Dealing with period acne (or "hormonal acne") is such a tricky skin experience. For starters, it's pretty hard to clock. Some have it the week before their period starts. Others have it the week of or the week after. Once the pimples go away, you often have to deal with the redness or the hyperpigmentation left behind. By the time those scars start to fade away, it's that time of the month all over again. It feels like one big stressful, never-ending story.
Fighting the period acne cycle primarily sucks because it deters you from ever truly meeting your goals for clear skin. It can make it hard to tell whether or not your skin-care routine is really working. How can you keep track of the process of lightening older acne scars if new ones keep popping up in the same spots to replace them? And why is it that a pimple seems to appear on the morning of your big job interview or the day you're glamming out to go out with the squad?
After hearing about pimple patches and their alleged ability to make those annoying bumps go away as soon as overnight or as late as three days, I couldn't resist trying them out — and boy was I surprised by the experience.
I ordered The Mighty Patch ($13, Amazon) — the highest-rated pimple patches on Amazon.
The pimple patches look like clear stickers but are actually made with a fluid-absorbing gel that draws out pus and other gunk from pimples to reduce their size and speed up the overall healing process. Depending on the size of a pimple, the patches can clear it up entirely overnight OR significantly reduce it so it goes away faster than usual.
The Mighty Patches have over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon, but the insanely bizarre before-and-after photos that customers share in the comments are what made me really want to give them a try. For $12, you get 36 patches (12 per sheet). The 36-pack has small patches for individual pimples, but The Mighty Patch brand also makes the Mighty Patch Surface ($17, Amazon) which is a much bigger patch for full clusters of whiteheads.
Before we get into my full review of the pimple patches, here's a look at how Aunt Flow alerts my face that she's coming for a visit.
The bumps on my face are pretty mild but they usually come in several spots including both of my cheeks, my forehead, and just above the outer edge of my eyebrows. This gif shows the VERY beginning stages of my period acne, which is exactly when I wanted to start treating them to prevent the spots from turning into full-out clusters. You'll see later that everything didn't exactly go as planned.
The first night I used the pimple patches, I put a total of three on my face.
I put them on just before bed because the box recommends wearing them for at least six hours. I also wanted to wear them overnight to make sure I wouldn't accidentally rub my face and make them fall off. Before applying the patches, I made sure to do my entire skin-care routine so my pimples would be super clean and ready to be sucked dry. I cleansed, toned, applied my serum, and then moisturized. Afterward, I washed my hands once again to make sure that I wouldn't be contaminating the pimple patches in any way.
I was happy that they were very easy to peel off and stick to my face in a matter of seconds. To be honest, the patches are so flimsy and I'm such a toss-and-turner when I sleep that I was almost 100% sure they would still fall off while I slept.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
I woke up after the first night, and the pimple patches actually were in the same spots — but that wasn't the only surprise!
Not all of my pimples disappeared 100% overnight. This is likely because although they were slightly red, they hadn't actually turned into full-blown whiteheads yet. However, the patches do work! In this photo collage, you can see close-ups of how the patches looked when I woke up. You can clearly see that they brought up the white gunk that was waiting underneath the surface of my skin!
The middle photo in the collage even shows how white gunk looks on the patch when you peel it off, however disgusting. That alone shocked me because I'm so used to acne products proclaiming to do one thing and doing very little or nothing at all.
Here's a before-and-after photo of how the pimple patches worked on my cheek during the same night.
As you can see, the bump is still there but it decreased SIGNIFICANTLY overnight! I was truly happy about it because as you can *also* probably see, I've been dealing with an annoying case of contact dermatitis (a form of eczema) on and around my eyes. Dealing with eczema and acne when you have a series of meetings and interviews bothers me so much. Although my eczema is itchy, I have prescribed medication that clears it up in about two days, but period acne is different for me.
One of the agonizing parts about having pimples on your face specifically is feeling like they're never going to go away. The pimple patches decreased that impatience I feel because I could literally see the gunk coming out and a dramatic overnight difference.
But that's not where the story ends!
I used the pimple patches for an entire week and got results each time, but not every patch experience ends in a decreased pimple. Check out these photos.
I wore the pimple patches on another day, and I woke up to whiteheads! Have no fear though, because I applied these patches to super tiny bumps that I saw trying to form on my cheek and forehead. An important thing to know about the patches is that they work differently depending on the stage of your pimple.
If your pimple is already a whitehead or a pretty developed bump, you'll likely see a decrease in size. If your pimple is in its very beginning stages, then the patch extracts what's underneath your skin and pulls it to the surface. There is no need to freak out if you experience this because the patch is simply rushing the pimple process along. Another night or two with the pimple patch and that pimple will likely be dramatically decreased. This shrinks the lifespan of a pimple from one or two weeks to three or four days!
Pro-tip: If you use the pimple patch on a tiny bump in its first beginning stages, then do it during the days you know you'll be sticking around the house if you're the type who doesn't like to go out with visible whiteheads.
Now feast your eyes on my skin after one week of using patches and keeping up with my skin-care routine.
This is my freaking SKIN, you guys! This gif wasn't filmed on beauty mode. There is no filter. This is just my bathroom light and me. My skin isn't 100% void of texture, but it's so much clearer. I'm super obsessed with the patches because while they do not magically make pimples disappear, they are 100% effective when it comes to reducing pimples so that go away much faster.
So, here are a few final thoughts about The Mighty Patch pimple patches.
1. Keep up your skin-care routine or you'll be undoing all of the work you're putting in with the pimple patches.
2. Please understand that these pimple patches will work differently based on the type of pimple you have. They work best on fully developed whiteheads.
3. I can't stress enough that you shouldn't expect magic because that's not how any skin-care works, but you can expect to see results which will be better the more consistent you are with use.
4. I didn't wear any makeup for the entire week that I was dealing with my period acne, and I think that was a HUGE help.
5. If you have longterm cystic acne then you should consult a dermatologist for treatment options.
All in all, on a scale of one to 10, I would give these patches a definite nine. I'm also going to order more a little sooner than later because once my friends noticed how great my skin looked, they started asking to borrow my pimple patches to try them out.