Best anti-wrinkle patches to shop in 2024, from Frownies to 111SKIN

Elevate your masking with this Botox alternative

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Ellie Davis31 January 2024
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Masks have gone mainstream. Face masks have seen a huge rise in popularity in the last 15 years – and that shows no signs of wavering. The sheet mask selfie is a status symbol, whether you’re posting from your sofa on a Sunday night or at 31,000 feet aboard a plane.

The humble face mask has become so ubiquitous that your fellow passengers will likely not even bat an eyelid at a glimpse of your serial killer-esque appearance. The beloved product has followed an interesting development, boomeranging from a skincare treatment to a representation of the self-care movement and back.

The market is awash with masks to tackle targeted specific skincare concerns – and as a result, we have increased our expectations. It is no longer a case of simply the ritual, we want our face masks to deliver a potent concentration of ingredients.

The last few years have also seen a Botox boom with the UK injectables market predicted to reach a value of £11.7 billion by 2026 according to UCL researchers - and skincare labels are taking note. What if there was a way to mimic the effects without costly appointments or potentially nasty side effects? Combining mask technology with buzzed-about active ingredients, anti-ageing patches were born.

These patches were created as a non-invasive, Botox alternative to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They're designed to be administered overnight from the comfort of your own home.

It’s important to first manage expectations. Skincare formulations are more advanced than ever and yet dermatologists agree that nothing is more effective than the muscle-relaxing effects of botulinum toxin injections. However, anti-ageing patches are a developing and interesting technology that tackles a common issue that comes with layering topical lotions and potions.

Most topical skincare products will not penetrate further than the skin’s surface layer. Generally speaking, skincare is made up of water (around 70-90 per cent) as this is an easy and cost-efficient way to dissolve ingredients and fill a bottle. The layers of the skin (the microbiome, acid mantel and lipid barrier) act as the outermost defence and prevent pH-affecting components from penetrating the epidermis, instead becoming like an exterior seal. This is all well and good if you’re looking to hydrate but if you want to stimulate collagen and elastin or plump the likes of crow's feet, you need to reach further.

Dr Yannis Alexandrides, Plastic Surgeon at 111 Harley St. and Co-Founder of 111SKIN, who has recently launched the Wrinkle Erasing Retinol Patches explains, “I created these patches to provide a needle-free solution for ageing skin in key problem areas. They are shaped specifically to fit areas most prone to ageing: the forehead, eye, lips and between the brows. Each patch is designed with a precise number of microcones according to the target treatment area, physically penetrating the epidermis at 0.35mm for 100 per cent absorption”. Other patches are lauded for locking plumping moisture in or preventing movement and thus the creation of wrinkles.

He reveals that this approach takes its cues from existing medication, specifically for those allergic to intravenous administration but has been adapted for anti-ageing purposes. Dr Yannis says, “Inspired by existing procedures in medicine, this product combines my unique retinol-based formula in a transdermal delivery system, introducing a new synergy of ingredients and technology to the beauty industry”.

The plastic surgeon stresses “There are no downsides to be aware of, however, I’d like to highlight that this product’s transdermal epidermal system requires a minimum of two hours to dissolve into the skin. For this reason, I encourage people to apply the patches at night and remove them in the morning to experience optimal results”.

This is an emerging category, but brands are investing in clinical trials and the results look promising, more so after consistent, longer-term use. We dive into the current anti-ageing patches on the market below.

111SKIN Wrinkle Erasing Retinol Patches


Innovation is at the forefront of 111SKIN as is proven by one of the brand’s more recent inventions. The brand – headed up by plastic surgeon Dr Yannis – uses a unique microcone technology to deliver the powerhouse anti-ageing ingredient retinol to your skin.

Designed to be worn overnight and by combination, dry and oily skin types, it works to minimise the appearance of fine lines without involving a needle in the process. The delivery method mimics that of an injection with tiny needle-like structure that infuses retinol, vitamin C and a peptide complex with better absorption than traditional topical serum.

It has been clinically proven to reduced deep-set eye wrinkles by 23 per cent in just one use and laughter lines by 17 per cent.

Buy now£150, 111SKIN

FAQ Hyaluronic Acid Forehead Patches


FAQ’s patches take their inspiration from the hugely popular microneedling treatment. Yet the brand is offering the in-salon favourite from the comfort of your own home with a pain-free experience. This is achieved through what FAQ calls a Transdermal Delivery System. When you apply the patches, it releases a hyaluronic acid-infused formula through small dissolving needles that penetrate deeper into the dermis. According to clinical trials, the patches have been proven to improve firmness and minimise the look of wrinkles in just two weeks of use.

Buy now£46.90, Harrods

Frownies Anti-Wrinkle Patches


If the name alone isn’t enough to intrigue you about Frownies then the longevity of the brand just might. You see, Frownies has been around since 1889 and has dubbed itself ‘The Original Facial Wrinkle Smoothers’. The idea is simple, you apply the patches to wrinkle-prone areas and it works over a minimum of three hours to plump deep expression lines.

Buy now£29.95, Amazon

Exuviance HA Micro-Filler


Exuviance takes a two-step to tackling fine lines and wrinkes. Apply before slumber and allow the filler-alternative duo to work their magic.

First, layer the potent, vitamin C-enriched Age Reverse Total Correct+ Sculpt Serum with the Micro Cone Patches. The latter is made up of hyaluronic acid that dissolve and push moisture deep into the skin’s layers.

In four weeks of use, a trial revealed on the whole (97 per cent) that skin was plumper and more hydrated as well as firmer and smoother. Additionally, 94 per cent reported crow’s feet lines as less visible.

Buy now£89.99, Face the Future

Skin Gym Reusable Silicone Forehead Mask

Skin Gym

America's Skin Gym has made a splash on UK soil, bringing with it a loyal celebrity fan base that includes Hailey Bieber and Vanessa Hudgens.

The brand specialises in treatments that are affordable yet effective and that is certainly the case with these masks. They are made from silicone and work to improve the efficacity of your existing skincare products.

Before applying this treatment, you first layer your serum of choice before waiting for around 10 seconds for it to be absorbed. Wet one side of the patch with water and then set it on your forehead so that as you sleep to combat signs of ageing like wrinkles. Best of all, it’s reusable.

Buy now£14, Revolve

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Masks


When you’ve been staring at screens for the best part of 12 hours, you will want to call in the big guns to revive the periorbital area. Enter Murad and the brand’s latest launch – the Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Masks. Unlike traditional retinol-based products, you can use this day or night but are best for when the sun goes down and should always be followed by SPF.

They deliver a hit of the anti-ageing powerhouse directly to the area where lines are most often a concern to firm and refresh. The mask is infused with the brand’s signature Tri-Active Technology which is both fast-acting and kind on the delicate area. This is combined with blue agave and passionfruit extracts, known for their firming and glow-giving results respectively.

Buy now£42, John Lewis

MZ Skin Lightmax Minipro Hydrocolloid Patches

MZ Skin

Dermatologist-led skincare label MZ Skin has created these hydrocolloid patches to be used in tandem with LED lights. It is designed for the brand’s Lightmax Minipro Eyeconic but we don’t see why you can’t use it with your existing LED mask if you already have one at home.

The skin-loving add-ons are coated in invigorating active ingredients like niacinamide and caffeine as well as hydrating sodium hyaluronate. This trio of supercharged components are designed to brighten the appearance of dark circles and tackle signs of ageing. In a clinical study conducted over four weeks where the patches were used twice a week, it was reported that there was an improvement in wrinkle depth by 36 per cent and a more even skin tone and texture.

Buy now£32, lookfantastic