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Do overnight wrinkle patches really work? Derms weigh in

Some people even claimed that they can be an alternative to in-office treatments.
Frownies

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? | Do wrinkle patches really work? | Wrinkle patches to shop | How we chose | Meet our experts

Shop TODAY Snapshot

Best wrinkle patches to shop

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."

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

Wrinkle patches to shop

Skin Gym Reusable Forehead Mask

What we like
  • Stays in place overnight
  • Truly smoothes fine lines
Something to note
  • Hard to use for some

Count: 1 reusable patch | Other key ingredients: 100% silicone

This reusable forehead mask is meant to be used with your favorite serums or after your skin care for up to 30 minutes. According to the brand, it’s made of 100% silicone and just needs to be washed with warm water after each use.

Pacifica Beauty Reusable Brow Mask

What we like
  • Reusable; "several uses"
  • Doesn't shift around when sleeping, according to reviewers
Something to note
  • Some reviewers noted it was too small for their face
  • Some reviewers had packaging and delivery issues

Count: 1 reusable patch | Other key ingredients: 100% silicone

While this 100% 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.

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Targeted Patches

What we like
  • See an immediate difference
  • "Game changer" product
Something to note
  • Packaging and delivery issues

Count: 6 patches | Other key ingredients: Retinol, hyaluronic acid

Containing retinol, peptides and hyaluronic acid, these wrinkle patches can be used anywhere you're looking to target facial lines, says the brand. The patches are made with 80 "micro-cones" that are meant to dissolve into your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines in just two hours.

Peace Out Microneedling Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Patches

What we like
  • Easy application; stay put
  • Can see a difference in skin
Something to note
  • Meant for younger skin

Count: 6 patches | Other key ingredients: Retinol, vitamin C, multi-peptides

You may know this brand for their hydrocolloid acne patches, but now they're getting into the wrinkle game with these microneedling patches. According to the brand, the patches contain retinol and have 450 hyaluronic micro-needles that dissolve into your skin to soften fine lines around your eyes, frown lines or any deep set wrinkles.

Frownies Facial Patches for Wrinkles on the Corner of Eyes and Mouth

What we like
  • Most reviewers are repeat buyers
  • Effective if used consistently
Something to note
  • Have an unpleasant scent
  • Thin material; tears easily

Count: 144 patches | Other key ingredients: Natural unbleached Kraft paper

A popular option from the brand, these patches are designed to target wrinkles around the corners of your eyes and mouth. To see results, the brand says that you should wear the patches for at least three hours at a time.

Sio Beauty Browlift Reusable Forehead Wrinkle Treatment

What we like
  • Easy to use and put on
  • Skin felt hydrated and smooth after use
Something to note
  • Not as reusable as the brand claims

Count: 1 reusable patch | Other key ingredients: 100% silicone

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.

Wrinkles Schminkles Forehead Wrinkle Patch

What we like
  • Reviewers saw "instant results" 
  • Comfortable to wear for hours
Something to note
  • Thin material; tear easily
  • Read instructions; careful application process

Count: 2 reusable patches | Other key ingredients: 100% silicone

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.

Jennifer Birkhofer, the vice president of commerce at NBC News, uses these patches (along with the brand's patches for eyes and lips). She says, "I started using these patches recently. Over Christmas, I went to dinner with some girlfriends, and one of them who looks incredibly youthful (and who’s forehead has never shown a wrinkle) said she uses silicone patches every night."

Birkhofer continues, "I was shocked and immediately bought some. I don’t sleep in these every night, but I try to a few times a week when I want my skin to look and feel smooth in the morning. They are surprisingly easy to sleep in and far cheaper than other wrinkle solutions I’ve heard of."

Dermaclara Siliconefusion Face Rejuvenation Kit

What we like
  • Noticeable change after one use
  • Skin's texture is improved
Something to note
  • Some reviewers say they only last for three uses

Count: 6 patches | Other key ingredients: 100% silicone (patches)

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.

How we chose

The Shop TODAY team spoke with a board-certified dermatologist as well as a dermatologic surgeon about what wrinkle patches are (and how, exactly, they help reduce fine lines within aging skin). We then searched the internet for popular patches to include, keeping the experts' lessons in mind while choosing. While most patches here are made purely with silicone, some include extra ingredients like retinol and hyaluronic acid.

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.