Can you really wear acne patches under makeup? We test six types to find out the best!

Acne patches have completely changed the way we treat our pimples. Since Liz first raved about how a colloidal bandage gently but effectively healed her pimple without scarring, we’ve since discovered other brands that offered that stick-on treatment

More than just serving as overnight relief, it’s now common to wear acne patches even during the day. We now have patch options that are thin and almost invisible, with some claiming to even be wearable under makeup! If you feel self-conscious about an angry red bump, covering it with an acne patch before applying a face base allows it to heal better compared to direct contact with makeup. But will it actually work? 

I tried out 6 variants to see if we can actually disguise these little stickers and get them to blend in with the rest of my face. Do note that I didn’t test for which patch is “most effective” since these patches don’t all work the same way. Some are made of a regular film and coated with acne fighting ingredients, while others are hydrocolloid bandages that are designed to absorb pus or sebum while promoting skin healing.

For uniformity, I used the Revlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation (P675 from SM Beauty) as my face base for all the tests. This is a creamy yet lightweight foundation that has medium coverage with satin skin-like finish. I applied the foundation all over my face and used micellar water to clean a small area before applying the pimple patch. I used the same foundation to try to cover up the patch and see if it would blend in with the rest of my makeup. Did it work? Check out the photos below and see if you can spot the pimple patch!

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Mediheal A-Zero Shot Skin Dressing Patch 80s (P299 for 80 patches, from Watsons)

Of the patches I tested for this story, this proved to be the thinnest. The material is matte, and formulated with salicylic acid and tea tree oil to help the pimple heal and reduce the inflammation. It isn’t described as a hydrocolloid patch, so do not expect it to suck pus out. It comes out pretty cheap at just P3.7 per patch.

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Worn by itself, the patch is almost undetectable and only becomes visible when at certain angles when the patch is able to bounce some light. It actually becomes slightly more visible with foundation on because of the makeup that collects at the edges of the patch.

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VitaCare Acne Patch for Day and Night (P275 for 24 patches, from SM Beauty)

In direct contrast to Mediheal, the VitaCare patch proved to be the thickest of the patches I tried. It’s also a bit bigger than the other daytime acne patches, and has a stark yellow tinge that makes it very noticeable whether with or without makeup.

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Because of the thicker material, the applied makeup pools on its edges, creating a weird circle of cakey foundation. It was also surprisingly expensive at about P11.40 per patch!

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Luxe Organix Hydrocolloid Acne Spot Patch (P199 for 48 patches, from Watsons)

This is another super thin patch that is surprisingly infused with sodium hyaluronate, tea tree oil, and salicylic acid. The material is about as thin as the Mediheal one, but I find that the edges of this patch crumple easier, making it difficult to peel off and apply smoothly. Any wrinkles makes the patch look more obvious because it creates a raised, uneven skin surface.

If applied correctly and the patch remains completely flat, it’s not at all obvious when worn whether with or without makeup. Even the pricing is quite close to Mediheal’s, at P4.10 per patch.

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Happy Skin Beauty Invisible Patch (P175 for 15 patches, from Happy Skin)

This unique design has a thicker inner circle and a thinner outer circle, which helps the patch blend better with the skin without sacrificing absorption capacity. I didn’t intend to test this feature but I was just so amazed that it managed to suck out some pus in the less than 30 minutes that I had it on!

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It seems like a very powerful hydrocolloid at P11.6 per patch, and I like that it’s infused with Cica to further help with healing and prevention of acne scarring. Unfortunately, it didn’t wear well under makeup as my foundation managed to get inside the patch as I was trying to blend the edges. This is best used alone.

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CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch (P200 for 24 patches, from Watsons)

CosRX is probably the most well-known brand of hydrocolloid patches in the Philippines and the originator of the pimple patch trend. Unlike all other hydrocolloids in this list, this is a pure hydrocolloid bandage with no medication added. It also comes in different sizes, which is useful for making wear look more discreet. It comes out to P8.30 per patch

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The material a bit thick and has a shiny finish, which makes it pretty obvious when worn without makeup. Applying matte concealer or foundation can take away the shine, but the thickness of the patch makes this still very visible under makeup. I would prefer to use this at night instead. 

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CosRX Clear Fit Master Patch (P200 for 16 patches, from Watsons)

Designed to be the “day version” of its predecessor, this is made of a thinner material but has a dual layer patch design like Happy Skin’s. It is also a pure hydrocolloid patch priced at P12.50 each, with no added treatments, so its main purpose is to cover the pimple, prevent irritation, and drain the pus. Just like the other CosRX patch, it’s also shinier than the other patches I tried, so it looks obvious both with and without makeup. 

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If wearability under makeup is one of your concerns about choosing an acne patch to buy, I would definitely recommend Mediheal’s A-Zero Shot Skin Dressing Patch! It’s so flat and so unnoticeable, the other PV girls had to look really closely to find where I had placed it on my face! It’s amazing that there are patches this thin, and it contains treatments as well, so I’m looking forward to using this the next time I have an active pimple. 

Do you use acne patches during the daytime? Do you try to cover them with makeup? Which patches work best for you?

Photography by Nicole Quindara