollution. Bonus: this sunscreen is vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging – so you can feel good about using it both for your skin and for the environment.

BUY NOW – $38

Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

pipette mineral non comedogenic sunscreen spf 50

This sunscreen contains the stable version of squalene, derived from sugarcane, helping the sunscreen glide on easily and providing extra moisture. The added non-nano zinc oxide provides UVA and UVB protection, and the formula is fast-absorbing — none of that sticky nonsense. Wild gooseberry extract helps to soothe any irritation while bisabolol acts as an antioxidant to help moisturize. Plant extracts calm, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin. 

BUY NOW – $15

MEGASHADE Breakout-proof SPF 50 Serum

MEGASHADE from zitsticka non comedogenic sunscreen

This sunscreen not only provides excellent sun protection — it prevents dark spots from worsening, too. Skin remains clear and health thanks to key ingredients like soothing niacinamide and aloe; tea tree, the powerful microbial that repels zit-causing dirt and debris; and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce UV and free radical damage. No pore-plugging ingredients in this non comedogenic formula = no breakouts!

BUY NOW – $40

SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation

TOWER28 sunnydays non comedogenic sunscreen

This two-in-one product (love!) contains non-nano zinc oxide, which protects from UVA and UVB damage, as well as prickly pear extract and white sage extract to help repair and soothe UV-stressed skin. The sunscreen-plus-foundation offers up broad spectrum sun protection while also evening out your skin tone for a natural finish. Its lightweight, liquid formula is perfect for those with sensitive skin, and it is free of fragrance, alcohol, and other harsh chemicals. 

BUY NOW – $30


HONEST non comedogenic sunscreen

This sunscreen defends against it all: sun damage, UVA and UVB rays, and blue light from screens! This natural, non-nano mineral sunscreen is made with Honest’s sea water to provide essential minerals to the skin, as well as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to defend against sun damage. It’s also infused with Honest’s “Extremeolyte” to help protect from environmental stressors. The best part? It’s reef friendly, cruelty-free, and vegan!

BUY NOW – $29.99

Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen


Made with a naturally sourced, 100% zinc oxide active ingredient, this sheer mineral sunscreen is gentle on the eyes and skin. Its lightweight, fast-absorbing formula is both sweat resistant and water resistant for up to 80 minutes, and the matte finish makes it a perfect layer beneath your makeup. The mineral formula contains vitamin E, which helps to protect and repair, while the hypoallergenic properties make it safe for use on all skin types, including sensitive skin. Being from a dermatologist-recommended brand, you can trust this sunscreen to provide effective sun protection. 

BUY NOW – $9.97

Shield Superlight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

hero cosmetics forceshield non comedogenic sunscreen

Hero Cosmetics is the brand to run to for acne-fighting products. (Marissa wrote about The Mighty Patch, and now swears by it!) Their SPF 30 sunscreen is just as effective as their other products, thanks to the sole active ingredient: zinc oxide. With other ingredients to help keep skin clear, like raspberry seed oil, neem leaf extract, vitamin E, and bisabolol, your skin will feel nourished and look healthy as ever. This sunscreen is NOT water resistant, so wear Hero’s option on days you’re not splashing around. 

BUY NOW – $19.99

Mineral Sunscreen Zinc Oxide Broad Spectrum SPF 30

first aid beauty non comedogenic sunscreen

Who knew sunscreen could have such delightful ingredients – without clogging your cores and causing breakouts? First Aid Beauty knew this, and they took full advantage of the non comedogenic ingredients around them for their Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30. Filled with protective vitamin E and nourishing-but-not-clogging avocado oil, this non-nano zinc-oxide-based sunscreen provides total protection – including underneath or on top of your makeup!

BUY NOW – $28

Do you choose non comedogenic sunscreens? Did we miss your favorite? Share in the comments!

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Target’s Hydrocolloid Pimple Patches Are Life-Changing

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 Goo Getter Surface Zit Hydrocolloid Patch

ZitSticka Goo Getter Surface Zit Hydrocolloid Patch from target

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.

BUY NOW – $16

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Variety Pack

hero cosmetics mighty patch variety pack of 100% hydrocolloid bandages

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.

