Facial stickers promise to get rid of wrinkles, but are they safe?

Facial stickers that promise everything from wrinkle reduction or lifting have been around for decades, but are these products safe for your skin? . Getty Images

Facial stickers that promise everything from wrinkle reduction to lifting have been around for decades, but are these products safe for your skin?

Recently, beauty and food writer Charlotte Palemino wrote a piece for Cosmopolitan about Frownies, a triangular face sticker under $30 that promises to reduce fine lines and wrinkles in a matter of weeks. The product, which has been around since 1889, is natural with no active ingredients and is to be used overnight.

Frownies’ website notes the stickers work with face movement.

“The results are due to a muscular response to the Frownies patches working like a splint on the skin retraining the muscles to lie in a smooth flat position again,” the site notes.

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Palemino said when she first tried them, she was skeptical. “At first, I thought the patches were BS. I’d wake up, rip off the patch and see my lines flattened. But within a few hours the lines would be back,” she wrote.

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“Dedicated to seeing this through (Frownies recommends at least three weeks before you start seeing results), I didn’t start noticing significant changes until three months in. The lines had not fully disappeared at that point, but they softened a lot and, I have to be honest, I was frowning less in the real world. Turns out you can train your facial muscles to relax while you sleep.”

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Pressure on skin

Speaking with Global News, dermatologist Dr. Rahul Shukla based in Hamilton, Ont., said like any product for the skin, you need to be alert on how it reacts to your skin type.

“Anytime there is an adhesive, there is the chance of an allergic reaction or skin irritation,” he said. “You have to look into it.”

With Frownies in particular, he adds there hasn’t been any scientific research done on the product, which is another thing consumers should consider before trying a new product.

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“I would want to see studies that show how it would work — you want to make sure the pressure [of these patches] are not excessive.”

In 2013, The Cut published a piece on how some people used tape, including surgical tape and Frownies, to reduce the sign of wrinkles. There are also Furlesse patches — clear, hypoallergenic and latex-free patches that make the same claims.

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“People do tend to have deeper, pressure-induced lines on the side they sleep on. Wearing these patches overnight smoothes out the skin and holds it in place, even if your face is pressed into a pillow,” New York City-based dermatologist Ellen Marmur told the site.

Reducing fine lines and wrinkles

And of course, there really is no way to naturally revert the aging process, but for things like fine lines and wrinkles, Botox is also a common option, Shukla said.

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But often, the best ways to reduce these lines come from everyday products we should be using daily.

“Sunscreen is really the best option, [as well as products] with vitamin A to help with mild fine lines.”