By Meredith Bardo, #PickingMe Brand Manager
The first time I heard about acne patches, I was immediately obsessed. I tend to get annoying white heads that are oh-so tempting to poke and pick, so the thought of having a barrier that simultaneously minimizes the triggering area/safely pulls the gunk out sounded great to me! And the best part about acne patches? They actually work! I'd buy the clear, circular hydrocolloid patches, stick them on problem areas at night and by the time I woke up, the areas would be significantly smaller!
It wasn't until at the end of 2019 that I realized the vast variety of Acne Patches that exist. I discovered how different brands made these handy lil' patches their own, giving them fun shapes, colors and packaging. But out of all countless patch brands I scoured, there was one that seemed to stand out from the rest to me. It was most likely a combination of their cheeky Instagram page, their aesthetically pleasing website and my own personal love of smiley face memorabilia (see pic below), that made me so intrigued with StarFace.
Naturally, being a brand manager and graphic designer, I was inspired by their playful aesthetic. It greatly complimented their product: Acne Patches in the shape of yellow stars. As opposed to the boring, clear circle patches that I would probably never wear outside the comfort of my own home, I felt StarFace patches could almost be a cool, statement accessory to any outfit! I needed to find out for myself what these patches were like, so I contacted StarFace and they graciously donated their patches, dubbed "Hydo-Stars" to #PickingMe!
When the patches arrived, I must say the designer in me was giddy with delight. The yellow packaging with their signature smiley face was so cute! And when I opened the box to view the actual product, I was even more pleased. The StarFace "Hydro-Stars" patches were contained in a adorable smiley face box, aka the "Big Yellow," which is also equipped with a small mirror so you can see where you're placing the patches on the go (think makeup compact, but for acne patches). The sturdy "Big Yellow" seemed like it's great to travel with, as it's small size can easily fit into a bag or pouch.
After toning down my excitement over the packaging, I set off that night to test it on some problem bumps on my face. Although I don't have Skin Picking Disorder, I tried to test the product with that point of view in mind.
My initial thought when I put on the "Hydo-Stars" was that they are actually more translucent than I thought. The yellow blended more into my skin and didn't look just like an opaque sticker on my face (what I was expecting). As time progressed, I actually preferred that, as I could barely even feel anything on my face. In the past, I've had issues with patches falling off, but this did not happen with StarFace. It stuck cleanly to my face (always make sure your skin is washed/free of any lotions before placing btw!), and did not budge when I dragged my finger along it.
As I was wearing the patches, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and felt totally comfortable walking around with cute stars on my face! But I also tend to have a more "outlandish style" (or so I've been told), so public use might not be for everyone.
And when the time came to remove them, I was easily able to grab the stars edges and pull them off. I was also very pleased to see the gunk of a whitehead come off with it! (Nothing more satisfying tbh...) The experience was quick and there was no uncomfortable tugging or pulling of the skin! Although it was almost sad to have to throw away the cute lil' stars!
In reviewing StarFace with a Skin Picker in mind, it has a few pros and cons. The first would be the small mirror fixed in the container. This feature might not be a good fit for some Skin Pickers, as they might find mirrors and the fact that you can focus on specific bumps close-up triggering. On the flip-side, the "Hydo-Star" patches are just in reach, so making it a goal to quickly cover a triggering spot with the patch before it's scrutinized too much can be helpful.
Additionally, these patches stick quite well and can act as a reliable barrier from roaming fingers. By having this barrier, your fingers are able to receive a moment of pause, and in turn, awareness. This is especially helpful if you're more prone to "scanning" picking, where you might not even realize your fingers are roaming your body for something to pick. The foreign sensation of the patch allows you to reset, know where your fingers are and start implementing alternative strategies like fidget toys or logging to alleviate that excess finger energy.
Lastly, if you're a budgeter the price of StarFace might be a deterrent. For a pack of 32, including the "Big Yellow" the price is $22 and a refill is $18. They do have a cheaper deal if you subscribe for recurrent delivery. It's definetly a lil' more pricier than classic patches from a drugstore. But, the "Big Yellow" carrying case sets Starface apart from their competitors and makes it worth it to pay a little extra. Instead of carrying flimsy patch sheets that can get lost or bent in your bag, StarFace's case protects and provides easy access to the patches! StarFace patches also come four on a sheet, which makes it quite easy to give a friend some patches or keep them in different areas!
StarFace is a unique and helpful brand that has put a fun, new twist on acne patches. I definitely suggest you test these guys out and have a good feeling your going to be as obsessed as me!