How Do Hydrocolloid Bandages and Acne Patches Work?

How Do Hydrocolloid Bandages and Acne Patches Work?

An ugly pimple crops up on your face and you have an interview the next day? You could put a little tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide on it, but the spot treatment of the moment are acne patches. Long gone are the days of trying to dry your pimples out with toothpaste and baking soda (both are irritating and could make scarring worse by increasing inflammation).

How Do Hydrocolloid Bandages and Acne Patches Work?

There are a few advantages to using acne patches:

  • They protect your pimple from rubbing and touching (whether you’re doing it subconsciously or just rubbing your face on your pillow at night), which can lead to infection and scarring
  • They can create a moist environment for faster and better healing
  • They can deliver active ingredients to your pimple and the bandage can make them penetrate more effectively
  • They can absorb fluid from your pimple
  • They can protect your pimple from UV light, which can decrease pigmentation
  • They’re usually waterproof, so you don’t need to reapply them every time you wash your face

There are two types of acne patches: hydrocolloid bandages and treatment patches.

Hydrocolloid Bandages

Hydrocolloid bandages are flexible bandages made of a water-attracting material attached to a thin plastic film. The bandage is stuck to an open wound with the water-attracting film facing downwards. Hydrocolloids were originally designed to be used for ulcers, but they’ve become more popular for acne, particularly in Asia.

The tough, outer plastic film is usually polyurethane and keeps everything in place, as well as preventing the water from evaporating and drying out the wound, so the wound heals faster and the new skin that forms is supple rather than tight and stiff. It also protects the wound against rubbing and scratching.

The water-attracting material is usually made of carboxymethyl cellulose, gelatin and/or pectin, which have lots of water-binding groups in their chemical structure. ThisĀ sucks fluid out of the wound. As fluid enters the bandage, it goes from transparent to white and swells up, which means you get a very satisfying white spot:

How Do Hydrocolloid Bandages and Acne Patches Work?

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Korean Gray-Brown Brow Pencil Comparison

Asian-brow-pencils

I have undyed East Asian hair, so it’s hard to find a good brow product in stores in Australia. Luckily the Asian beauty market has it covered with tons of grey-brown options! I couldn’t find many comparison swatches online so I ended up buying a whole stack of “Gray Brown” pencils from a range of Korean brands (The Face Shop, Missha, A’pieu, Skinfood, Tonymoly, Lioele) from RoseRoseShop, and swatched them to show the difference. I hope this helps someone with the same dilemma!

Asian-brow-pencils

Here are the “Gray Brown” products I swatched:

A’pieu Nature Easy Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
Tonymoly Lovely Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
Skinfood Black Bean Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Gray Brown
The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Dark Gray
Lioele Auto Eyebrow in Gray Black
Missha The Style Perfect Eyebrow Styler in Gray Brown
A’pieu Harutatoo Brow in Dark Brown

Asian-brow-pencil-comparison-grey-brown

Since my hair is undyed, the roots of my hair and brows are naturally grey-tinged. Pretty much all of the affordable brown brow pencils designed for brunettes in Australia pull too red, while black pencils are too dark, so they both look pretty unnatural. There are a few OK products on the market, but they’re few and far between, so I’ve been using The Face Shop ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Gray Brown as my everyday brow pencil, while my sister uses the same pencil in Dark Gray. The shades are very similar, though Gray Brown has a subtle brown tone.

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