Mentholatum Acnes Medicated Anti-Bacteria Spot Dressing (Bonus Pack) Review

The YS Beauty Lab

When my friend first recommended acne patches to me 3 or 4 years ago, I was still using tea tree oil to treat acne and was reluctant to switch. But now, with so many brands offering acne patches, the idea that it might actually work has finally sunk into my mind. Though Nexcare was the first to launch acne patches, I first used COSRX’s. The packet lasted for about a month and I’m now switching to Mentholatum’s Acnes Medicated Anti-Bacteria Spot Dressing (Bonus Pack) for a change.

The patches from Mentholatum consist of two different sizes: 1.2cm radius (12 patches) and 0.8cm radius (24 patches). The package also includes a pair of tweezers. Like those from the other brands, the patches are made from hydrocolloid to draw sebum and fluid from the infected pores, and are covered by a breathable but water- and sweat-proof coating similar to that of a first-aid plaster for disinfection.

Among the three major acne patch brands (Nexcare, COSRX, Mentholatum), Mentholatum is the only one that discloses the patches’ thickness, which is only 0.03cm. Despite being thin and transparent, the patches are still obviously visible, especially after the hydrocolloid has turned white. I normally use them overnight, but I think it’s still acceptable go out wearing it or wear makeup on top of it.

This is how you use it:

1. After cleansing and drying your face, refrain from applying toner and cover your acne with the patches.
2. Choose a patch that’s big enough to fully cover the entire bulging or reddish area. Press gently with your fingertips.
3. Continue with toner and the rest of your skin care routine.
4. Replace the patch after 12 hours or when it has turned entirely white.

It may take around 1 to 3 patches for a pimple to heal completely. I normally use just one but in my experience it takes longer to heal.

Before application

Right after application

Four hours after application

The next morning

The next morning

I find acne patches to be amazing because they’re suitable even for very sensitive skin. They even work on headless pimples. You can control how long you want to wear them, and there’s no follow-up process whatsoever. They’re solid and compact so you can bring them when you travel. Best of all, they greatly reduce the chance of scarring because there’s no chance of scratching the pimples!

My spots usually need more than a week to heal, but with the help of the patches, healing now only takes 3 days. They’re the best solution to last-minute emergencies like when you’re going on a date or will be taking photos the next day. Simply apply the patches overnight and your acne will become less obvious, if not healed. I just can’t live without these patches now!

The only drawback is they’re merely troubleshooters. Sometimes a pimple will pop up next to the one that just healed. In the end, you’ll still need things like salicylic acid or tea tree oil plus a proper skin care routine to improve the overall condition of your skin.

So which brand is better? Below is a brief factual comparison. I used the discount prices on YesStyle as of January 18, 2017 so these are for reference only:

Mentholatum Nexcare Nexcare (Thin) COSRX
  • Thickness
  • 0.03cm
  • ?
  • 40% less than the original
  • ?
  • No. of patches
  • 1.2cm x 12
  • 0.8cm x 24
  • 1.2cm x 12
  • 0.8cm x 24
  • 1.2cm x 12
  • 0.8cm x 24
  • 1.2cm x 9
  • 1cm x 5
  • 0.7cm x 10
  • Price
  • US$ 5.78
  • US$ 7.28
  • US$ 8.21
  • US$ 4.75
  • Price per patch
  • US$ 0.1606
  • US$ 0.2022
  • US$ 0.2281
  • US$ 0.19
  • Tweezers
  • Included
  • Not included
  • Not included
  • Not included

I only tried Mentholatum and COSRX so I can only compare the two. Both patch brands are thin and transparent, though Mentholatum’s are less stretchy and tend to show more creases when tugged. Both are also effective on my dry, sensitive skin. The size difference really doesn’t bother me, though it would be nice to have some 1cm ones from COSRX. I don’t mind the tweezers since I scarcely use them. So in the end, it really has to do with brand loyalty (and discounts)!