Sheet masks, you’ll always be our OTL for a quick skincare fix, but we’re crushing hard on this latest skincare innovation — microneedle patches.
The beauty trend has been popping up across our Instagram feeds and local pharmacies for a bit now, and while they may look like regular undereye patches or the hydrocolloid zit stickers we’re used to, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice tiny, tiny ‘needles’ on the surface of these patches. Yikes? Well, not to worry though! The patches consist of painless microneedles, very fine darts that when applied on skin, pierce through the skin barrier in order to push active ingredients into our skin’s deeper layers.
Whether you’re looking for a quick way to get rid of sprouting zits, or an anti-ageing solution for fine lines and wrinkles, these targeted patches are lauded for being even more effective than our usual serums, since the little spikes deliver skincare right into our skin.
As with any recent trend, here’s a low-down on how the technology works, and which top tier brands you should get started on.
What are microneedle patches?
Inspired by the aesthetic procedure of microneedling, microneedle patches are skincare patches that come with tiny, very fine spikes on one end, which contain high concentrations of active ingredients. These enhance the delivery of skincare ingredients, and allow them to penetrate deeper into the skin.
What are they usually used for?
While there are options for anti-ageing care and fine lines or wrinkles, they’re most often used to target breakouts, where they are best suited for early-stage zits — that is, reddish blind pimples that are still under the skin, where a whitehead has not yet emerged.
How do they work?
Once you apply the patch onto your skin, the tiny ‘needles’ enter past the hard outer corneal layer of your skin, making small openings on your skin surface which help active ingredients penetrate into the deeper layers.
Most brands use self-dissolving needles for their patches — these are composed of biodegradable molecules moulded into the shape of needles. Once the skin barrier is slightly pierced, “enzymes in the body begin breaking down and dissolving the outer components of the ‘needle’ so that the active ingredients within it are delivered to the site”. The skincare ingredients then get absorbed by skin cells for a most effective treatment.
How do you apply them?
To use, simply place them on the troubled area and press them on for about 5 seconds, firmly but gently to ensure that the sharp points attach themselves to the skin’s surface. Those tiny pricks then prompt the body to begin breaking down the outer components of the ‘needle’.
Will they hurt the skin?
Not at all! The patches are really quite painless — you might feel a tiny prick at the beginning, but the needles are so fine that there’s no pain at all. It helps that microneedles do not reach the pain receptors, which are deeper into the dermis. They also do not cause bleeding, nor will they scratch the surface of the skin and leave any marks.
As a precaution, try not to move the patches after you’ve applied them, and do not leave them on longer than recommended. Also, while microneedling is safe for most skin types, it’s not recommended for skin with active breakouts or cystic acne, where it might potentially increase irritation or inflammation. For those with sensitive skin, do go to the ingredients list to find out whether a brand’s product is suitable.
1. SNOW2+ MAGNESIUM MICRONEEDLE PATCHES
Can we just say, of course k-beauty is on it! As with sheet masks, the 10-step skincare regime, and other groundbreaking trends that have emerged from the country, this one involves microneedle patches, though not your regular kind. Snow2+, a Korean brand that also produces medical products, introduces the world’s first patented magnesium microneedle patches, which delivers the bacteria-killing ingredient into our dermal skin layer, in order to target acne spots, troubled skin, and more.
Theirs are made with microneedles finer than a strand of hair, with an optimised needle length of 0.23mm to 0.27mm, and are 100% biocompatible to human skin. There are four types of patches available here, each targeting a specific skin concern. For those with acne or blemished skin, the One Night Trouble Patch is an effective spot treatment, or you can opt for the Multi Ampoule Green Patch, which also contains a high concentration of Centella Asiatica Extract that helps heal the skin.
Then, there are options for reducing fine lines, crow’s feet, and even frown lines, with the Multi Ampoule Wrinkle Patch and a more targeted Eyezone Ampoule Wrinkle Patch; these make use of ampoules primarily rich in Niacinamide for a strong skin barrier and a brightening effect. The cosmeceutical patches are meant to be used twice weekly, and applied to a clean face without any skincare product or makeup for more effective results.
$14.50 – $33.50, exclusively available online at BEAUTYCIRCUS.CO.
2. 111SKIN MESO INFUSION OVERNIGHT MICRO MASK
For a luxurious treat, try 111SKIN’s Meso Infusion Overnight Micro Mask, which comes with everything we’d expect from a renowned medical-grade skincare brand founded by a plastic surgeon. The mask consists of two patches made up of 150 micro cones of pure Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C, for 100% product absorption. These physically penetrate the skin at 0.3mm, dissolving into the area overnight so the ingredients are infused directly into the skin. Ideal for under the eyes, crow’s feet, frown lines, or nasolabial folds (usually referred to as laugh lines), you’re free to choose which area to target, though you’ll be able to see diminished lines, as well as brighter-looking and plump skin no matter where you place them.
USD152.45 (~$202), available at NET-A-PORTER.COM.
3. ZITSTICKA KILLA™ KIT
This Australian brand manages to make zits and blemishes way less embarrassing, appealing even, with their Instagram-friendly product, the KILLA zit patch. ZitSticka’s signature skincare product contains ingredients such as hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, calming Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid, that when combined with Oligopeptide-76, a powerful but gentle peptide, helps unclog pores and treat early-stage zits as fast as possible, so you never get all the unpleasant fuss. These actives are delivered via a self-dissolving microdart patch, a translucent patch layered with 24 self-dissolving microdarts for the best results. As for the KILLA Kit, it contains 8 patches of KILLA, and 8 exfoliating cleansing wipes that can use to prime a deep zit before patch application.
USD37.57 (~$50), available at NET-A-PORTER.COM.
4. HERO COSMETICS MIGHTY PATCH MICROPOINT FOR BLEMISHES
Hero Cosmetics first started with their award-winning Mighty Patch Original, which heals acne overnight, though their latest approach targets emerging pimples before they even pop up on the skin. Enter, the Micropoint for Blemishes, a microneedle patch loaded with 173 Micropoints designed to penetrate and dissolve into our skin, thus delivering acne-busting ingredients right into the pimple’s core, beyond the reach of topical acne creams. The microneedles contain a mix of purifying ingredients of Salicylic Acid and Totarol, as well as Hyaluronic Acid and Beta Glucan that hydrate and renew the skin. Most people notice results in just 1 – 2 patches, so you should seriously be considering this to reduce angry, inflamed pimples.
USD12.99, available at HEROCOSMETICS.US.
5. DR. JART+ FOCUSPOT™ LINE & WRINKLE MICRO TIP™ PATCH
This set of self-dissolving anti-ageing patches from Dr. Jart+ has yet to arrive in Singapore, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be looking out for it online. Inspired by popular microneedling procedures, the patches contain 63% hydrating Hyaluronic Acid that are further infused with nourishing Vitamin E and peptides. Together with the microneedle technology, the ‘needle’ tips deliver those potent ingredients deep into our skin, painlessly targeting fine lines and wrinkles and plumping them out so we can see improvements within two weeks. There are also other patches within their Focuspot™ line that help with other skin concerns, such as blemishes, dark spots, and dark circles.
USD20, available at US.DRJART.COM.