All I Want This Holiday Season Is a Lifetime Supply of These Pimple Patches

With more than 20 microdarts that go beneath the skin to deliver acne-fighting ingredients, ZitSticka's Killa is no match for even the most stubborn of cysts.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Zitsticka_Killa_Pimple_Patch
Photo: Zitsticka

Like so many of my fellow Lizzie McGuire-watching millennials, I once prided myself on an impressive collection of butterfly clips, donned Juicy velour sweatsuits, and considered teen magazines to be the veritable bible. Which is exactly why and how I ended up believing that acne magically disappears once you hit "adulthood" (and that I'd find my very own Ethan Craft on summer vacation).

Spoiler alert: I did not, in fact, meet the love of my life on some sun-drenched beach and I definitely did not stop breaking out once I hit the fresh age of 20. Sure, thanks to a combination of boosted skincare acumen, lineup of powerhouse products, and (mostly) diminished picking habit, my skin has definitely improved since adolescence. But I still battle my fair share of blemishes, most notably hormonal, cystic pimples that pop up with PMS. (Related: Why You're Breaking Out, According to a Derm)

The minute Aunt Flow comes a-knocking, so does at least one of these nagging nodules, which hide below my skin's surface until they seemingly decide it's time to pack up camp and disappear. If I resist the urge to hack at them (which I should), I instead turn to smothering the painful pimples in a prescribed topical treatment that oftentimes speeds up the de-swelling process but only after making the area dry and red.

I'd pretty much accepted this cringe-worthy cycle as my fate. But then (!!) pimple patch ads started flooding my Instagram feed. And soon enough, I found myself purchasing some needle-y stickers designed to squash cysts — ZitSticka Killa Kit (Buy It, $29, amazon.com) — and squash cysts they very much do. (And if you've ever dealt with cystic acne, you know that effectively conquering the under-the-skin situations can feel damn well close to impossible.)

Side_By_Side_Photos_Of_Editor_Using_ZitSticka
Elizabeth Bacharach

Each Killa patch is packed with teeny, tiny microdarts that, upon application, dissolve into the skin, swarming the stubborn cyst with targeted ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, salicylic acid, and oligopeptide-76. Together, this cocktail kills bacteria, breaks down the pimple, hydrates, and calms inflammation — everything you need for a successful cyst-busting scenario. So why can't any old pimple patch do this themselves? It all goes back to the microdarts: Those spiky bad boys go beneath the skin's surface, delivering the ingredients directly to the heart of the zit itself. And this is particularly beneficial when you have cysts, because unlike, say, whiteheads or sebaceous filaments, these painful pimples are planted deep under your epidermis (aka the top three layers of your skin), and don't always benefit from topical spot treatments.

Now, it's not all about how well ZitSticka's Killa works but also when it works that makes it such a standout pimple patch. Most hydrocolloid stickers stocking shelves are supposed to be used once your pimple is ready to pop; the Killa, on the other hand, is designed for early-stage zits. Meaning, the minute you feel a burgeoning blemish — and trust me, if you're dealing with cystic acne, you will feel it — you should clean the area and slap on one of these stickers. Fast forward at least two hours (I tend to leave it on overnight) and violá, you've steered clear of (in the brand's words) "the upcoming drama before it gets real." No swelling, no aching, no cyst — no joke. (Although, I'll be honest: no matter how many times I've used one of these magical dots I'm still left in disbelief by the results.)

Where there's a pro (or two...or three...), there's sure to be a con — and the ZitSticka Killa is no exception. The one negative for me? The price. One kit, which includes eight Killa patches and eight Cleana swabs (which contain salicylic acid, tea tree oil, vitamin E, and alcohol to disinfect the area prior to applying the patch), will set you back nearly $30. I know, I know, it's a lot for a set of little dots to stick on your face. But the Killas are worth every single cent, trust... although, mom, if you're reading this, I'd love some more for Hanukkah. (Related: What to Get the Skin-Care Junkie In Your Life This Holiday Season)

Zitsticka_Killa_Pimple_Patch
Zitsticka

Buy It: Zitsticka Killa Kit, $29, amazon.com, nordstrom.com, ulta.com

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles