At this point, my whole life pretty much revolves around whatever TikTok tells me. Between hair products to test, makeup tricks to try, and new skincare products, every few days so, some new must-have trend is taking my For You Page by storm. Right now, TikTok’s all about hydrocolloid bandages. These strips are being heralded for their acne-sucking prowess, but do hydrocolloid bandages actually work?
Pimple patches have been growing in popularity in recent years; even A-list model Hailey Bieber shared a selfie of her wearing Starface’s Hydro Stars ($15, Starface) on Dec. 15. But, these hydrocolloid bandages are a bit more heavy duty than a little patch. The first time I saw them was in May Sanders’ video posted on TikTok on Dec. 13. She shows herself removing the bandages after wearing them overnight, and her blemish are notably smaller and less red. This alone almost made me climb in the car and run to the nearest CVS, but I like to make sure products I’m putting on my face are 100% expert-approved.
Luckily, Dr. Anthony Youn, a Detroit-based plastic surgeon, explained exactly why hydrocolloid bandages work. "Believe it or not, they actually work. These patches provide occlusion of the pimple, so overnight they can reduce inflammation," Dr. Youn explained. "They also often absorb moisture, so they can decrease excess fluid in the tissue." Overall, he gave hydrocolloid bandages a big thumbs up.
Now that the proof is there, there are some ways to best use hydrocolloid bandages. In another post, Sanders shows that after wearing the bandages two night in a row, her cheek is red. Therefore, to avoid irritating your skin, you should only use the patches once or twice a week. You should also let them sit for a few hours, so overnight is probably the easiest time to wear them.
There are lots of different kinds of hydrocolloid bandages out there. My acne is generally really spotty, so I’m more interested the smaller pimple patches. However, if your acne clusters in a small area, a larger patch is probably the way to go. Below are some affordable hyrdrocolloid bandages to fit whatever your skin needs are.
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