Hydrocolloid is the secret behind Subi’s Perfect Pimple Patches.

Patch the pimple, say goodbye to the gunk.  Great result, but how?

If you’re curious about how our Perfect Pimple Patch works, today we’re exploring  the science behind its key ingredient.

So what is hydrocolloid and why do we love it?

Spot Treatment – A Brief History

Remember when you got your first pimple?

Chances are you doused it with “tried and tested” ingredients like baking soda, tea tree oil, even benzoyl peroxide for the tough stuff.

Did they work?  Sometimes.  But the issue is how they work and the long term effect this has on your skin.

The one thing these old-school acne treatments have in common is that they work by drying out pimples. This can be a disaster for sensitive and dry skin types. Even for normal skin types, it can tricky to isolate the pimple from the rest of your skin. In many cases, using these ingredients leads to irritation, inflammation and a potential to make acne scarring worse.

Is there a way to banish pimples without drying and risk of scarring?  Enter hydrocolloid.

What is Hydrocolloid?

A wound dressing.

It began in hospitals, but we’ve adapted it for a skincare solution.

First used by the medical community in the 1970s, hydrocolloid combines gelling agents like gelatin and pectin with adhesives to form a dressing. This applied to open wounds to treat them by suspending any liquid from the wound on the hydrocolloid. More recently, vegan-friendly gelling agents like cellulose gum have been successfully used in hydrocolloid.

This is the kind of material you’ll find in Subi’s Perfect Pimple Patches.

How does Hydrocolloid work?

The medical community agrees that wounds heal best under wet conditions. The main benefit of hydrocolloid is that it creates a moistened environment to heal wounds.

The gelling agent used in hydrocolloid is water binding, meaning it draws fluids to it.  Therefore, hydrocolloid draws fluid out of wounds (like, for example, the pus out of pimples).  The result is a white spot, which develops when you leave a pimple patch on for long enough.

Typically, hydrocolloid is combined with a protective polyurethane barrier that both protects wounds and prevents them from drying out.

When to use Hydrocolloid on Pimples

Hydrocolloid works best on pimples with exposed heads. By this, we mean whiteheads, or pimples with pus in them that are close to the surface of the skin. For other pimples, hydrocolloid can also be used as a protective barrier (to prevent you from picking at the spot, increasing the risk of scarring). Hydrocolloid can also be used on deeper spots to help prevent the spread of infection.

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