Now, though, there’s a new trend taking off – serum-infused micro dart patches.
A trend that takes the idea of silicone patches and traditional eye masks to the next level, and it’s a trend being driven by brands like Depology.
For the past month, we’ve been putting Depology’s serum-infused micro dart patches to the test to see just how effective they are at tackling the signs of ageing and whether they’re the answer to our Crow’s Feet woes.
We look at the science behind the patches and microneedling generally and discuss the pros and cons.
Scroll through to read our Depology serum-infused micro dart patches review, or skip to the most relevant section using the links in the box to the left.
We’ve also, separately, reviewed the rest of the Depology anti-ageing skincare collection, which includes Black Caviar eye patches, retinol serums and a night cream. You can read our thoughts in our Depology reviews guide.
We have a discount code for anyone looking to give these patches a try. Click here, and enter MAMABELLA22 at the checkout for 10% off your order. Enjoy!
Microneedling, as a cosmetic procedure, isn’t new. It’s been used in skin clinics for years as a way to boost collagen and skin cell production. For this reason, it’s largely used as a way to treat acne, get rid of scars and sun spots, and notably reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can even be used to stimulate hair growth, or minimise hair thinning.
The process is carried out using what’s known as a “dermaroller” which consists of lots of tiny needles fitted onto a roller that is then run over the face. These needles pierce the skin, effectively causing “trauma” to it, which forces your body to rush to the site of the trauma and rebuild it. During this rebuilding, the skin cells generate new skin tissue and collagen because collagen (and elastin) are your skin’s scaffolding, for want of a better word.
As you can read in our What is collagen? guide, collagen is found in the dermis (or second) layer of the skin and it’s what gives our skin its plump and smooth texture. It specifically helps keep everything from sagging, creasing, and wrinkling.
As we hit the age of 25, though, our collagen levels drop at a rate of 1.5% a year and after the age of 45, they fall as much as 30%.
In certain parts of our face, namely those around our eyes and mouth, the skin is thinner or is in what’s known as “high movement” areas. Both crease and move when you smile, but also when we frown, talk, and more, and the combination of the two means these are the areas that are most likely to show the signs of ageing first.
Depology’s serum-infused micro dart patches have been designed specifically with these regions in mind.
As opposed to using a dermaroller fitted with tiny spikes, Depology’s patches take the concept of microneedling – that is, puncturing the skin to stimulate the production of collagen – and places dissolvable cone-shaped microneedles (often referred to as micro darts) onto small, sticky patches.
These patches aren’t too dissimilar in design and adhesive quality to regular plasters. Each micro dart contains Depology’s serum which contains ingredients including hyaluronic acid, argireline (a peptide that helps tackle the signs of ageing), amino acids and trehalose (a water-binding plant sugar that helps hydrate the skin).
When the water-soluble darts come into contact with the water beneath the skin, they dissolve taking the serum and its ingredients deep into lower layers.
Typically the outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, creates a barrier made up of tightly packed skin cells and intercellular lipids.
This barrier is designed to keep vital nutrients inside the skin and protect it from environmental pollution, but it also works to prevent the ingredients in your skincare from properly getting through and sinking into the lower layers where they’re usually needed most.
Depology’s serum-infused micro dart patches are available in packs of four, eight or 12, and these will last you two, four or six weeks respectively. Prices start at £23 and rise to £59.
FURTHER READING: The science of serums: What is serum and what does serum do?
After cleansing and drying your face, gently remove the Depology’s serum-infused micro dart patches from their sealed packaging and smooth them onto your target areas. Gently press the patches into the skin for three seconds.
You’ll then need to wait a minimum of two hours for the micro darts to fully dissolve and deliver the serum into your skin.
These patches can be worn overnight.
Depology recommends using the patches 2-3 times a week for the optimum effect.
The microneedles on the Depology patches are so small they’re barely visible to the naked eye. At worst, they feel slightly rough to the touch but they cause absolutely no pain or irritation – or they certainly didn’t during our tests.
We’ve spent the past week putting the patches to the test to see if they work as well as promised and we can confirm that, even in a relatively short period of time, our eyes look less tired. We have fewer fine lines and even the dark circles that we’ve had pretty much permanently since our son was born have become noticeably lighter.
The patches themselves are super easy to apply and, as mentioned above, don’t hurt in the slightest. In fact, it’s quite a nice feeling putting them on the skin. The first night we used them, we mistakenly applied our regular eye cream – Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Eye Rescue – before applying the patches.
While the patches themselves appeared to stick to the skin well, we woke up with them on our cheeks and pillow. We had assumed that this was because the patches themselves weren’t particularly well made but in fact, on subsequent tests when we didn’t apply the eye cream first, the patches didn’t move once during the night.
Even after the first night (well the first night they stayed put) we noticed a marked difference when we removed the patches. Not only did our fine lines appear less prominent, the skin around them where the patch had been placed felt and looked smoother.
We should point out that we’re in our mid-30s and, thanks largely to drinking a LOT of water, and regularly applying eye cream and SPF our fine lines and Crow’s Feet aren’t too entrenched. They’re certainly enough to notice in photos, but on the whole, they’re not terrible. On one hand, it may suggest we don’t quite need the serum-infused micro dart patches just yet, but on the other, it shows that even for people with minor laughter lines, the patches are noticeably effective.
After the second use, the impact was less noticeable but this may likely be because our eyes were still showing the effects of the first patch.
FURTHER READING: Crow’s feet: What causes laughter lines and how to get rid of them
Depology claims that the results become more consistent over time and we’ll be continuing our trial over the coming weeks to find out if that’s actually the case.
As it stands, we’re confident the Depology’s serum-infused micro dart patches work and work very well. We’d also say they’re worth the price, coming in at around a fiver a pair. This may seem pricey but when you consider Wishful Skin’s Eye Lift and Snatch patches are £4 a pair, and they don’t have the microneedle technology, we don’t think Depology’s price is unreasonable.
What’s more, we’re going to be using less of our Charlotte Tilbury Eye Cream as a result of these patches so we’re effectively saving money there, too.
We also have a discount code for anyone looking to give these patches a try. Click here, and enter MAMABELLA22 at the checkout for 10% off your order. Enjoy!
Victoria is founder and editor-in-chief of mamabella, freelance journalist and Mum. She has a passion for empowering people to feel beautiful whatever their age, size, skin type and budget