5 Acne-Fighting Patches That Will Help Breakouts Vanish Overnight

aimee simeon

For most of our adolescent and adult lives, at-home acne-treatment tactics have been limited to over-the-counter creams and doctor-prescribed topicals. But when you need to phone a friend to zap a pesky pimple and can't make it to a dermatologist to pull out the big guns (hello, cortisone shot), acne patches are the real MVP. The innovation has exploded in the skin-care world, and many brands have successfully been able to put the power of acne-fighting ingredients into teeny stickers that put the kibosh on your breakout.

When left on for a few hours, acne patches vacuum the gunk from a bulging whitehead and soothe redness and irritation from a painful bump. They're great to keep in the back of your skin-care cabinet for when those breakouts decide to set up shop on your face — and the best part? Most of them are made of transparent material, so you can treat your skin while you're at work or grocery shopping and no one will ever know.

To help enhance your emergency acne kit, we rounded up the acne patches Refinery29 staffers swear by, ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Zitsticka Killa Microdart Patches

"I’m one of the lucky ones who gets angry, hateful under-the-skin cysts and not cute, poppable whiteheads, which means most acne patches have the effect of putting clear stickers on my face for no good reason when what I really need is a cortisone shot. These microdart patches aren’t a replacement for a steady-handed dermatologist and a $30 copay, but they do far more to treat underlying mountain ranges than any other patches I’ve tried — or any other topical treatment, for that matter.” — Rachel Krause, senior beauty editor

ZitSticka KILLA KIT, $29, available at ZitSticka

CosRX Pimple Master Patch

"There hasn't been a Sunday that I haven't used one of these acne patches to cover a pimple while going makeup-free for a quick trip to Trader Joe's. Even if they weren't practically invisible (they are), they're far too effective at reducing inflammation to stop using when I go out in public with a gnarly breakout." — Sam Sasso, beauty writer

CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch, $4.76, available at Amazon

Peace Out Acne Dots

"I didn't believe in pimple-patch sorcery until a substantial whitehead popped up on my chin one day. I put it one of these patches on before bed and woke up with my pus-filled bump pressed into the sticker, and totally free from my face. I've used them ever since on different types of flareups, and I've never been disappointed." — Aimee Simeon, beauty writer

Peace Out Acne Healing Dots, $19, available at Sephora

Dr. Jart Focus Spot Blemish Micro Tip Patch

"When massive, painful cysts start forming under my skin, I take pleasure in pricking them before they come to the surface. These patches from Dr. Jart have tiny micro tips that deliver vitamin B3 and hyaluronic to breakouts, so when you peel off your patch, they're virtually gone. If I have any redness or inflammation, it usually subsides after a few hours of parading around with one of these stuck to my face." — Simeon

Dr. Jart+ Focuspot™ Micro Tip Patches, $18, available at Sephora

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Invisible Patch Set

"Why waste precious daylight hours that could be spent banishing a cystic breakout? I've been known to spend the entire day with one of these clear patches on, and they're so unnoticeable that I routinely forget it's sitting right there on my face. Like most hydrocolloid patches, they work by drawing out that white-ish pimple juice and, after a couple hours, work wonders to flatten and calm acne. Better yet, they keep me from picking at my skin and causing a scar." — Karina Hoshikawa, beauty & wellness market writer

Hero Cosmetics Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Invisible Patch Set, $18, available at Anthropologie

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

This Cult-Favorite Moisturizer Made My Oily, Acne-Prone Skin Glow

The Editor-Approved Face Wipes That Get Us Through Long Flights & Lazy Nights

11 Not-So-Cheesy Tattoos To Get With Your Dad