Frownies calls themselves the “Original Wrinkle Patch” and makes “facial smoothing patches” that attach to the face with adhesives and are used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The brand also sells cosmetic products like serums and eye cream.
In this article we’ll look into medical research to determine if adhesive facial patches can reduce wrinkles, and analyze the formulation of Frownies’ most popular non-patch product.
Do “Wrinkle Patches” Work?
We don’t understand the mechanism of action of Frownies, or how it’s even supposed to be effective. Frownies doesn’t seem to link to any scientific research anywhere on their site proving how their products work, and we fail to see how sticking adhesive patches to your face would cause a reduction in lines or wrinkles.
If the wrinkle patches contain effective skincare ingredients, then they could theoretically reduce wrinkles, but that would make the adhesive patch pointless. If the only benefit comes from the ingredients topically applied to the face, those same ingredients could be applied in a more standard and convenient cosmetic format like a serum.
One medical study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2017 evaluated whether adhesive pads could reduce wrinkles. The study authors concluded that the pads were only effective immediately after use, and didn’t provide any long-term benefit.
We don’t have any reason to believe that wrinkle patches as a technology are effective, but again if they contain ingredients which are beneficial to skin then they could theoretically reduce wrinkles.
Failure to Publish Ingredients List Online
It’s important for consumer safety that cosmetic brands publish full ingredient lists online. A consumer could be allergic to one of the ingredients/materials, or know that it affects their skin negatively.
Frownies does not publish an ingredients or materials list on the product page of their most popular product, Forehead & Between Eyes Wrinkle Patches, at the time of writing this article.
We find this to be unacceptable.
The product page has a link to “click here to view ingredients list,” and on that ingredients page the brand states the following:
“The adhesive is synthetic which means it is made in a lab out of raw materials. There are no raw materials left in the adhesive. Because of the proprietary nature of our adhesives our customer service associates do not have an exact ingredient list for the adhesive. The ingredients would not make any sense to the average non chemist individual.”
We have several issues with this statement. First, it’s disrespectful to the intelligence of their customers. You don’t need to be a chemist to know what ingredients or materials you’re allergic to.
Second, we find the comment about the “proprietary nature” of their adhesives to be ridiculous. If there were medical research proving these products to be effective, they would have a legitimate claim to a proprietary formulation. But stating that there’s a special formula that makes these patches stick to your face, and it must remain private, is absurd in our opinion.
Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray Review
Frownies’ most popular non-patch product is their rose water hydrator spray. It has an effective formulation, to our surprise.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the ingredients, and is one of the most well-studied and effective dermatological ingredients. As we detailed in our recent Bio Oil reviews article, this compound has been proven in multiple medical trials to reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.
Vitamin E is another active ingredient which is beneficial to skin, and especially facial skin. Research has shown that Vitamin E has photoprotective properties when applied topically. This means that it reduces skin damage when skin is exposed to UV rays.
Another good ingredient choice in Frownies hydrator spray is aloe vera, which was described in a medical review as having “excellent efficacy” for treating “skin related disorders.” It also has hydrating properties.
We would recommend this product if it didn’t contain the preservative sodium benzoate. While this is one of the safest cosmetic preservatives, and we don’t believe it poses any significant health risk, it has been shown to have skin-sensitizing potential in medical research. It’s also been shown to be harmful when ingested even at very low concentrations in an animal study.
Preservatives are often necessary in cosmetics to reduce mold and bacterial growth, but we recommend that manufacturers look to use essential oils for this purpose, as they may be more eco-friendly and safer according to a medical review published in the well-respected Frontiers in Microbiology journal.
Frownies Before and After
Many potential Frownies customers are interested in before-and-after images to see how much of an impact (if any) the product can make.
One of the most popular YouTube videos testing Frownies comes from a creator channel called This is Real Life With Sheri. She used the patches daily for 3 weeks to test if they were effective or not, and included before-and-after images.
This creator is not affiliated with Frownies, so we find her insights to likely be genuine and free of bias.
Frownies Owner Legal Issues
In 2016, a federal grand jury indicted James L. Wright for obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and filing false tax returns. The linked press release document refers to Wright as the “operator” of the holding company that owns Frownies, who “controlled the financial and business operations.”
According to the Department of Justice, Wright was diverting money from the holding company behind Frownies, called B&P Company Inc., to use for personal purposes, including expenses like rent and automobile expenses.
While this doesn’t necessarily have any effect on Frownies as a product, we find this to be an ethical red flag that consumers should be aware of.
It’s generally good to put your money towards honest businesses making the world a better place, and the actions of this Frownies executive were anything but honest.
We would recommend that consumers seeking anti-aging results use collagen, which has significantly more research backing than Frownies.
Oral collagen supplementation has been conclusively proven in medical research to be effective for skin aging and improving skin quality generally. The linked meta-study analyzed results from 11 individual medical trials on collagen and skin, totalling 805 patients.
Collagen is the core structural protein in skin, and consuming it makes more available to the body. It’s a food product rather than a supplement.
The collagen product we recommend is Bulletproof collagen powder, because it’s sourced from grass-fed animals and contains no questionable additive ingredients like sugar or flavoring. The only ingredient is collagen. It’s a powder product that can be added to water, coffee or any other liquid.