I used to be incredibly quick to write off certain beauty products. I often assumed new innovations or tools were merely gimmicks, and I had a bad habit of completely discounting certain product categories, like face oils, for fear they’d exacerbate my sensitive, especially acne-prone complexion. (I say “especially” because, no matter how many filtered photos you see on Instagram, the reality is we’re human, and we’re all acne-prone. Pimples, whether we like it or not, are a fact of life.)
Over time, I realized I actually could use face oils—I just had to be selective. In that same vein, I realized acne patches weren’t just a new industry ruse to vacuum even more of my money from my bank account. The first few acne patches I tried didn’t do a thing, but I was determined to stick with them. After plenty more experimenting (my Starface Hydro-Stars, $11, were the breakthrough!), I realized some acne patches are, indeed, pretty dang miraculous. I’m all for embracing acne—again, it’s a daily reality for so many of us—but sometimes, we just want to pump the breaks when we feel a new pimple (or five) making its way to the surface of our complexion. And that’s acceptable. Let me say this: It’s amazing if you can make peace with your acne, but it’s also okay if you’re not quite there yet.
Thanks to the nature of my job, I’ve been able to press plenty of different acne patches onto bourgeoning pimples over the past few years, and I’ve been able to sort the effective from the not-so-effective. Below, I’m sharing all of my personal favorites that have noticeably lessened or banished my own breakouts, along with a few more that I haven’t tried but that have received seriously glowing praise and reviews. Keep scrolling! The 10 best acne patches for clearing acne in a hurry are just ahead.