THEY WORK!! (with a few caveats) Silicone patches for 'necklace lines' and 'tech neck''
Updated: Aug 5
A few years ago I tested a silicone patch designed for the eye area. I tried the patch for one night. With high hopes, I awoke in the morning to peel away the Sio patch and found that my under eye was a little pink and very puffy. I thought 'hmm, not what I'd hoped for', tossed the rest back in the drawer, and made an 'it was too good to be true' mental note about the promises of silicone patches.
Well, two years later I decided to give the Sio patches (along with several others) another try. This time I focused my energy on an area that plagues so many of us; those dreaded necklace lines. Many complain about the skin on their necks seeming to age more quickly than that of our faces. While how we treat these areas can certainly have an impact on how quickly they age, it's true that several things set our neck skin up for aging more quickly. The first factor is that the skin on our neck is thinner. Secondly, the skin on our neck has fewer oil glands than that on our face.
But most significantly in recent years is the impact technology has had on our posture. 'Tech neck' was first recorded as a term nearly ten years ago and has become an accepted phrase in our everyday life as we're increasingly reliant on phones, laptops, and other digital devices. What these devices have in common is that we normally view them not at a 0° (our spine and neck at their happiest!!) but at a 30°, 45° or even 60° angle. Ignoring the impact that holding this type of angle has on our cervical spine (!!!), the repetitive 'folds' we create in our necks with hours of gazing at devices is significant.
So I've been using silicone neck patches to try to counter these fold or 'necklace lines'. For two weeks I tested four varieties of silicone neck patches. Below you'll find my findings. But first, a bit of background:
THE HISTORY - SILICONE PATCHES TO HEAL SKIN
Silicone gel sheeting was first used in 1981 for the treatment of scarring for burns at an Australian children's hospital and has since been used widely in wound repair. A quick stop into the drugstore or search on Amazon yields a range of products (with very good reviews!!) offering silicone in different forms for scar treatment. Studies have shown that silicone gel sheeting decreases the evaporation of water from the skin and increases hydration of the stratum corneum. There seems to be strong consensus in the medical community that silicone-based products help scar recovery primarily by silicone's ability to impact the hydration of skin - to the point that they're systematically recommended by doctors as a regular part of scar management. I personally know several people who've successfully used these over-the-counter products as part of a regime to heal scars.
HOW DO SILICONE PATCHES WORK?
Enter silicone patches for superficial wrinkling! But do they work? I'm happy to report that they do indeed work! There are some drawbacks and hurdles that have to be jumped in order to make them user-friendly, but once the initial orientation period is over, they're a fantastic way to stave off lines and wrinkles and even bring back a youthful appearance to the neck and decollete.
1. Occlusion. You've heard me talk about 'occlusives' in skincare. Occlusives essentially prevent the skin from losing moisture by forming a protective film over the epidermis. Silicone patches work like 'occlusives on steroids' as they're able to attract the water up to the top dermal layers (a bit like hyaluronic acid), then block that hydration in that layer so that it can 'plump all night long'.
2.Compression. Silicone patches create a slight suction/compression when they're applied over the skin. This process enhances blood flow thus increasing nutrients and downstream collagen production.
While the silicone skin patch manufacturers don't mention this in their marketing, I found that part of my success with the patches is due to postural changes that they elicit. For example, while lying in bed looking at my phone (which I almost never do 🤫...), I found it awkward to position myself as I normally would. I had to physically move to a more healthy position, else suffer having my neck 'cut into' the silicone neck strip. While some people might find this undesirable, I took it in strides. After all, no change, no gain.
MY TESTS - WHAT DID I LEARN?
For my corresponding YouTube video, I purchased and have been testing three brands of silicone patches and also two brands of silicone tape. Below you'll find my review of each as well as a ranking of the patches I've tried. Overall I found all of the patches to have similar benefits and drawbacks. But one did offer a 'solution' to a critical drawback - and I'll share THIS ONE gamechanger that makes ALL of these (for the neck) much, much better!
All of the patches shared a few drawbacks:
1. Irritation factor. While technically 'allergy-free', across all brands I evaluated, some users reported irritation when removing the patches. This irritation ranged from 'small bumps' to 'persistent pinkness' to 'rashes'. While I didn't experience this with the neck patches, I did find that the eye patches I'd tried a few years ago not only irritated the delicate under-eye area but also caused swelling. Because I'm prone to morning swelling this was definitely NOT desirable for me. On the other hand, I did read one reviewer who suffered from sunken under eyes was DELIGHTED to see more volume in that area! My guess is that these products aren't suitable for those with sensitive skin (and use caution if you're using retinoids/Vitamin C during the day).
2. Ability to keep sticking. I'll be frank, this was a problem across the board with the patches I reviewed. Whether sleeping or awake, we humans are dynamic creatures and the 'gummy stick' provided by the patches is simply no match for a woman tossing and turning at night (I can only imagine the impact of menopausal night sweats on the whole situation!!).
