Back in May, I had an awful cystic zit that would NOT go away. I tried every product I had on-hand, and even when it became less red, I could still feel it under my skin. As part of my membership with Curology, I can consult a dermatologist at any time via chat. After asking for her opinion, she recommended something a little bit out of the ordinary: hydrocolloid band aids, aka blister band aids. She said this would help draw out what was under the skin, and while I was skeptical, I tried it. And it worked!
But apparently, this concept isn’t new, and I had actually tried a skin care product in the past that uses the same method to help heal zits. The Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots have been an emergency acne product of mine for a couple years now— something that I turn to as a very last resort when I’ve got painful cystic acne. But, they’re on the expensive side so I wait to purchase them until I really need the help with stubborn acne.
Recently, I discovered a new skincare brand using hydrocolloid technology for their own acne stickers, as well as pore strips: Peace Out Skincare.
Peace Out has their own Acne Healing Dots that come in a box of 20 for $19 or a value size of 40 for $32. To start healing your acne, you just pull the sticker off the sheet, stick it right over your zit, and wear it overnight. When you wake up, you should see considerably less redness and the pimple will look and feel smaller.
Clearly this is a “spot” treatment and not really meant for large broken out areas— use them on isolated, angry pimples to get them under control. While you can definitely use these as an every-day spot treatment, I typically reach for them for extra stubborn ones that are either painful or under the skin, not so much for whiteheads.
Now, you might be thinking… why wouldn’t I just buy blister bandaids if it’s using the same method? The Acne Healing Dots also use salicylic acid to actually eliminate the acne-causing bacteria, as well as Vitamin A and Aloe Vera to nourish your skin. In this regard, it will work faster plus help prevent breakouts later on top of healing the zit you’ve singled out. So in theory, yes, you could just use small cut outs of blister band aids (which is what I did to heal my cyst in March) but this has more skin benefits.
A couple complaints though: unlike the Peter Thomas Roth stickers that have large and small sizes within the pack, these only come in one dot size. Plus, they don’t come with as many stickers— the Peter Thomas Roth pack includes 72 dots for $30. Because these didn’t necessarily work any better, I’ll probably stick to the PTR dots.
The Peace Out Pore Treatment Strips are what really piqued my interest, though. Using the same hydrocolloid method, these strips pull out excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells from your pores and help prevent blackheads. Unlike a traditional pore strip, you wear this for 4-6 hours (I just leave it on overnight) and it liquefies impurities and draws them into the strip.
This means that, no, you don’t get all the little stalagmites sticking out that some people find so satisfying to see. Instead, when you pull off the Peace Out Pore Strip, you get a sort of cloudy and spotty appearance. You can actually see little dots of what the strip trapped in the pattern of your pores, plus larger areas where impurities have been absorbed.
The pore strips come in two shapes: a nose version and a rectangular strip for other areas of the face like your chin or forehead. There are four of each in a pack for $19. The strips also contain Vitamin A, which helps refine skin texture and prevent blackheads, as well as something called DMAE that helps shrink enlarge pores.
After I used one of the Peace Out Pore Treatment Strips, I was pretty hooked. First off, my skin felt super soft right after I peeled it off. I’ll admit, I don’t think my pores looked any smaller after one use, but they absolutely looked clearer. I even gave my skin a bit of a squeeze, expecting a little left over sebum to show through, but there was nothing! Traditional pore strips haven’t really been working for me recently, and I’m always left feeling like I still have so much gunk in my skin. So, these are definitely going to be incorporated into my routine when I feel like I need a deep pore detox.
I feel like the hydrocolloid trend might be taking off and hopefully we’ll start to see some drugstore brands jump on it soon!