Hydrocolloid patches aren’t brand new information, but we still find ourselves in awe of them with every use. They seem almost too good to true. None of us ever imagined that we’d one day be able to flatten and de-gunk pimples overnight just by slapping stickers on top of ‘em! It’s nothing short of magic. Still, we’ve nothing but pure science to thank for that. And you have yet to add these to your regimen, you’re 100% missing out.

Below, we break down exactly what makes these miracle-working patches tick and why they’re crucial to any skincare routine. (Make sure to read ‘til the end to see our current fave—shout out to Skin Genie!)


To put it simply, hydrocolloid patches are essentially plastic film lined with a water-attracting gel material that draws out and traps impurities. Fun fact: they were originally used for medical purposes! Originally made in the form of larger strips, hydrocolloid bandages were used to remove pus and create a moist healing environment that’s ideal for open wounds. Eventually, people realized you could use them for pimples too—which brings us to the circular, pea-sized patches we know and love today.


Hydrocolloid patches work twofold. First, they protect blemishes from external irritation with a plastic film outer layer (usually made of polyurethane). Second, they clear out bacteria, pus, and other impurities by trapping them inside a gel-like inner layer. This material often is often composed of gelatin, pectin, or carboxymethyl cellulose. They contain **water-binding properties **that absorb fluids and keep the affected area hydrated to encourage rapid healing.


In a nutshell, hydrocolloid patches shorten the life cycle of your pimples. And the faster your pimples heal, the less damage (especially long-term damage) your skin incurs. Despite how simple their structure may seem, hydrocolloid patches deliver countless benefits:

  • They protect blemishes from external pollutants (including makeup), bacteria, and physical irritation.
  • They purge out any existing impurities and pus without the need for painful pricking or extractions—effectively preventing any further damage.
  • They keep your pimples in a moist environment that enhances the skin’s ability to repair itself.
  • They diminish redness and swelling in a matter of hours, which lessens the formation of uneven texture and post-acne scarring.
  • They boost the effects of previously applied acne treatments, especially those that contain active ingredients. Just make sure to let the product fully absorb before applying a patch! It will act as an occlusive seal and allow ingredients to penetrate even deeper into the skin.
  • They’re sturdy and waterproof! You’ll find that most patches will stay in place while swimming or even through a shower. (Though we do recommend applying a new patch after, just to be sure.)


While there are a handful of options available in the market, our current fave is Skin Genie’s Pimple and Acne Pad. This proudly local creation works just as well as imported variations, with sheets that separate into thin strips you can slip into in your kit or wallet while on-the-go. Get 36 patches for P300 only!

The Skin Genie Pimple and Acne Pad (36 pcs.) is available on BeautyMNL for P300. Shop it right here.

For more cool stories and members-only perks, sign up for BeautyMNL!