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The thinnest, most subtle acne patches to sport under makeup: Cosrx, Zitsticka, Oxy…

The thinnest, most subtle acne patches to sport under makeup: Cosrx, Zitsticka, Oxy…

Stick with it

Text: Emily Heng


Image: Instagram | @zitsticka

In the words of one very-wise, vastly percipient Cyndi Lauper: Girls just want to have fun. Except, of course, our fun is constantly being disrupted by period woes; misogyny; and just about every gender-specfic ailment out there. Yay, us! In my case, it is a hormonal breakout that has been exacerbated by sustained mask-wearing. You could say that I've been coping the best way I know how —  with abundant applications of salicylic acid gel as well as a healthy degree of feigned ignorance (What pimple?).The fifth day of said zit infestation, however, proved too much to bear. I cracked and splashed out on a whole bunch of acne patches.

As everyone frantically attempted to enjoy their short-lived respite from 2-pax dining, I plastered my mien in hydrocolloid bandages... and went about doing the same. Yeah, betcha didn't see that one coming. Funnily enough, these bad boys were subtle enough that my sticker-adorned face received nary a comment throughout my series of 5-pax dinners. In fact, some had even blended so well under my (light) coat of makeup, I fooled myself into thinking they had dissipated. Masters of camouflage, indeed. Without further ado, I present a definitive ranking of said patches, below.

#1. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch

Thinness: 8/10

Effectiveness: 9/10

Not to bring sports terminology into this, but Cosrx's acne stickers are highly deserving of its MVP title. Each sheet comes with 26 patches in three varying sizes; highly-adhesive bandages that seamlessly stick onto skin throughout the night. Two days of use saw a flattening of my monster zit, where it didn't appear as red or raised as before. It made itself completely scarce by day three, replaced by smooth, scar-free skin reminiscent of an Instagram filter. My only gripe is its limited availability, where it can only be found in select Watsons outlets. I recommend you drop by the Bugis branch, or any other outlet within the vicinity of town.



#2. ZitSticka Killa Pimple Patch

Thinness: 3/10

Effectiveness: 10/10

Cystic acne quails before this baby. That is, a micro-dart containing sticker which dissolves after imbuing your pimple with a series of targeted ingredients; a miracle-worker that floods nasty zits with a potent mix of niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and oligopeptides. The inclusion of small, raised needles on the inside of the sticker means that it is a tad thicker than most conventional options — but it's a fair tradeoff, I suppose, for accelerated efficiency. Another (tiny!) point of annoyance is that it can't be purchased via Watsons or Guardian, but rather, through online shopping platforms in the vein of Lazada and Shopee. Pro tip: Be sure to skim through the reviews to ensure you're getting the real thing before hitting add to cart.



#3. Oxy Acne Patch (Sterile)

Thinness: 8/10

Effectiveness: 7.5/10

I was pleasantly surprised by this wallet-friendly option. A single box contains 35 patches that can be peeled off with a provided tweezer tool — an added convenience for anyone who prefers not to have their fingers come in contact with their face. This thoughtful gesture is slightly belied by the fact that it only comes in one size, but it is something that can be resolved by simply layering one sticker over the other. Overall, I found that it worked nicely, whereupon it calmed my inflamed complexion and banished my zits within several days. You can find it at virtually any drugstore, so it remains my ideal pick for anyone looking to acquire a speedy fix.



#4. Patchology Breakout Box 3-in-1 Acne Kit

Thinness: 7/10

Effectiveness: 6/10

For those who'd like to go the whole hog and, uh, eviscerate all forms of impurities off your mien, try this Patchology kit for size. It comes equipped with 3 nose strips; 24 salicylic acid dots; and 24 hydrocolloid dots designed to remove both zits and whiteheads. The potency of each sticker is nothing to sneeze at, though I did find that sporting it for long hours caused some stinging and itchiness. It was, unfortunately, the least effective of the lot for me — though I do suspect it might have to do with the reduced amount of time I had it plastered on my mien. At any rate, it has received rave reviews from countless others, so it might work better for you.