The TikTok Beauty Trend That's Working Wonders For Acne

Just when you think the internet can't get any weirder, a new skincare trend comes along and blows your mind. This time it's using a simple hack to combat acne quickly and effectively, and while it might sound a little odd, apparently it works wonders.

Since a video on TikTok about how you can use hydrocolloid bandages to treat acne went viral, the craze has really taken off. Allure explained that these "clear, jelly stickers help flatten and clear up breakouts in just a couple of hours," so it's no wonder that they've become exceedingly popular with skincare enthusiasts.

What's made these bandages — that are usually reserved for healing minor cuts, blisters, and burns — so popular with acne sufferers is the fact that they act like an acne vacuum. TikTok users are sticking these jelly stickers over their pimples in a bid to beat breakouts and clear skin more quickly.

How do these clear, jelly like bandages work and just how effective are they at banishing breakouts?

What are hydrocolloid bandages and can they help beat breakouts?

If you've seen hydrocolloid bandages all over the internet, you're not alone — but what are they? And how do they work? CR Fashion Book explained that these smart little bandages are designed to aid the healing of cuts, blisters, and burns. Using them to treat pimples is new, but it's a trend that's quickly taken off. Allure explained that these bandages are able to absorb excess fluid, such as oil and pus, which can help to speed up healing time — sounds like a miracle solution, right? 

Dermatologist Shereene Idriss told Glamour that, "Hydrocolloid is a hydrophilic material that attracts water. Traditionally, it's used on open wounds to promote a moist environment and decrease healing time." She shared that when it comes to acne, hydrocolloid bandages assist in lowering the "intensity of a pimple," as the bandage draws out the "inflammatory exudate." Cool. 

Dermatologist Dr. Josh Zeichner explained to CR Fashion Book that, "If you think of acne lesions as wounds in the skin, the hydrocolloids help absorb excess fluid to dry out the pimple and allow the skin to heal. Plus, they form a physical barrier over the pimple to keep your hands off of it." He went on to say that hydrocolloid bandages don't provide the same sort of treatment as other acne solutions — think salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide — but they are a good solution for "red, angry zits." Sounds like the internet might be onto something. 

Hydrocolloid bandages need to be used carefully, according to this expert

Dr. Corey L. Hartman, founder and medical director of Skin Wellness Dermatology, explained to CR Fashion Book that these jelly like stickers can aid healing, but need to be carefully used. Hartman shared that the bandages should be used on areas where you have picked at the skin (we've all been there), or where the surface of the skin is broken. "There's really no benefit of using it over just an inflamed acne bump that still has a plug in it," Hartman said. 

Hartman went on to share that hydrocolloid bandages should be used as a spot treatment of sorts — that they should be intentionally placed on the skin, rather than applied to large areas. In simple terms, don't cover your entire face with bandages. 

Allure reported that TikTok users are sticking these gel-like bandages to their faces where they're seeing breakouts. Over time, the clear, gel-like stickers change from clear to dotted with white specks where "they've sucked the nastiness out of your skin." According to TikTok users, this process takes just a few hours and leaves you with skin that is zit-free. So if you opt to try this acne-reducing method, proceed with care and intention.