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Ladies, ever had a massive zit? One with a big ghastly white head surrounded by redness? One that your friends say is not a big deal, but when you look in the mirror, all you can think is aaarghhhhhh!!!! and resist the temptation to take your fingers to it for fear of scarring?

Let me tell you that we three at belle demoiselle have. Many, many, many times over. Cue sad face. We also know that there are a host of creams, gels, sprays, spot-reducing pens/pencils/tubes/sticks, you name it, marketed at rapidly killing these frustrating pustular formations. And between the three of us, we have tried many. And they span the gamut – some smell funny, some give off residue, some sting like a bleepity-bleep, some just plain aren’t strong enough to battle serious pimples, but some actually really work!

One of my personal favourites of the ones that work, however, is not your typical topical solution. It comes in tiny stick-on patches. I’m sure many of you have seen it: the Nexcare Acne Patches by 3M. 

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So here is how you’re supposed to use these tiny patches of awesomeness:

.Cleanse your face well especially the problem areas with acne. Gently pat the skin dry with a clean towel.

Remove 3M Nexcare™ Acne Patch from the box and peel open the plastic pouch. Select a suitable sized patch which is able to cover the acne and place it centred on the acne opening. Ensure the skin is dry when the acne patch is used. Gently press the edge of the patch with clean and dry fingers for better adhesion. Once the colour changes from skin colour to white, it means that the oily secretion has been absorbed. The acne patch should be replaced with a new one.

Alright, you may say – this sounds awfully simplistic. But how does this product really work?

These small, round Nexcare patches are made from 3M Tegasorb, a type of hydrocollodical material which is waterproof and absorbs oily secretion, pus and other fluids from the pimple and surrounding area, thereby preventing contamination, infection, and reducing inflammation.

In case you weren’t sure what hydrocolloidal material is, it’s the breathable, lightweight, skin-adherent stuff that is often applied on wounds to keep it clean, dry, and help speed up the natural healing process 🙂 When the material comes into contact with the fluids and other fun gunk that wounds secrete, it absorbs it and swells up, forming a gel-like substance that holds within the structure of the material itself; this is what happens when the patch goes from translucent to white). (Isn’t science cool!) For all its amazing properties, hydrocolloidal materials are used in the treatment of myriad of skin conditions including eczema, pressure ulcers, boils, and certain rashes. (Again, isn’t science cool! I’ll stop now before I get overexcited.)

For all this science, however, does it work? The answer, for me at least, is a resounding yes.

I put these patches on big zits after a hot or warm shower, and leave them on overnight. In the morning, the patches have sucked out all the zit gunk from underneath the skin and turned white. I take the patch off, and a once-angry zit is much calmer and more soothed, with a significant reduction in redness. A regular zit goes away pretty much overnight with these patches, but I find for the really furious ones (e.g. the ones that span two or more pores, ergh!), it takes two nights to fully diminish the volcanic properties.

These patches come extremely highly recommended 🙂 They come in multiple sizes and shapes (smaller patches for women, larger patches for men, and some in funky shapes for those who feel that star-shaped zit patches could be interesting). You can find them in either 18-patch or 36-patch packs at pretty much any local pharmacy in Singapore or Malaysia. Prices may vary from store to store, but generally they are pretty affordable (maximum SGD 12.00 for the 36-patch packs).

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