The best pimple patches to buy in 2024 – and expert advice on how to use them

There's no spot popping going on around here...

Best pimple patches

by Emma White |
Published on

If you’ve suddenly had an angry spot appear on your face, a pimple patch is the zit-zapping solution you need in your life. They are an amazing way to get rid of whiteheads – those pesky little white spots that always seem to appear at the most inconvenient of times.

While the temptation might be pick at and pop your spots, this can lead to further breakouts and acne scarring (which nobody wants!) It's always good to make sure that your face is properly cleansed of dirt and impurities – a salicylic acid cleanser is a great option for helping banish breakouts. Then pop your pimple patches on those pesky spots and let them work their blemish-busting magic.

You might be thinking how do pimple patches work? Or how long do you need to leave your pimple patch on for? Luckily, we had Dr Sonia Khorana, GP and Dermatology Expert for Hero Cosmetics on hand to get the full lowdown on spot stickers, so you can nail your zit-zapping routine. Not only that, we’ve also rounded up the best pimple patches to buy right now, so you’ll never have a major stress-out over a spot again.

What are pimple patches?

Pimple patches are typically made of a material called hydrocolloid. It’s a gel-based material that has been used for years in wound-healing bandages in hospitals. They are designed to help speed up the life cycle of your pimple - and to stop you from touching it and making it any worse.

What do pimple patches do?

“The hydrocolloid patch absorbs fluids, like pus and oil, from your pimple while also protecting the ‘wound’ – your blemish can now heal in a somewhat sterile and moist environment which is key for preventing scarring and speeding up healing time,” explains Dr Sonia Khorana.

“Basically, it's great for people who pick at their spots because it’s going to stop you from doing exactly that!”

Key ingredients to look out for when shopping for pimple patches

  • Hyaluronic acid – the number one hydrator for keeping your skin moisturised. Hydration is key for a balanced and healthy skin barrier, which in turns helps minimise excess oil production that can lead to acne.

  • Salicylic acid – this blemish-busting ingredient is amazing for treating acne. It helps to unclog blocked pores, reducing the appearance of spots and preventing future breakouts.

  • Niacinamide – a form of Vitamin B3 that has many skin-boosting benefits. Often in the form of a niacinamide serum, the ingredient nourishes, protects and helps treat acne.

  • Aloe vera – this plant-based ingredient has been used as a skin remedy for centuries. Its moisturising benefits help soothe irritated complexions including angry and inflamed breakouts.

  • Tea tree – an essential oil with incredible antibacterial powers. It helps to reduce the appearance of acne, especially inflamed spots.

Should I use a pimple patch on an active spot?

“If you have a deep cyst that’s sitting under the surface of your skin or a closed comedone, putting a hydrocolloid patch over it won’t likely do much," explains Dr Sonia Khorana. "If you’re dealing with a red/angry/oozing spot or one that you’ve somewhat picked – a hydrocolloid patch is great for this.”

SHOP: Our top picks for the best pimple patches

Meet the medical-grade hydrocolloid patches which are UV sterilised, allergy tested, fragrance free and made with no animal derived ingredients. Thanks to all-night adhesion technology these pimple patches will stay on all night long, so you can wake up to visibility-reduced blemishes.


  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin
  • Can be worn under makeup


  • Not designed for daytime use

Best pimple patches COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
Price: $5.95
Alternative retailers
Ulta$6.00View offer
Dermstore$6.00View offer
SkinStore$6.00View offer

They are a best-seller for a reason! COSRX's patches are designed to work their magic overnight by breaking down the bacteria inside the spot, whilst protecting it from any additional bacteria and dirt that could make it worse.


  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Contain different size stickers to suit different spots


  • Most effective when worn overnight, not as suitable for a quicker fix

Alternative retailers
REVOLVE$15.00View offer

We love the compact that comes with the Starface spot stickers. Not only does it keep your patches protected, it features a mirror so you can apply easily wherever you are. They are made from 100% hydrocolloid and work to absorb fluid from your pimple for visible results. Wear the magical stars for 6+ hours.


  • Comes with a compact to keep your pimple patches protected


  • Not a clear design

If you are struggling with inflammation these pimple patches contain a soothing duo of Canadian willowherb and centella asiatica which help to reduce redness and swelling. Their clear design makes them very discreet to wear too.


  • Comfortable to wear
  • Suitable for all skin types


  • Claims results after 4 hours, but we found they weren't always this fast-acting

Decongest your skin whilst keeping the problem area hydrated with salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid powered patches. Wear for at least 6 hours or overnight to help minimise the appearance of your spots.


  • Also contains hyaluronic acid to prevent your blemish from drying out
  • Clear and discreet design


  • Only 12 pimple patches in the pack

Put a stop to your urge to pick with Revolution's spot stickers. Containing a whopping 60 patches, each one uses blemish-busting salicylic acid and soothing tea tree oil to reduce the appearance of your pimples.


  • Contains 60 stickers, so amazing value for money
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Adheres very well to spots without falling off


  • Less effective at absorbing fluid

How long should I leave a pimple patch on?

The length of time you should leave your pimple patch on does vary depending on the spot sticker that you are using. So it is always best to check the instructions. Dr Sonia Khorana explains that “all Hero Mighty Patches can be applied and worn at night or during the day. And it is recommended to wear for at least 6hrs.”

Can I wear pimple patches under makeup?

If you are feeling self-conscious about your pimple and would like to wear a spot sticker out and about, there are many clear designs which are very discreet and can be worn underneath make-up.
“Always apply them to clean, dry skin so they adhere properly to the spot. I’d recommend applying a patch and then applying make-up on top. I wouldn’t recommend applying make- up and then putting the patch on,” says Dr Sonia Khorana.

“If applying skincare - to make sure they stay in place, I wait about half an hour after applying my skincare before sticking them on. I always find that the less residue you have on your skin, the better they adhere and stay put.”

Happy zit-zapping!

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