Welcome to Acne Week, a five-day stretch where we get real about pimples, zits, cysts, and every bump or blemish in between. From skin-soothing products R29 editors swear by to exclusive deals on the most breakout-friendly beauty brands, we’re kissing the concept of “bad skin” goodbye and exploring why acne is so much more than skin deep.
As a longtime acne-haver and professional beauty person, I’ve been around the block when it comes to sussing out what actually works to clear my skin from what doesn’t do much of anything. One tried-and-true pimple product that I personally swear by is Hero Cosmetics’ Mighty Patch Original, a clear hydrocolloid dot that draws out gunk from your pores for quick healing. In short, the stuff works — and insanely effing well, might I add. This is far from an under-the-radar secret find, however: In fact, the product has racked up over 96,700 reviews on Amazon, skyrocketing it to bestseller status among Amazon’s beauty and personal care products.
“This saves me several days of walking around with a bloody crater in my face because my previous method of dealing with unsightly blemishes was to pick pick pick.”
For the uninitiated, acne stickers like Mighty Patch work by adhering to clean, dry skin and working overtime to slowly draw out the contents of your pimple (ew but also yes) as well as dirt and excess oil from the surface. The patches are made with just one ingredient: medical-grade hydrocolloid, a plant-based gel that gently draws out impurities and encourages healing. One highly informed Amazon reviewer went into microscopic detail about how the patches work in their 2018 review. “The most important thing to understand about hydrocolloid acne patches [like these] is that they are for use on mature acne blemishes that have ‘come to a head’, so to speak,” they wrote. “The patches are coated on one side with some mixture of pectin, carboxy-methylcellulose, and polymers that absorb fluid, plus an adhesive. Hydrocolloid pulls the fluid out of a wound, encasing it in a white gel. In the case of acne, the patches will pull the mixture of white cells, bacteria, dead skin, etc. that forms the white head of an infected pore.” The telltale sign of success is the sticker’s display of gross-yet-satisfying cloud of mystery goo that has been successfully extracted from your blemish.
“I do not claim to understand the science behind these tiny miracles, but they have changed my life,” begins one
convert Amazon reviewer. “I spend my workday looking forward to going home and putting one of these bad boys on my newly erupted Mt. Zit because the overnight results are shocking. Not only is it grossly satisfying, but it saved me several days of walking around with a bloody crater in my face because my previous method of dealing with unsightly blemishes was to pick pick pick.” At $12 for 36 patches, Hero Cosmetics’ patches are also among the most affordable on the market. Another plus: They’ve got patches for every stage of your pimple journey, from micropoint dots for emerging zits to ones that help fade post-breakout hyperpigmentation. (Another fave of mine: The extra-thin “invisible” ones that I routinely wear during the day.)
The chorus of reviewers who sing the praises of these minute, 12-millimeter stickers is vocal and unrelenting with pages upon pages of testimony to their quick-acting, skin-saving potential. “These little patches are amazing — I’m convinced they were made by wizards to make spots disappear because that’s what they do,” shares one reviewer from across the pond. “I ordered these a week before my wedding. THANK GOD,” wrote another reviewer. “My blemish went down in 24 hours. And this is coming from someone who has been on Accutane twice and tried every topical cream/gel/patch imaginable.” In another instance of Mighty Patch coming through for love, one reviewer shared this story: “I had a date coming up at the end of the week when I started to get the most giant zit I’ve ever had in my life right in the middle of my forehead. I considered cutting bangs to cover it it was so embarrassing. After using these for only two days, the zit was almost completely gone and I was able to cover it with a little makeup for my date.”
For chronic zit-poppers — you know who you are — the patches also act as a kinder alternative to a fingernail, satisfying the urge to extract in a way that’s much less scarring (physically and emotionally). “I’m … guilty of that cardinal sin in zit care — constantly poking at the blemish,” remarked one reviewer. “[These patches] keep me from myself. I’ve already gone through one sheet!” The dots even reduced a stubborn spot that one reviewer had tried unsuccessfully to remove: “The skin had gotten torn up when I tried to pop it myself, so I was scared it would do something gross.” Happily, after leaving the patch on overnight, the reviewer “woke up and [the pimple] was GONE.” Another wrote: “I suffer from oil-clogged pores so I will routinely get huge volcanoes on my face that will produce massive amounts of oil when picked. I know I should not pick at them but I just can’t help myself, dang it.” The Mighty Patch, they explained, “[works] great.” Convincing before-and-after photos from fellow reviewers proudly portray the fruits of the patches’ labor (FYI, maybe skip those if you’re not great with icky stuff) and are about as convincing as it gets when it comes to inspiring you to hit “add to cart.”
“I wish I could give it 10 stars.”
Below, shop the OG Mighty Patch alongside several of its pimple-obliterating buddies.
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