BUY NOW – $13.99

Starface Hydro-Stars Starter Pack

starface pimple patches available at target

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?

BUY NOW – $14.99

PanOxyl Overnight Spot Patches

panoxyl hydrocolloid bandages without latex

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.

BUY NOW – $8.49

Pacifica Pore Warrior Overnight Rescue Spot Dots

PACIFIC pore warrior hydrocolloid patch with niacinamide, wild cherry extract, aloe, and salicylic acid

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.

BUY NOW – $6.99

Sweet Chef Carrot Ginger Blemish Rescue Patch

Sweet Chef Carrot Ginger hydrocolloid Blemish Rescue Patch available at target

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.

BUY NOW – $15.99

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.

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Did you know the 411 on hydrocolloid? Have you used any of Target’s pimple patches? Tell us in the comments!

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Chinese Face Mapping: Real Or Rumor?

Chinese face mapping has been around for, like, ever. Not kidding – it’s a 3,000-year-old practice. The idea: your skin – the body’s largest organ – can tell you about your inner health as well. This is especially true with acne breakouts and fine lines.

Chinese face mapping comes more from the idea of qi (a summary: energy) flowing throughout the body, spotlighting areas that need to be nurtured by appearing as blemishes. The ancient Chinese practice is so well-renowned, there are Traditional Chinese Practitioners who devotedly refer to the skin and qi when investigating potential health issues.

Interested in learning more about what Chinese face mapping can tell you? Here are the deets on what your T-zone wants you to know.


Chinese Face Mapping Areas

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Upper Face

Let’s start at the top. Say you begin to break out on your forehead; this is said to indicate upset in the digestive system. Temples can suggest kidney and bladder problems, while blemishes on your eyebrows could mean liver issues. Moving down to your eyes, I’m sure you’ve noticed dark circles and puffiness before. Surprise: it’s linked to sleep and dehydration! 


Your nose is separated into two sections: the left side of your heart, and the right side. Different types of blemishes mean different types of problems. For example, any blockages in the heart will show up as red spots or blackheads, while blood pressure and cholesterol problems appear in the form of oiliness or a total breakout.


Are you in a new space and sneezing all the time? Or maybe you feel a lil extra sniffle every now and then? Pay attention to breakouts on your cheeks, which are said to refer to three separate body parts: the stomach, the respiratory system, and the spleen. While it may seem slightly annoying at first, you’ll probably know which part is being affected as symptoms progress throughout the breakout. (Chinese face mapping doesn’t need to exist to tell you it’s spring and that pollen is everywhere, after all.)

Chin and Mouth

And finally, the bottom of your face. The mouth is where many ulcers appear, meaning your stomach needs TLC in some way. Perhaps you’re eating extra cold food? Or maybe, on a more serious level, you have a stomach ulcer? Either way, get checked out. Beneath the mouth, chin breakouts are hormonal and tied to the reproductive system. Stress and period symptoms appear here, according to Chinese face mapping.

More Recent Face Mapping

While many researchers have denounced the idea of Chinese face mapping, there have been other “mappings” created. The most popular next to the Chinese version is Dermalogica face mapping. Here, the face is divided into 14 zones, many of which are more complex than Chinese face mapping; the forehead is two zones, as are the jawline and ears, while the upper lip is its own zone, like the neck.

Acne mapping branches off from Chinese face mapping, and is more similar in terms of areas. However, certain areas are grouped together – like the forehead and nose, with the nose also being counted as one area (rather than left and right).

Is Chinese Face Mapping Legit?

While many researchers denounce Chinese face mapping entirely, some studies suggest that face mapping can be good indicators of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Some believe that qi is real, and that you can observe it flowing throughout the body. Overall, though, it seems to be a 3,000-year-old tradition passed along from generation to generation that became mainstream. However, there’s no harm in paying attention to links – coincidental or not, you’ll be checking your body more often, and that’s important!

Gua Shas In Face Mapping

In face mapping, gua shas are commonly used. Not only do they work as face massagers, they also help to move qi and unblock any hinderances that are stopping qi from moving through the body. A less-than-radiant face indicates something is up, especially if it’s dull even after a massage.

These are our top recommendations at different price points and in different materials!

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Do you follow Chinese face mapping? Tell us in the comments!

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