There seems to be a lot of negative reviews on these acne patches, about how they don't work, leave scars and residue behind - but because I've had such success with them, I'd like to take some time to explain the science behind them.
Nexcare acne patches work because they are essentially hydrocolloid dressings. Hydrocolloid dressings are usually adhesive gels that promote wound healing by absorbing pus and decreasing swelling. They are used a lot for actual skin wounds, ulcers and even eczema. Now because this form of dressing does not soften or break down the tissue of your skin, don't expect it to break through the head of your pimple that has not yet been brought to the surface! It would only work if the pimple is brought to a head and the head has been popped. This way, it can actually pull out the pus and leave the area flat. Also, give it time to work. Stick them on before you sleep and leave it on overnight. Make sure to stick it on DRY skin free of any toner/moisturizer because if you don't, then it will simply be absorbing your moisturizer and not your acne.
I must have repurchased packs of these at least 15 times. I've had a lot of success with them - it is a godsend. When my pores are big and clogged, I use these sometimes to suck out excess oil and it works like a dream. I find that it decreases the amount of acne scars I have because I'm no longer poking or picking at my skin, these babies do all the work for me. Some reviewers have said that it leaves a white circular spot behind - I do acknowledge that it does sometimes, when you've had them stuck on for a long period of time, but it fades within 3 minutes max. Any longer then I think you may have encountered a fake product.
I bought this through ebay for around 10 dollars. It came with 36 stickers (big and small). I've been breaking out a lot with painful cystic acne over the break (most likely due to diet and lack of sleep) so I was happy to receive this in the mail right before my break out. The small stickers come off while I am sleeping, the bigger stickers stay on my skin much better. I've used these when my pimples begin to surface and the sticker did absolutely nothing - doesn't shrink my pimple, nor decrease the inflammation. I've also trialed while the white head has surfaced - same thing, it did not help at all. Overall, it did not help at all hence I will not repurchase. I can also see how one would use an entire pack over the week considering it only comes with 36.
I have such mixed feelings about these. First, do not put these on a zit that doesn't have a head or hasn't already been popped. Seriously. If you just have a bump on your face with no head on it, putting these on will no help in my experience. But the thing is, if your zit DOES have a head or has been popped, these will draw out the pus if you wear them overnight. I mean, I had such a bad cyst - one of the worst I've ever had - but I had been able to pop it and a lot came out. But it was brand new pus, the really runny kind that I knew there would be more of in the zit, do you know what I mean? I wore one of these overnight, and by the next morning, the patch had practically lifted off of my face it had so much gunk in it. Which, of course, is very satisfying. And I was THRILLED that my zit was so much flatter.
Here's my REAL problem with them, though. RESIDUE! For me, for some reason (even though I've read the reviews for this and haven't seen this mentioned much if at all), these leave a HUGE amount of residue. Like a big, patch shaped layer of gunk that is somehow makeup repellant. It's like a Makeup Forcefield. Which, hey, not a huge deal on some parts of your face. But on a big, nasty, bruised, zit, or really ANY kind of zit that you're going to be applying one of these patches to, aren't you going to need some makeup to cover that sucker up? And I can't get it off for anything! Not alcohol, not oil, not manual exfoliation! It stays on for like 2-3 days! Yesterday I was shame faced to walk around with a round circular not totally uncovered but weirdly different patch (perfectly round!) of skin on my face that was all bruised and horrible looking. So, while I'll probably keep using these, I love them AND I hate them. Just be advised. Maybe it's just my skin that causes these to form a Makeup Forcefield, but be advised it could happen to you.
You see I like these a lot a lot. If you have a cyst you can put one of these patches on at night and the patch will draw it to the surface. That being said it may take a night and half a day for that to happen. For me these patches work but very slowly, even leaving it on for the entire day was not enough. Another thing, these create horrible acne scars. I mean awful. I have some pretty bad acne scars from picking but mainly because I just have really bad hyperpigmentation. Seriously after you take these off you are left with brown scars. Typically I have light reddish scars but whatever acne I put these on it always leaves a brown scar. Eh, I'm torn but whatever I prefer to spot treat with a clay mask instead.
These are way better than I expected! My skin is normally pretty good but I do get the occasional stubborn pimple. For reference I have an extremely oily nose and chin, and very dry everywhere else. My pimples tend to be on or around my nose and always on my chin.
I used three of these patches on three different pimples - one was a large whitehead, one was a popped whitehead and one was a very inflamed and sore blackhead that I had been trying to extract but had no success (I wasn't actually sure if the patch would work on blackheads but I thought that I would give it a try).
I applied these to clean skin and left them on overnight. I had no issues with them coming unstuck at all, and they were still in place the next morning. So the next morning I peeled off each patch to see what was absorbed into it, and how my skin looked after wearing this all night.