3. Nighttime skincare products. Related to number 2, most of the brands insisted that the patches be used on clean skin. As best I can tell, this is for no other reason other than to ensure no oils, etc used in topical products before bed would hinder the adhesion of the patch. Okay, this would be a deal-breaker for me as I will absolutely not give up my night time skincare for a silicone patch!!
Cosmetic Silicone Wrinkle Patches
SIO (pack of 1 $30) possibly the pioneer in the silicone patch for aesthetics game SIO is indeed an effective wrinkle reducer. Like the others, it's intended to be used for 6-8 hours (overnight) and also for shorter periods to reveal smooth skin for special occasions.) The patch itself is fantastic. The adherence is unfortunately problematic... after several uses this patch actually annoying to use. Something to note: if you suffer from puffy under eyes like me, silicone patches in that area may not be for you. Upon removal, my under eyes were indeed MORE puffy (again, probably a win for some of you) and both inflammation and edema were clearly evident.
Ability to keep sticking: 4/10
Irritation factor: For me personally, none on neck, significant around eyes
Wrinkle reducing benefit: 8/10
Value: I think that while these are excellent, they are overpriced. It is noteworthy that these are available at Skinstore and I do have a 25% off discount there making these more affordable: use code PENNY at checkout.
OIA* I LOVE these patches. This neck patch is the "squishiest" of the lot (with the Blumbody right on its heals) making it very comfortable to wear. The included instructions allow for the use of skincare which was delightful to discover but alas....There is a reason that no skincare is typically called for - it impacts the stickiness.
Ability to keep sticking: 6/10
Irritation factor: For me personally, none on neck, significant around eyes (with all of them)
Wrinkle reducing benefit: 8/10
Value: Moderate value-and tied for my favorite but their stock issue is a concern
*website says out of stock until the end of October-will update blog when they get stock
Blumbody* These are my favorite of the group. They are nearly the size of the OIA and as "squishy" (aka comfortable) and their adherence is as good if not better than the rest (and that is BEFORE we consider the included strap!). I do think that the difference maker is that the company had the foresight to create and
include, the strap. To me that says that they're not JUST trying to get the consumer to re-buy the patch (and trash the old one) at a rate that is incredibly expensive and wasteful. This thoughtfulness deserves our patronage in my mind! They are also the most cost-effective to begin with-check Amazon for current pricing https://amzn.to/3e4jkb3
Ability to keep sticking: 8/10
Irritation factor: For me personally, none on neck but like the rest did emphasize puffiness around the eyes for me (I'll reiterate that that could be a benefit for many of you!).
Wrinkle reducing benefit: 8/10
Value: Best value, and *my personal favorite.
While I really appreciate that the Blumbody neck patches come with such a handy strap I do think a handy DIYer could rig up a neck fastener using some combination of velcro, flexible medical bandages and/or a child's terrycloth headband.
Medical Scar Revision Tapes
These are great DIY options if you are treating smaller areas (say brow area or between the eyes) but because they are about 1.5 inches wide, they're not the best option for the neck, in my opinion. They do adhere well and are incredibly thin compared to the jelly patches made for the neck (that I showed in my video). These are extremely effective for actual scar revision and healing so they are wonderful to have on hand in the medicine cabinet!
JJ Care Soft Silicone Tape (best of the 2 tapes in my opinion). This one is rinsable and re-usable making it cost effective. But again, not for larger areas at all.
One more thing...
I'd be negligent if I didn't mention that silicone patches, whatever variety used, won't take the place of other good skincare habits. The most important act you can take towards maintaining healthy neck skin is to ensure you apply SPF religiously. The second most important is that you maintain other good habits (not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining good posture, to name a few). Finally, ensuring that you use the same skincare on your neck as you use on your face. That includes actives such as retinoids, Vitamin C, AHAs, etc (although you may need a gentler dose) as well as hydrators and occlusives to help minimize transepidermal water loss. Additionally, tools like radio frequency, microcurrent and LED can help significantly when used as part of a regular long term routine (see Sagging jawline blog post)
Ok friends, let's all also work on sitting up straight! XOPenn
*Penn Smith Skincare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program. Many links are affiliate links, meaning I am compensated when you shop through these at no extra fee to you.
Affiliate Links (if you use these to shop I will receive a commission):
SIO at Skinstore https://www.skinstore.com/brands/sio-beauty.list Be sure to use my code to get 26% off. The code is PENNY.
Blumbody on Amazon https://amzn.to/3e4jkb3
I will update with OIA links when they get stock in! https://shop-links.co/chnQvyANmiP
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided on this website is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or skin-related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this blog should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare/skin professional. The statements made about specific products throughout this blog are not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It is important that you check labels to determine if a product is right for you. Before starting any treatment at home consult a health care or skincare professional to determine if it’s right for you.