According to the latest TikTok trend, stickers might just be the key to smoothing out wrinkles. Known as wrinkle patches, these thin sheets of silicone are like fragmented face masks that adhere to the skin, smoothing out areas where wrinkles form, such as the forehead and around the mouth and eyes.
On TikTok, users have shown themselves testing wrinkle patches for the face, neck and décolletage, comparing the skin-smoothing results to Botox and fillers. The hashtag #frownies, one of the leading wrinkle patch brands, has 69.2 million views, and #wrinklepatches has 18.8 million views, with videos featuring younger users and mature skin types alike.
As with most viral trends, we’re left wondering if face patches for wrinkles actually work. Read on to learn what dermatologists have to say about anti-wrinkle patches.
What are wrinkle patches?
“Wrinkle patches work by covering the skin in order to decrease mobility in an attempt to prevent or improve wrinkles,” says Dr. Caroline Robinson, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Tone Dermatology.
They are often made of skin-safe silicone or paper that sticks to the skin and keeps it in place, so the skin stays taut and expression lines or wrinkles don’t have the opportunity to form or deepen. They come in different shapes and sizes for specific areas of the face, neck and chest that are prone to wrinkles. Most wrinkle patches suggest wearing them overnight for the best results.
“Silicone pads like Wrinkles Schminkles are a great noninvasive option for lines coming from facial expressions or from folding and compression of the skin during sleep,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King says. “The pads help prevent transepidermal water loss — locking in moisture so the skin will be better hydrated and will be better able to repair itself and produce collagen. And the pad also keeps the skin flat, so this helps prevent the creases that form during sleep.”
Benefits of using wrinkle patches
Sticking on wrinkle patches can aid in the short-term smoothing of wrinkles, helping the skin appear more plump and youthful. However, while TikTok users may claim that wrinkle patches give comparable results to Botox or fillers, the dermatologists we spoke to say that the results are limited.
“While wrinkle patches may sound promising, they have actually been around for decades and have never demonstrated long-term benefit in the improvement or prevention of wrinkles,” Robinson says. “Many of the benefits that are apparent after the patch is removed are short-lived.”
If you’re looking to create the effect of smoother skin for an event or you just want a bit of a facial refresh, wrinkle patches may help you achieve a bit of instant gratification. Wrinkle patches for the face can also contain other skin care benefits that contribute to anti-aging effects, like hydrating hyaluronic acid or skin-brightening vitamin C.
“Many wrinkle patches are silicone-based, and others contain skin care actives which may provide hydration and give a smoother appearance to the skin,” Robinson says. “I liken most wrinkle patches to sheet masks; they have the ability to improve skin hydration and can deliver skin care ingredients locally.”
Should you try wrinkle patches?
Thankfully, trying wrinkle patches has relatively low stakes. Unlike injectables like Botox that relax the muscles that create the lines and have an effect that lasts months, wrinkle patches can give you short-term results without any needles.
According to King, silicone wrinkle patches are “safe for anyone to use,” although “caution should be used in areas prone to acne, rosacea and other skin inflammation.”
Robinson also advises that wrinkle patches with active ingredients may not be for everyone. “For those with sensitive skin, wrinkle patches that contain active ingredients such as beta hydroxy acids or retinol can be potentially irritating to the skin,” the dermatologist says. “It is alway a good idea to test any new skin care product before applying more broadly or leaving for long periods of time.”
Best wrinkle patches for your skin care routine
$29.95 at Amazon
“These medical-grade silicone pads keep the skin taut so it can’t crease or wrinkle while locking in moisture,” King says. “In their studies, 89% of women saw a reduction in crow’s-feet and/or under-eye wrinkles.” The kit comes with three pairs of reusable smoothing patches that are specifically designed for the eye area.
$21.95 at Amazon
Frownies Facial Patches are made from skin-safe adhesive paper that can be cut to a desired size and shape so you can tackle the horizontal rows across the forehead and the 11s in between the eyebrows simultaneously. They help freeze the facial muscles during use, preventing expression lines from deepening into wrinkles and keeping the skin smooth.
$21.99 at Target
Retinol, hyaluronic acid and peptides are packed into the patches’ tiny micro-darts that help the skin absorb the plumping effects and reduce wrinkles. Use them around the eye area to minimize crow’s-feet, in between the brows to ease 11s or around the mouth to lessen marionette lines.
$30 at Ulta
This silicone patch covers the area around the lips, softening the look of marionette lines and wrinkles around the mouth. Reviewers also noted that it helped lock in moisture and kept skin smooth and hydrated the next day.
$160 at Dermstore
These hyaluronic acid and vitamin C-infused patches feature dissolving micro-darts that penetrate into the skin, delivering hydration and brightening effects. They can be applied to treat crow’s-feet, dark circles, forehead expression lines or the nasolabial folds around the mouth.
$29.95 at Amazon
Along with effective skin care for the neck and décolletage, a chest patch smooths the delicate décolleté, which is prone to show signs of aging due to sun exposure and loss of elasticity. This silicone anti-wrinkle patch can be reused over 20 times.
$29.95 at Amazon
Designed to smooth out tech neck lines, this wrinkle patch helps the skin stay taut while also boosting its moisture retention so the neck area looks healthier.
$35.68 $32.91 at Amazon
Relax the vertical lines between your brows with these polymer patches. The fan shape ensures the area stays smooth, whether you keep them on for an hour or overnight.
$24 at Sephora
Another microneedling patch for anti-wrinkle and skin care benefits, these melt into the skin to treat the direct area. Retinol and peptides work to smooth and soften fine lines and wrinkles, while vitamin C brightens the skin.
$15 at Amazon
This Hello Kitty-adorned forehead patch is infused with green tea, retinol and vitamin C for a quick pick-me-up that will leave your skin feeling plump and hydrated.