The whitehead was smaller and flatter, but the patch didn't absorb anything (probably because I didn't pop it first). The patch over the whitehead that I did pop had absorbed a little of the gunk and the pimple itself was flatter and smaller, and easily covered with makeup. The patch over the blackhead though was the most interesting. It had almost completely changed color and absorbed so much gunk that I was astounded. I wasn't even sure whether it would absorb anything since there was only swelling and redness around the blackhead and no whitehead. Now it didn't remove the actual blackhead but it reduced the inflammation and redness by 95%. It is looking a lot drier now so I guess that it will be easier to extract.
So I went from having three sore red pimples to overnight having no redness, soreness with no raised bumps. I think that qualifies this product as a HG! I will definitely repurchase this when I run out, and would unhesitatingly recommend this to others.
This did not stick well to my skin and seemed to have no effect on the pimple.
I was SO EXCITED to try this and it was such an epic fail for me!! It didn't do anything but irritate my skin/make it almost blister. It literally made my blemishes worse. I kept at it for a month then threw in the towel.
I was extremely excited to try these out once I received it. I found them to be a bit finicky considering how it would work on some pimples and not others. All of which became ripe and were ready to burst. I loved seeing how it drew out the gunk from pimples and while it did work for some pimples, I ended up having an adverse allergic reaction to it.
My skin isn't sensitive at all and I rarely ever get any reaction to whatever I use. Despite some products being strong. However, over a period of time of using these on my face, it left my skin really messed up. The areas in which it came in contact with the patches are rough, dry, flaky, red, inflamed, scaly, and down right ugly. This is the only product that's new in my skincare and I know it's the patches considering how there's these prominent circle imprints around my face from the patches. I haven't used these for close to two weeks and still no improvement, in fact, it's getting worse. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so I can only pray for the best. I feel so self conscious and makeup can't even cover up the mess.
I am happy that these worked for majority of the people on here but I do want to warn others so that they don't end up being in the same situation as I am. Although I am probably just one unlucky person out of the bunch. :(
!o_O! I am so underwhelmed and that surprised me. I was sooo excited to get these in the mail. After hearing what a miracle they were, and just at a time when I needed it. But I don't feel these do much at all. I used a few already, on different pimples. Some were even ones that were popped previously, so you'd think it would be able to pull out the impurities easier. ...I feel this didn't do much of anything. It did turn white after a little while, but when I took them off, there was still a lot of pressure and pain below and it felt like it wasn't actually relieving that at all. If anything, I wonder if it made it worse since it was covered and couldn't come out or breath/dry. Not only that, but when you pull them off, they stick so tightly that I feel any scabs or progress you may have made in drying it out gets destroyed since these rip off the skin and hair that's under the patch. That's a little too intense for me on a blemish. I need the skin to heal, not be man handled. So I hate to write a negative review but these really just didn't do anything grand for me. That's just my honest assessment. Personally I prefer egg and soap to dry out spots.
Update: I still don't think these are fantastic, but I'd like to add a few more experiences with them. The second time I used these, it did pull out stuff from the pimple and the pimple quickly dried out afterwards. But the third time it was like the first, didn't do much, sort of pulled it up but not out (so I ended up popping them anyway) and on some of them it tore off the top layer of skin so I had a small circle (which could be soooo bad on already damaged skin). It sort of goes like that, vacillating between working and not. So I guess it has to be used on a very specific type of pimple. Maybe right after it's been opened but not so soon it rips it apart from the sticking? It's very tricky. All three times I left them on overnight, so it was enough time. I upped the review a little but I'm still kind of unsure here.
Update 2: Much happier, these have helped me tremendously. I guess there is a learning curve because there are certain blemishes it works for and doesn't work for. Def must be used on popped pimples. It doesn't get rid of it but it helps keep it from re-infecting and protects it, while pulling out some puss as well. I tried to not pop at all but then they never seemed to go away, so this is important for healing when you do have to pop. I used about half of them, and I think I will order more. Between this and sulfur and a non reactive cleanser, I'm feeling much better about my skin.
These went from blah to necessity. Just thought I'd let you know! I now have a few of my orginals, and two packs of the thin version which show up WAY less during day time use, if you have to use it then. I am NOT a fan of getting makeup in my blemishes so I usually use a sulfur drying lotion just to take off a little redness and to cover it up so the makeup doesn't get in, but for bigger pimples or more open ones you need this. Once you get a good amount out (one or two uses) I do tend to switch to sulfur and even first aid ointment or a little jojoba becuase it will scab and if you over dry it can make it worse, but the patch is necessary to get the puss out so it can start to heal.