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Wrinkle patches are all over social media — here's what derms think about the viral trend

Some people have said that they can be an alternative to non-invasive treatments.

In the quest to minimize the effects of aging on our faces, we're willing to try just about anything. But if you feel like you've just about exhausted all the creams, devices and other at-home options on the market, you might be interested to hear about a non-invasive option that people are calling a "Botox alternative."

Wrinkle patches have been popping up all over our social media pages. Different variations of the products have racked up millions of views on TikTok, with users posting impressive before and after results, showing how their smile lines and forehead wrinkles have smoothed after just a handful of uses.

While it sounds promising, we tapped two experts to get the details on whether or not the viral product is actually worth your time. Here's what you need to know.

What are wrinkle patches?

Wrinkle patches are patches (typically made of adhesive paper or silicone) that cover an area of the skin to decrease mobility and prevent or improve the appearance of wrinkles, explains Dr. Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology.

"The theory is that they prevent movement of the skin and therefore the creation of wrinkles," says Dr. Mary Stevenson, associate professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. "Some also purport that they prevent moisture from leaving the skin, therefore plumping it as you retain moisture."

Do wrinkle patches actually work?

While people on social media have seen some promising results, the answer to the question of whether or not they will really have a positive effect on your skin isn't so straightforward. "They can, but it's important to understand that while they can have a positive effect, is it a long-term effect or a short-term effect? I think it's probably more of a short-term benefit," Shah says.

If you wear one of the patches overnight — which Shah says is the most typical way to wear it — it's going to prevent mobility of the skin throughout the night. So, when you wake up, you may not notice those "sleep wrinkles" that can sometimes form as you snooze.

"On top of that, the wrinkle patches are going to prevent water loss from the skin, so the skin will appear more hydrated and plump," she says.

The effects also depend on how often you wear them. "If you wear them for long periods of time regularly then, yes, theoretically they work," Stevenson says. It's another step that you can take, like sleeping on your back, that can help prevent lines from being formed.

Overall, you'll likely notice the effects start to wane throughout the day. "When you wake up and you take it off, that's going to be when it's at its most effective," Shah says. "But, as you go through the day, you make facial expressions, you move your face around, those lines are going to start to reform."

Are there any risks to using wrinkle patches?

The nice thing is, the viral patches tend to be pretty safe for the skin. While Stevenson says that there can be a risk of irritation with ones that use adhesives, generally, silicone does not cause that reaction. (She adds that silicone is preferred, in her opinion, as it occludes the skin.)

Some of the patches also contain active ingredients, like acids or retinol, and Shah recommends using those with caution, as they could be irritating — especially to those with sensitive skin.

Are wrinkle patches worth it?

The bottom line is, for anyone hoping to improve the look of fine lines, it could be worth a shot.

"It's a relatively low investment, low stakes sort of treatment," Shah says. "So it's a good way to see what could be possible. And maybe it's [best] for someone who is just looking for some short-term improvement. But, if you need longer-term improvement, you're probably going to want to start investing in some in-office treatments."

Here, we rounded up five options that you can try.

Wrinkles Schminkles Forehead Wrinkle Patch

Wrinkles Schminkles is one of the most popular options on TikTok. In fact, one video from the brand featuring the product racked up over 55 million views and 3.3 million likes. The reusable patches (which the brand says you can use up to 20 times) are designed to be applied to your forehead area to prevent wrinkles. While the company says that they can be worn for as little as one to two hours for a quick boost, you'll see the best results if you wear them overnight.

Frownies Forehead and Between Eyes Wrinkle Patches

Frownies are another internet-favorite pick and are one of the highest-rated options on this list, with more than 13,000 five-star ratings. The paper patches use a water-activated adhesive to stick to the skin and prevent movement, and can be easily removed with water when you're ready to take them off, the brand says.

Sio Beauty Browlift Reusable Forehead Wrinkle Treatment

This reusable patch is another option that is designed to smooth "forehead furrows, expression lines and frown lines." While some shoppers have found that it works to temporarily improve the look of wrinkles, the brand says that it's also great to use in between in-office treatments.

Pacifica Beauty Reusable Brow Mask

While this 100 percent silicone mask is designed to be paired with your favorite serum to "seal" in the ingredients and boost hydration, the brand says that it can also gently lift and flatten skin to help with fine lines and wrinkles.

Dermaclara Siliconefusion Face Rejuvenation Kit

This kit comes with reusable patches that are designed to target various areas of your face, from your forehead to your under-eyes and neck. The viral patches can be used up to 30 times, the brand says. Along with helping improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles, they are said to target stretch marks and sun damage as well.

Meet our experts

  • Dr. Sejal Shah, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York City. She practices all aspects of dermatology, with expertise in cosmetic dermatology and lasers, hair loss and ethnic skin.
  • Dr. Mary Stevenson, MD, is an associate professor at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. As a dermatologic surgeon, she specializes in Mohs surgery along with laser and cosmetic procedures.