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Beauty buffs can’t resist a drugstore acne hack.
So when TikTok users began throwing bandages over their acne — and miraculously clearing their skin — the trend took off on the video-sharing platform.
The tag “hydrocolloid,” referring to a type of bandage product that’s ordinarily used to heal blisters and other wounds, has over 20.4 million views on TikTok and features countless videos from acne-riddled users showing their skin before and after treatment.
“If you have acne with white pus and want it gone overnight, this is my best-kept secret. It’s only $3 at Walmart and it will last you the entire month — even more,” @shannon.bruno, a skin and beauty enthusiast on the platform, told her 58,000 followers in a video posted earlier this year. Her life hack has earned 1.1 million likes on the platform since then. “About five years ago, I was searching online for alternatives for expensive acne patches and one day I came across an blog that said these work perfectly. So I tried it out and it worked.”
Since then, other users are singing their praises for similar products.
“I’m not gonna lie, even though it’s really red, it got really smooth,” said @rotel_ella in a multipart series comparing Band-Aid Hydro Seal bandages ($4 and up) with a premium acne product, Mighty Patch ($12 and up).
“It does, in fact, pull out the gunk,” she concluded as she held the pus-filled bandage up to the camera. Her before-and-after videos using Band-Aid’s cheaper alternative have raked in over 3 million likes.
Dr. Julie Russak, an Upper East Side dermatologist, told The Post these TikTokers are onto something skin doctors have been using for “many, many years.”
‘It really brings inflammation down and allows the skin to heal underneath.’
Dr. Julie Russak
“What it does for acne,” Russak said, “is it really brings inflammation down and allows the skin to heal underneath.
“The patches that we’ve had in the past — with salicylic acid and retinoid and benzoyl peroxide — they help, but they also over-dry the skin on the surface, and then the skin becomes actually more inflamed. It peels.”
“With colloidal dressings,” she continued, “you actually avoid that. You really just calm the skin down, and the skin just heals from the inside out.” They’re also “skin-neutral,” she said, meaning there are no substances on the dressing that would irritate or trigger the skin.
However, timing is key to gaining all the benefits of hydrocolloid dressing and reducing potential irritation, as some vloggers reported.
“I recommend leaving it almost for 48 hours, or even longer,” said Russak. That’s because the bandages need time on acne, blisters or wounds to form “this kind of white, goopish soup” — a mixture of gelatin, pectin, cellulose and other polymers — which is how you know the skin is healing. After two days or so, “it comes off very easily.”
The best part about this clinically tested life hack is that it works regardless of the brand. While some brands claim to be specifically designed for cystic acne and blemishes, Russak said, “When you actually look at the ingredients or description, it’s exactly the same.”
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