But! There's one substantial flaw with the patches: They only work on true, end-stage whiteheads. And so a new brand—adorably called ZitSticka—has just launched today in an effort to change the way people deal with their acne woes. "The problem with hydrocolloids [AKA your typical acne patches] is that they're for a very distinct stage of the zit cycle—when it's right at the head and needs to come out," says Daniel Kaplan, the brand's co-founder and product development lead. "The problem with that is that you've already gone through the entire zit's lifecycle. So we wanted a patch that's impregnated with the right ingredients to get in there and fight the zit before it becomes a problem."
As in... Zitsticka's answering everyone's acne resolution dreams, and you can get a pack of them online for $29. The magic comes from the unique design of the patch—not only does it utilize different ingredients than your everyday hydrocolloid pimple patch, but it's one of the first companies to use advanced "microdart" nanotechnology to effectively penetrate and dissolve pimples in a supposedly record amount of time. "Unlike hydrocolloid bandages that draw out fluids in existing pimples, ZitSticka gets to the root of the cause by using microdarts to penetrate your skin's surface with microdarts that deliver ingredients to the source where the infection began—so they work to banish pimples even before they come to a head," says Kaplan. Which is why the brand dubs itself as a "cortisone shot in your pocket."
"They work to banish pimples even before they come to a head." —Daniel Kaplan
The so-called microdarts are a lot like a mini, dissolvable microneedle. When you put them on, you can feel the 24 self-dissolving tiny pricks going into your skin to do their job. The cool thing is that each microdart is filled with nourishing—rather than drying—ingredients, including hyaluronic acid (which acts as not only a hydrator but as a delivery system for the other ingredients), niacinamide (which reduces inflammation and congestion), salicylic acid (which exfoliates), and oligopeptide-76, which Kaplan says "is a little-known but heavy-hitting peptide that kills acne-causing bacteria."
And you only have to keep ZitSticka on for two hours, during which it penetrates the zit's epicentre. My colleague and fellow beauty editor Zoë Weiner has been using them regularly, and swears they work wonders. "The first time I used it, it reduced the redness and inflammation on my deep, cystic chin zit in two hours flat," she raves to me. "It wasn't totally gone, but it was barely noticeable, and then gone the next morning."
The brand's messaging is trying to change the conversation about acne, too, just as it's switching up everyone's way of treating it topically. "ZitSticka aims to create space for conversation and community, where people can share their experiences with skin-care issues, get answers, and connect with people just like them," says Kaplan, of his brand whose purpose is to work as your "exzit strategy." "Acne has traditionally been a taboo topic, when it's something that affects the majority of the population—we want to bring transparency and a sense of modern normalcy so people become more comfortable in their own skin."
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