My biggest fear in life is getting a major pimple before an important event, like a wedding. I know that may sound vain, but as someone who still has PTSD from cystic, hormonal acne, the fear is very real. Waking up every day to a new pimple is a different form of terror. And let’s be honest, there comes a point when a breakout is so bad, no amount of makeup can cover it, let alone get rid of the feeling of having a massive zit sitting on your face.
After trying hundreds of serums, hacks, and lifestyle changes, I can say there is one product that actually made a difference in treating my acne, Rael’s Miracle Patch. It’s a simple and affordable sticker that took my breakouts from traumatizing to bearable. Combined with an acne prescription, I have transformed my skin to be literally spotless. Even if you don’t suffer from acne, the stress of planning a wedding can lead to a pre-wedding breakout, leaving you scrambling for a solution at the last minute. That’s why I stock up on these patches for all my upcoming wedding invites and other major events.
We’ve all watched those Proactive commercials where the spokesperson is saying they had acne so bad, they wouldn’t even leave the house. Well, that was me a couple years ago. Ever since I started puberty, I struggled with breakouts, but my acne reached a fever pitch during the height of the pandemic. I stopped taking birth control, and my skin freaked out. Every month, I would get these deep, cystic zits on my cheeks and chin that would take at least a week to heal. I tried everything from cutting out dairy to not wearing makeup, but nothing helped. As dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi explains, topical treatments aren’t enough to cure hormonal acne. “Cystic acne pimples are under the skin’s surface, so oral prescriptions or a pimple shot are the only quick treatment,” says Dr. Shirazi.
While a pimple patch won’t stop a zit from forming, it can help it heal faster. “Pimple patches contain hydrocolloid gel that has powerful wound healing properties,” says dermatologist Dr. Lauren Penzi. “It absorbs excess fluid and removes excess dirt, oil, and sebum, which helps to quickly shrink the appearance of pimples.” Plus having a physical barrier over the zit stopped me from picking at it, which only made the breakout worse and could even lead to permanent scarring.
During my hormonal acne phase, I would go through pimple patches so quickly that I was constantly making trips to the drugstore to restock. Then I found Rael’s Miracle Patch on Amazon. For less than $20, I could get 96 patches shipped directly to my door. Not only is this an incredible value, but the set offers two different sizes, so you can treat both small and large pimples. Compared to the Hero Mighty Patch, another popular version I tried, I liked how these have beveled edges. The thin edges are less likely to pop off and less noticeable on my face. I also liked how the Rael patches came in individually wrapped sheets, so I could take a sheet or two on a trip rather than the entire box.
How to Use It
Once I started using the patches, I would slap one on as soon as I felt a zit coming. That kept my fingers off it and also gave me some comfort knowing I had the situation under control. However, Dr. Shirazi says the patches are most effective when applied on a pimple that has already formed a head or is either oozing puss. It’s best to apply on dry skin after cleansing and leaving a patch on for about six to eight hours, according to Dr. Penzi.
While pimple patches didn’t cure my hormonal acne—I had to get on a prescription medication for that—they got me through some really dark times. Before I started using them, my breakouts would have a ripple effect where one pimple would lead to another, likely because I picked at it and spread the bacteria. With a patch, the pimple is on lockdown, with nothing coming in or out. Even those deep, angry blemishes healed faster. Using the patch daily, I watched as the eruption slowly started to flatten out and fade. And in case I popped a zit—I know, it’s a skin sin—the pimple patch would suck the infection right out and the blemish would heal in a day (instead of becoming reinfected all over again).
Another reason why pimple patches have become so popular is that it’s a way to actually celebrate your zits while you cover them—many patches come with fun designs and bright colors. Although Rael’s patches are plain, there’s something about hiding an oncoming zit that gives me peace. I was no longer staring into the mirror every five seconds, agonizing over whether the pimple was getting bigger. As the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind.
I always keep a pack of Rael’s Patches on hand, in case I get a random zit or two. I consider them a travel essential because the combination of stress and a new routine always triggers a breakout for me. Since weddings are equally stressful, these pimple patches should be a part of every bride’s emergency beauty kit. Of course, make sure to test them out well before the event to ensure your skin reacts well. And in case you wake up to a very large, inflamed zit before your wedding, our experts offer some extra solutions;
“One option is to see a dermatologist and get a pimple shot,” says Dr. Shirazi. “That’s when a medication is injected into the pimple to quickly reduce inflammation. The pimple goes away in 1-2 days,”. If you can’t see your derm, Dr. Shirazi also advises using a medicated cream like SootheHC with a pimple patch on top three times a day for three days.”
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Emily Cieslak is an Assistant Commerce Editor at Brides, covering all things beauty and fashion. Struggling with acne has turned her into a skin nerd—she loves researching the latest skincare technology and ingredients. After discovering the power of pimple patches, she knew she had to share her experience.