Frownies is a brand that calls their product 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.
But can a patch stuck to the face really reduce the appearance of wrinkles or is this just a marketing claim? What ingredients or materials are used in Frownies to make them effective? Has the brand funded any clinical research? And do real users report reductions in wrinkles after using Frownies?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review medical studies on adhesive patches for wrinkles and share before-and-after images from a real, unsponsored Frownies user.
We'll also analyze the ingredients in the brand's popular Rose Water Hydrator Spray to give our take on whether it's likely to be effective for reducing wrinkles, and highlight information about the owner of Frownies being convicted of tax fraud.
Do Frownies 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 the 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.
A medical study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 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 do not believe that Frownies are likely to be effective because we cannot locate any medical studies suggesting that facial patches can reduce wrinkles.
What Are Frownies Made Of?
At the time of initially writing this article, Frownies failed to publish an ingredient list, and instead published the statement below:
“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 found this statement to be disrespectful to the intelligence of their customers.
Since, and potentially due to our review which received much exposure, Frownies has published an ingredient list, shown below:
Kraft is a type of paper. We don't believe that applying paper to the face will reduce wrinkles.
Nulomoline is derived from sugar cane. We cannot find a single medical study suggesting that this ingredient reduces wrinkles. It's typically used in baking products.
Dextrin is a processed carbohydrate. We cannot find any evidence that it's effective for treating wrinkles.
Methyl salicylate is a chemical compound derived from the wintergreen plant. We cannot locate any medical studies proving it reduces wrinkles, and we recommend avoiding this ingredient. A medical review published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine documented the following: "Serious toxicity can result from exposure to small amounts of methyl salicylate."
Overall we cannot identify any ingredients in Frownies that we would consider anti-aging or effective for treating wrinkles, and the product contains one ingredient with questionable toxicity data, which entirely proves our original point about why publishing ingredient information is crucial for consumer safety.
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 on wrinkles.
One of the most popular YouTube videos testing Frownies is published by a channel called "This is Real Life With Sheri." The creator used Frownies daily for 3 weeks to test if they were effective or not, and shares before-and-after images. The video is unsponsored:
Frownies Owner Convicted Of Tax Fraud
In 2017, the principal owner of Frownies, a man by the name of James L. Wright, was convicted of tax fraud according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The above-linked DOJ press release details that 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 consider this an ethical red flag about the brand generally that consumers should be aware of.
How To Apply Frownies
Since Frownies are a somewhat unusual product, consumers are often curious about how to properly use them. A video on the official Frownies YouTube page is under four minutes long and provides instructions:
Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray Review
Frownies’ most popular skincare product appears to be their Rose Water Hydrator Spray, which is used to improve skin quality and also to "activate" the Frownies patches (we're unsure what the brand means by this).
Hyaluronic acid is one of the ingredients, and is one of the most well-studied and effective anti-aging 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.
We consider Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray to be likely effective for reducing wrinkles due to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, but we don't recommend the product overall due to the inclusion of the preservative sodium benzoate.
Our Anti-Wrinkle Recommendations
There are skincare products that contain ingredients proven in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality generally.
Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top skin cream pick because of its effective and clean formulation. It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging. We consider this to be the most powerful topical skincare ingredient. Most importantly, this serum is entirely free of questionable additives like preservatives or fragrance.
Interested consumers can check out Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum at this link.
HydraGlow is our top moisturizer pick. It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." In the linked trial, topical bakuchiol reduced wrinkles, improved skin elasticity and firmness, and reduced photodamage (damage from UV rays). There are no questionable additive ingredients in this product.
Interested consumers can check out HydraGlow at this link.
The only oral supplement we recommend for skin quality improvement is Bulletproof Collagen Powder. Oral collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to improve visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration. The only ingredient in Bulletproof collagen is collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals. We recommend a dose of 10 grams per day.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Powder at this link.
Frownies Real Customer Reviews
Frownies is sold on Amazon which is a more objective resource for customer reviews in our opinion than a brand's website.
Frownies Facial Patches has been reviewed over 25,000 times at the time of updating this article, and has a relatively unimpressive average review rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. The product has a "B" grade on Fakespot, which is a software tool that detects potentially fake Amazon reviews. This is a good sign that most of the reviews are legitimate.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Ron Harbor" who claims the product is effective for wrinkle prevention:
"But my favorite part is the preventative nature of the patches. I am preventing more wrinkles by training my muscles to relax. I love how secure and sturdy the patches feel and how I cannot make wrinkles if I tried when they’re on. I love how my forehead feels tingly all morning after removing them. I can feel my forehead is more relaxed. I love how I am more aware of my expressions and my forehead muscles are actually more relaxed during the day. I am more mindful of avoiding squinting, scowling, and raising my eyebrows excessively. "
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Jenn M" who claims the product is ineffective and that is value proposition makes no sense:
"I am not sure how people use these with ant real results. I dont know, it was like a thin piece of cardboard with adhesive on the back. Reminded me of a stamp that you lick and stick to adhere. I know, think of... if biore pore strips and that card game where you stick the card to your forehead had an offspring. I just had these pieces of dry pieces of cardboard stuck to my forehead that didn't seem to be doing anything. Were they supposed to be tightening or smoothing my lines, idk?"