Acne treatments, like many things, aren't one size fits all. Acne comes in all different types, and it is important to note which type it is before treating it. Before digging into all the different acne treatments we recommend that you check out our blog post How to ID Acne Types. Dealing with acne is annoying enough as it is. On top of that, choosing from a trillion “acne fighting” products can be overwhelming. Don’t fret, we are here to give you a full on guide to best treating your acne. From spot treatments that have been around for ages to pimple patches that are on the come up it's important to know what to use for different types of acne.
What is Acne Spot Treatment?
Acne spot treatment is very common and used to target individual pimples instead of the entire face. These products work by delivering acne fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide right to the blemish. They quickly fight the pimple by reducing swelling, limiting pain, and even breaking up the blockage within the pore.
Acne spot treatments primarily work on surface level pimples like pustules and papules. These treatments don't absorb deeply into the targeted area so they aren't a good option for fighting deeper and more aggressive pimples like nodules and cysts. After using a spot treatment it is super beneficial to use a pimple patch.
What is a Pimple Patch?
A pimple patch is a small sticker you adhere to your pimples. Depending on what type of pimple patch you are using (hydrocolloid or microneedle) the material they are made of depends. It’s a more advanced and effective version of spot treatment that works by creating a protective, moist environment to let your acne resolve itself. These have been an essential part of K-beauty but are fairly new to the skincare game in the United States. These patches whether hydrocolloid or microneedle don't only target the pimple itself but protect it from exposure to bacteria, pollution, UV light, and of course, being picked at. While both Hydrocolloid and Microneedle patches goal is to target pimples and treat acne they both do it in extremely different ways.
What is Hydrocolloid?
Hydrocolloid patches act as a protective barrier over the wound (in this case pimples) to speed up the healing process. They are made out of apple derived pectin that creates a moist, healing, environment for the pimple. Along with acting as a barrier between the pimple and the world, these patches contain water binding groups that reduce water loss and absorb excess oil and fluid. If you wear them overnight, the patch pulls out the oil and pust reducing the size and irritation of the pimple. Hydrocolloid is commonly used to protect wounds of all types, so they don't cause irritation to the skin.
Hydrocolloid patches are the most effective on pustules and papules, pimples that are pusy, oily, and on top of the skin. These patches work on every skin type in the universe, even sensitive. They are gentle acting but nonetheless powerful in counteracting acne. Our Blemish Patches are enhanced with Tea Tree to help reduce the potential for scarring while looking cute at the same time.
What About Those Microneedle Patches?
In the other corner of the ring we have Microneedle patches. These are similar to hydrocolloid patches in the sense that they are a barrier from the pimple to the outside world and your fingers. The difference is that the patches have very small microneedles made up of acne fighting ingredients. These microneedles can be made of materials ranging from silicon to polymers. These microneedles penetrate the skin (not as daunting as it sounds, remember they’re microneedles) delivering these acne fighting ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, in a targeted way.
Microneedle patches work the most effectively on nodules and cystic pimples, acne that is under the skin and oftenly more painful. The microneedles deliver acne fighting ingredients to the pimple’s core. This is very beneficial but can cause irritation and inflammation to people with sensitive skin. The technology and manufacturing process for microneedle patches often make them more expensive than the hydrocolloid patches as well.
Any of these options are sure to help your skin, but take it to the next level by understanding your acne and giving it the specific product it needs to heal.