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Zitsticka is now pretty easy to get your hands on here in the UK at some of my favourite places, like Beauty Bay, Feel Unique Cult Beauty and now even Boots, alongside a UK ecommerce site. However, does this pimple patch technology actually work...?
Pimple patches aren't anything new but Zitsticka brought something different to the party with their micro-darts. There's not a ton of information on their efficacy, but I see how the brand arrived at this concept. We know microneedling can be great for acne and scarring, and these micro-darts are designed to mimic the idea of increasing the penetration of ingredients into the skin, therefore increasing their efficacy and how quickly you see results. However, they're safe to use at home and don't hurt because of how tiny the darts are and the fact that they're not metal or anything, they just dissolve within 2 hours. These aren't cheap for the amount of stickers you get in the packs, so for me: they're for special spots. If you have acne all over, I think there are better alternatives, but if you tend to get isolated occasional or hormonal breakouts then they're a great option for speeding things along when you've got a blinder!
First up, let's talk about the Goo Getter* | £18 (36 patches). These are the cheapest products in the range because they're the simplest and don't feature the micro-dart technology. They're basic, but these work for me; these are hydrocolloid patches, so can have some wound-healing properties, as well as keeping the area clean and stopping you picking at the spot or accidentally catching it on anything. These are a little better than your average hydrocolloid patches though, as you're also getting topical tea tree (for its antiseptic properties, to fight the bacteria), salicylic acid (a pore-penetrating exfoliating acid), Vitamin C (to target any potential red marks left behind in the healing process) and niacinamide (to calm the area and regular oil production). The patch ensures the products stay on the skin but you're not getting the micro-darts. Zitsticka specifically recommend this for late-stage breakouts and I definitely find they reduce inflammation and they stay on my face really well, so I like using them overnight. They're not as revolutionary as some of the other products we'll get onto, but I think these are pretty good!
Next, let's talk about the Killa Kit* | £27 (8 x 2). This is a two-step system so you start with the Cleana Swap, which is a wipe soaked in salicylic acid, tea tree, alcohol and Vitamin E (a nourishing replenisher to counterbalance some of the other ingredients) that cleans and treats the area. Next, you apply the sticker for a minimum of 2 hours. This contains hyaluronic acid (which I think is what the darts are made from), salicylic, niacinamide and also a peptide, which is quite interesting as they're mainly associated with plumping and hydrating, not particularly with acne-healing. Zitsticka recommends this for early-stage spots and I can agree with that; they're what I reach for when a new spot has bloomed... I actually find these work really well! It's not an instantaneous effect, like you peel of the patch and there's nothing there, however within 24 hours I do notice that the head (if it has one) has shrunk and overall redness and inflammation from the spot is reduced. It's not something I'm going to use on every single spot I ever get but they work really effectively for single large spots, particularly the sorts of whiteheads I'm prone to. I honestly think you could just buy these and use them for special occasions when you just need a spot gone quickly! See them in action here.
Let's talk about the Press Refresh* | £30 (5 masks). These are hydrogel masks so feel nice and cooling on the skin, though I can't see on the website if they're biodegradable / compostable or not, which is my usually iffiness when it comes to sheet masks. Apparently it uses graphene technology (this is trademarked and I can't find much verification of these claims so I'd take them with a pinch of salt) to apparently increase delivery of ingredients into the skin. I don't know about that, but these masks are formulated with a blend of acids to exfoliate every level of the skin: salicylic (a BHA) gets deep into the pores because it's oil-soluble, glycolic and lactic brighten, resurface and smooth the upper layers of the skin and you also have your niacinamide, alongside soothers and hydrators like hyaluronic and allantoin. A sheet mask is effectively a serum, so pop it on after cleansing for a maximum of 20 minutes, then remove the mask, massage in the excess and go in with your moisturiser. These helped smooth my skin and helped a little with some smaller blemishes, but for me, these aren't something I'll be replacing as I just don't feel like I need this in a sheet mask. These aren't cheap and I reach for sheet masks to lock in hydration, not really to exfoliate, and I actually got a bit of this in my eye as I was trying to get in off one time, which actually hurt! For me it's more affordable and I get better, more long-term results using a toner or a serum.
Lastly, let's discuss what was actually the first product I tried from Zitsticka: the Hyperfade* | £29. These use the micro-dart technology and are designed to be used on blemish scarring and I've found that what works for me is using them on spots that have totally healed but aren't months old. If you have scars that have been knocking around for a long time then I think you're better using all-over-face actives to treat that. These are for large single spots that have healed but are still relatively new, for me at least! These have the micro-darts and the ingredient list reads like my top picks to treat uneven pigmentation in the skin! There's niacinamide (alongside all the other benefits I've already mentioned, this can actually be used to treat hyperpigmentation too), arbutin (kind of like a precursor to hydroquinone, a proven treatment for dark patches, but this is much safer for the skin), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is amazing for treating these areas of pigmentation too, licorice extract is in there too, which is a nice, gentle skin-brightener and kojic acid stops that excess pigment forming after skin injury. We also have hyaluronic acid and TXA, which is a apparently a gentle acid, though it's not one I believe I've used before. I think these and the Killa patches are my standouts, as these really have helped fade stubborn patches of pigmentation in my skin. For me, a spot can clear up in a few days without intervention but stopping the discolouration in its tracks is kind of a game-changer, as these have saved me from weeks and sometimes even months of dealing with scarring. I absolutely love Hyperfade, though can appreciate that if you have lots of areas you want to treat, you'll be best-served by an all-over topical.
Overall, this brand worked extremely well for me - Kill and Hyperfade are my standouts. They're not necessarily what I recommend for more cystic acne or even breakouts in numerous locations, but if you have similar breakouts to me then I'd definitely check these out.
Have you tried Zitsticka? Did they work for you?
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