how not to f*ck up your face

Do Pricey Silicone Patches Work to Eliminate Wrinkles?

Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photo: Shutterstock

This column first ran in Valerie Monroe’s newsletter, How Not to F*ck Up Your Face, which you can subscribe to on Substack.

Leave it to a viral TikTok video to create the beauty world’s latest fixation: silicone patches. The video has been viewed over 50 million times with commenters in awe of the perceived power of each patch, seemingly smoothing the woman’s wrinkles and making her skin appear smoother, bouncier, and firmer overnight. Made for your forehead, under-eye area, smile lines, and chest, the patches have even been dubbed an alternative to costly invasive treatments, like Botox.

A reader thinks she may have stumbled upon some wrinkle-reducing magic. But how easy would it be to slap something on your face at the first sign of a wrinkle before you hit the hay and wake up smooth as a freshly ironed sheet? Experts share their honest thoughts on the efficacy of these patches and if they live up to the hype.

Q: Have you heard about silicone patches like these? You’re supposed to apply them at night to clean, dry skin. Since nighttime is typically when I slather on my moisturizer and treatment product, I wasn’t sure about this. I would welcome your thoughts.

A: The patches do prevent your skin from wrinkling while you’re wearing them — but you’d have to wear them 24/7 to enjoy this effect. I have a word for that: Impractical. Bottom line? “I wouldn’t invest in them,” says dermatologist Jessica Weiser, who I emailed to get her expertise. Better to use proven ingredients like vitamin A derivative retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids.

She added: “These silicone patches were trendy a few years ago for the neck and décolletage, because people believed they’d prevent wrinkles from side-sleeping,” says Weiser. “Silicone is an occlusive, drawing water to the skin’s surface to create a temporary plumping effect. But consumers ultimately realized the patches often didn’t stay in place overnight. More to the point, they didn’t prevent lines and wrinkles.” There are many affordable, drugstore options for occlusive creams that hydrate well, adds cosmetic chemist Kenna Whitnell.

Because the patches are hypoallergenic, it’s unlikely you’d experience any downside from using them, says Weiser, except suboptimal outcomes. Including a lighter wallet.

Valerie Monroe was beauty director at O, The Oprah Magazine, where she wrote the monthly “Ask Val” column for nearly 16 years. Now she writes the weekly newsletter How Not to F*ck Up Your Face. Her goal continues to be to shift our thinking in the beauty arena from self-criticism to self-compassion and to learn how to be loving witnesses to ourselves and one another as we age.

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Do Pricey Silicone Patches Work to Eliminate Wrinkles?