Beyond creams, injectable fillers, botulinum toxin, laser therapies, and chemical peels, there also exists a less invasive product with the promise of smoothing facial features, namely silicone facial patches. Having gone viral in the skincare world, their use has rapidly gained popularity over time. However, while the concept seems promising, does this trendy skincare solution live up to the media hype?
Are silicone patches effective in reducing wrinkles?
- What is the effectiveness of silicone patches for facial wrinkles?
- How to use silicone anti-wrinkle patches?
What is the effectiveness of silicone patches for facial wrinkles?
Quick-acting and easy to use, silicone patches are non-woven supports made 100% from silicone, which are to be adhered to the skin for a specified period. They have been designed to address a specific skin issue (wrinkles, dark circles, etc.) on large or small areas of the face (under the eyes, smile lines, forehead, etc.). This new trend aims to improve skin texture, gently reduce existing wrinkles and fine lines, and prevent new ones.
Although silicone patches are currently experiencing a certain popularity, they are not new and have in fact existed since the 1890s.
What are the benefits?
In healthy skin, the stratum corneum typically has a water content of 10 to 20%. Once applied to the skin, silicone anti-wrinkle patches trap moisture in the upper layers of the skin, potentially providing a temporary plumping effect to the skin by swelling the corneocytes. Indeed, they provide an occlusive barrier which blocks water loss by diffusion from the epidermis and helps the skin retain more of its hydration, keeping it overall hydrated. This could potentially help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Expression wrinkles (frown lines, crow's feet, horizontal forehead wrinkles, the "barcode folds" on the upper and lower lips, etc.) are the result of repeated muscular movements. However, patches can create a mechanical action on the facial muscles, reducing local muscle contraction on the skin. Indeed, by restricting the ability to create facial expressions, the "sticky" nature of the patches will stretch the area and keep the skin taut, and help the facial muscles to relax, thus altering the external appearance of the skin. This will theoretically help to decrease the depth of existing wrinkles and reduce the formation of new dynamic wrinkles.
The partial occlusion created by the patches allows forincreased percutaneous absorption of non-polar compounds soluble in lipids when applied topically, even a short-term occlusion, thus facilitating their diffusion into the skin for enhanced effectiveness.
Although silicone patches may increase skin hydration and theoretically help to minimize the appearance of fine lines, their benefits are short-lived. Indeed, in the few studies conducted, participants noticed a slight subjective temporary reduction in wrinkles in the first few hours following use. However, these studies have many limitations (lack of control, self-evaluation, psychological influences, etc.), thus requiring further studies on the effectiveness of these over-the-counter products. Their effects cannot thus be compared to the action of botox injections which last between three to six months.
To mitigate wrinkles and fine lines over the long term, it is appropriate to combine the use of silicone patches with treatments designed to combat skin aging.
How to use silicone anti-wrinkle patches?
Silicone patches come in various shapes depending on the part of the face they will be applied to (eye contour, forehead, around the mouth, corner of the eyelids, décolletage, neck). It is important that they must be applied to dry and clean skin, free of topical treatments and makeup. To use them, simply peel them off their protective film and gently stretch the skin at the area you wish to "smooth" before applying the silicone patch specially designed for that area. After the application time prescribed by the manufacturer, carefully remove the patches and place them back on their protective sheet.
Tested under dermatological control, our silicone eye patches are reusable. After each use, clean them thoroughly with a mild soap and let them dry with the "adhesive" side up before reattaching them to their protective film. Unlike traditional patches, ours make greater use of their occlusive property by applying an eye mask underneath.
What is the tolerance for the use of topical patches?
Topical silicone patches are safe to use and can be well tolerated by most users. However, there is a slight risk of allergic skin reaction. Therefore, it is recommended to follow the manufacturer's instructions, especially adhering to the recommended application time.
MAIBACH H. I. & al. Effects of skin occlusion on percutaneous absorption: an overview. Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology (2001).
MOST S. P. & al. A prospective evaluation of the efficacy of topical adhesive pads for the reduction of facial rhytids. Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery (2009).
MONTELLA A. & al. Antiwrinkle effect of topical adhesive pads on crow's feet: How long does the effect last for? Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2018).