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Frownies, or at least the concept behind the use of a facial adhesive patch to restrict facial movements, is not a new concept. Read more...



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What are frownies?

Frownies are adhesive patches that claim to combat wrinkles and fine lines.

Frownies, or at least the concept behind the use of a facial adhesive patch to restrict facial movements, is not a new concept. Products of this type, including DIY versions, have been around for over a century. Face taping was popular in the mid-20th century. The tape was used overnight to pull back the skin to smooth wrinkles and even under wigs to make the skin appear tauter.

How do frownies work for wrinkles?

The key to note here is understanding the anatomy of a wrinkle. I break this down into three features: loss of volume/fat, thinning of the skin, and muscle contraction. Frownies cannot add volume or thicken the skin directly, however, they can resist muscle contraction. After all, if you do not move your muscles you cannot create wrinkles. Frownies in particular work by stiffening once applied to the skin to hold it in place. There are other facial patches on the market that are either infused with products such as hyaluronic acid or even microneedle patches that may offer other benefits.

Are frownies actually effective?

There is truth to this concept. Consider that Botox also works to restrict facial muscle movement and can fade wrinkles over time. The difference between frownies and botox is that frownies only work overnight while botox is always working while active. Most “frowning” occurs during the course of the day. For example, squinting while reading or while on the computer and during conversations, etc. Frownies can be effective but it may start to feel as though every step forward with your wrinkles at night is met with a step back while they are not in place.

I suspect they may play more of a role for preventative purposes. Frownies can be an effective way to control fine lines and wrinkles before they are deep-set wrinkles. The challenge however is that while using these products it may be difficult to apply products overnight to benefit your skin in other ways.

Are there any risks to your skin from using frownies?

Frownies are made of a form of craft paper. The adhesive is made up of sugar derivatives and wintergreen oil. The first reported case of contact dermatitis to wintergreen oil was found in the medical literature in 2022. Overall, as long as there are no sensitivities to these ingredients, frownies should be a well-tolerated product. The challenge with any product that utilizes adhesives, however, is the risk of irritation when using other anti-aging products in conjunction with frownies. The reality is that many alpha and beta hydroxy acids used for antiaging purposes make these skin dry and more prone to irritation.


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