What Are Wrinkle Patches, and Can They Really Give You Smoother Skin?
Brands like Frownies have been around for decades, but TikTok users are bringing this beauty product back into the spotlight now. Find out if dermatologists think they’re worth your time and money.
Beauty influencers on TikTok are sticking silicone patches on their faces and necks overnight, reporting smoother, bouncier skin the next morning.
Called wrinkle patches, these products cost less than $50 a pack. Frownies, SiO, and Wrinkles Schminkles are popular brands.
“Although wrinkle patches are having a TikTok moment right now, they are not new and in fact have been around since the 1930s,” says Howard Sobel, MD, a clinical attending cosmetic dermatologic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
On TikTok, the term “wrinkle patch” has been viewed 1.2 billion times, while tags for specific wrinkle patch brands are also drawing eyeballs. For example, #frownies has amassed 64.1 million views and #wrinklesschminkles has garnered more than 7.6 million.
“If you love Botox but want something a little more affordable and less invasive, you have to try these out,” TikTok user @rankandstyle exclaims in a demonstration video, placing the reusable strips on her forehead, neck, and under the eyes.
Does this latest TikTok trend have any sticking power? Here’s what dermatologists say.
What Are Wrinkle Patches?
A wrinkle patch is a piece of adhesive paper worn overnight to keep your muscles in place, with the aim of lessening or preventing wrinkles, says Kathleen Suozzi, MD, a dermatologic surgeon and the director of aesthetic dermatology at Yale Medicine in New Haven. People typically apply them to various parts of the upper body, including around the eyes, forehead, mouth, neck, and chest. Some contain popular skin-care ingredients such as retinol, resembling popular sheet masks on the market, Dr. Suozzi says. Retinol can improve skin by promoting an even texture, pigmentation, and tone, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). “Many other instant formulations have a silicone base that confers an instant wrinkle-smoothing property,” she adds.
Most wrinkle patches are reusable and cost less than $50 per bundle. For instance, a pack of 144 single use strips of Frownies is $22 on Amazon, while a set of two Wrinkles Schminkles products targeting the forehead retails for $30, with up to 20 uses per patch.
You can also splurge on luxury patches. Natura Bissé sells a set for $440 that is infused with “powerful anti-aging ingredients” including Octamioxyl, conotoxin, copper, and collagen peptides, per the brand.
What Dermatologists Say About Wrinkle Patches
Despite the popularity of wrinkle patches and the fact that they may leave skin feeling instantly smoother, there’s little evidence they provide lasting effects, Suozzi says.
Dr. Sobel agrees, saying they’re “more gimmicky than effective.” “Wrinkle patches appear to work by constricting the ability to make deep facial expressions, which exacerbates the appearance of wrinkles,” Sobel says. ”Rest assured, the wrinkle-reducing results are temporary and will only last a few hours at most.”
Nevertheless, those patches that are saturated in numerous ingredients focusing on hydration and reducing premature signs of aging, like the ones by Natura Bissé, may offer more lasting benefits. “These fall more into the category of regional sheet masks, using the patch as a means of delivering products onto the skin like a sheet mask would,” Suozzi explains.
Should You Try Wrinkle Patches?
In general, wrinkle patches are safe. One group that may want to avoid them: those with sensitive skin or an allergy to adhesives. Wrinkle patches may cause redness and irritation, Sobel says. Those patches with the active ingredient retinol can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, and the AAD advises women who are pregnant or nursing to avoid this ingredient.
As for whether they’re worth your money, it depends on your goal. If you want to temporarily reduce physical signs of skin aging, these products may help. “[Wrinkle patches are] great for an important event when you want to look your best,” Sobel suggests. Just don’t expect sustained effects.
For that, Suozzi says, talk to your dermatologist about preventative Botox, laser treatments, or soft tissue fillers.
The more expensive wrinkle patches with skin-healthy ingredients can complement injectable treatments such as Botox, Suozzi says. That said, you can garner similar skin-smoothing effects from cheaper products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids, she adds.