Zit stickers, pimple patches, blemish busters. Whatever you call them, these babies are the latest trend in skincare and perhaps for good reason, being dubbed a “gamechanger” in spot reduction by beauty buffs.
And, maybe one that has arrived in perfect time. With the mental health of the world at an all-time low thanks to COVID-19, conditions like anxiety, OCD and excoriation disorder — chronic skin picking — are being exasperated due to increased levels of stress and uncertainty. This, coupled with the fact that hard times can make us break out, is meaning that many of us are feeling a little less than our best selves.
The coronavirus crisis happens to coincide with a seismic shift in the beauty industry.
In what seems a blink of an eye, the sought-after beauty trend has gone from caked-on contour to the barely-there “glass-skin” — the Korean export that is now being championed by brands like Glossier and Milk Makeup and encourages us to take better care of our skin while embracing it in whatever state it might be in… spots and all.
This is why you shouldn’t be surprised to see fashionistas on the gram popping up and proudly sporting spot stickers of all manner of shapes and colours as if they were accessories.
Not only do some look kinda cool, but they are also said to be a saviour for the skin. Some products designed for acne and spot-prone skin can be overly harsh and drying. Rather than giving your whole face a dose of harsh chemicals, spot stickers harness the power of hydrocolloid to directly treat the offending blemish.
Hydrocolloid is an adhesive that’s flexible, absorbent and waterproof. This super-material helps to draw out impurities and creates a moist environment and optimum conditions for your spot to heal. It can also help prevent a scab forming, which can reduce the possibility of scarring. Basically, it helps the blemish come to the surface and pop on its own …gross, but hey, it works!
Here are a few of our faves:
One of the most Instagrammable spot stickers on this list is Starface’s cute hydrocolloid little stars. Like a wound dressing — which is what hydrocolloid patches were used for before they became a beauty trend — they speed up the healing process and fight infection.
Created by former beauty director at Elle, Julie Schott, these little guys also come in adorable and refillable starry-eyed case — when you run out of stickers you can simply purchase the refill packs, meaning you don’t end up with excess packaging.
Starface Hydro Stars, £19
When it comes to high-tech beauty innovation, Zitsticka takes the cake.
Unlike other spot stickers, Zitsticka’s clear, round, hydrocolloid patches aptly named Killa, are covered in self-dissolving micro darts, which directly inject a hit of salicylic acid, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and sodium hydroxide into your spot, effectively killing it at an early stage.
The company recommends these are best used on early-stage spots — before they become full-blown boils or whiteheads.
Zitsticka Killa, £27
Another brand that is calling on cuteness to sell their spot-stickers is Squish.
Undeniably, the adorable sixties-style flowers are making us wish for our next zit so we can slap one on, throw up a peace sign and take a selfie.
Squish Flower Power Acne Patches, UK, £18
Dots For Spots
The cheapest of the lot and perhaps the most incognito. Dots for spots are perfect for healing your spots on the sly.
Each pack contains 24 super-thin, transparent dots, which could easily be worn without anyone noticing.
According to the Daily Mail, these are the bestselling spot stickers on Amazon and are best used on spots that have come to a head (ready to pop), to keep you from picking, touching and squeezing your face.
Dots for Spots, £5.99
Patchology’s Breakout Box is like an emergency first-aid kit for any blemish eventuality.
Containing 24 hydrocolloid dots designed specifically for whiteheads, 24 different sized salicylic acid dots for other breakouts and 3 nose strips to tackle blackheads, this box is a triple threat for any type of breakout.
The patches also contain other, natural anti-inflammatory and bacteria-banishing ingredients like Tea Tree Oil and Witch Hazel which the brand says helps to start healing spots and unclogging pores in a matter of hours.