TikTok is home to a lot of things, but something we can always count on the app for is introducing us to all kinds of wacky — but mostly effective — beauty hacks that inspire us to rethink our entire routines. The bobby pin eyeliner hack is just one example of a trend that's proven to be life-changing for us, and more recently, we've noticed another unsung hero in acne treatments popping up on the platform: Band-Aids.
Yes, thousands of TikTok users have recently started sharing videos of themselves putting hydrocolloid bandages over their acne when they're experiencing breakouts in attempt to clear up their skin. The hack may sound strange, but think of it this way: you'd put this type of bandage over a blister or wound expecting it to eventually heal underneath, so why wouldn't the same rules apply to pimples and blemishes? TikTok may be onto something here.
Of course, not just any Band-Aid will do — you need one with a hydrocolloid dressing, which typically contains a gel like gelatin to trap moisture and promote healing. Another benefit? "They help draw out excess oil, pus, and debris in a clean environment," Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D., previously told POPSUGAR.
The store-bought option obviously presents a cheaper alternative to acne patches, but the latter usually feature acne-fighting ingredients that help rev up the process. "In the case of acne patches, they deliver ingredients like niacinamide or other anti-inflammatories and actives like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to speed up clearance of the acne bump," he said.
Putting any sort of bandage or patch on your acne is an easy way to clear up a blemish in just hours while also ensuring that you won't pick at it and cause further irritation. Some of them, like the Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch ($13), are made of translucent material that turns white so you know they're working. But as Dr. Bhanusali notes, you should be cautious of the types of patches you use if your skin is on the more sensitive side.
"Putting anything on your skin under occlusion increases penetration," he said. "If you have sensitive skin and apply too much benzoyl peroxide — or any other somewhat strong ingredients — you can get mild irritation, so it's best to let the skin breathe a bit in between applications."
You can find a reliable hydrocolloid bandages at just about any drugstore, but if you want to go the more kosher route, check out some of our favourite acne patches here.