I woke up two days before my dream wedding with the skin of my nightmares. I didn't consider myself a "stressed-out" bride, but my face told a different story on the morning my fiancé and I made the drive from San Francisco to San Diego, CA. A long distance away from the safety of my dermatologist's office, I tried to ignore the cystic bumps growing under my skin. This was easier said than done, however, since the zits were conveniently located in the middle of my forehead and chin. Thankfully, a teeny-tiny product brought me peace of mind, and it cost less than $20.
I tried over-the-counter creams and treatments on my spots, to no avail. I woke up in the middle of the night, unsure of what to do about the growing blemishes. Would my day be ruined by a few unflattering bumps? Absolutely not. I knew the opportunity to marry the man I love and celebrating with family and friends would take precedent. Did I want to reduce the size of my zits for wedding photos? Hell freakin' yes. At around 3 a.m., I hopped onto Sephora's website and stumbled upon a product with over 1,000 reviews and four stars: the Peace Out Acne Healing Dots ($19).
I fell under the zit-zapping dots' spell as soon as I read the product description. Dermatologist Papri Sarkar, MD, is also a fan. "Pimple patches are essentially flesh-colored hydrocolloid bandages that are cut in the shape of circles so they cover pimples," Sarkar said. "Hydrocolloid is often used in wound healing because it draws moisture out of wounds and can stick to both dry and wet sites . . . It's great because it draws out the contents and, sometimes more importantly, keeps the patient from picking at it."
After buying the patches, I had about 24 hours until I needed to wear a full face of wedding makeup. I stuck a few of the dots to my most noticeable spots and crossed my fingers. I changed out the bandages every few hours and, excuse the grossness, noticed they were extracting gunk from the inside out. For best results, Sarkar advised to "very gently prick the pimple with a clean pin once, then apply the patch on top." I didn't mind wearing the dots, since they actually kept my inflamed spots close to flesh toned for me. When they did come off, I noticed the zits had reduced in size and were significantly less red. They didn't fade completely by the time I said "I do," but they were so much smaller, I barely gave them a second thought.
I consider myself lucky, since my skin has been relatively low-maintenance for most of my life. Aside from some pesky hormonal acne, I've been able to skate by relatively unscathed from the skin issues I know many others face. These tiny bandages may not work the same for everyone, but they saved me in a pinch. Now, when I get photos back from our photographer, I'll think of nothing but lovely wedding memories and skin-soothing dots.