Inspired by medical technology, hyaluronic microneedling patches hydrate skin in a way that a serum can’t. Here’s how…

Putting tiny needle plasters anywhere near your face sounds torturous, but microneedling patches have made the leap into the beauty world from medicine. They were actually originally designed as a more comfortable, long-term way of delivering drugs such as vaccines and diabetic medication through the skin rather than via injection. But as so often happens, medical innovation was purloined by clever skincare companies, with microneedle patch delivery (or meso infusion as it's also known) being used to help your skincare - particularly the hydrating yet tricksy hyaluronic acid   – go deeper and work harder.

Most microneedling patches on the market target the eyes, as this area is the most prone to moisture loss and crepiness. However many, including the 111skin Meso Infusion Overnight Micro Mask, £120 (for four) can also be used to moisturise and temporarily soften lines anywhere you like such as the nasolabial folds, where smile lines spring up and even frown lines. Dr Yannis Alexandrides, plastic surgeon and founder of 111Skin, recommends multi-masking. "Micro-needling masks can help any areas with deep creases, from crows' feet to frown lines. Apply in multiple places for maximum results."

How do microneedle patches work?

First off, they’re not the big pointy needles you’re imagining. Microneedling patches use self-dissolving micro cones made of pure skincare to enhance the penetration of plumping, moisturising hyaluronic acid, often alongside other beneficial skincare ingredients. At 111Skin the cones go to a depth of 0.3mm which is equivalent to an at-home-micro needling roller.  Hyaluronic acid is the main player as it’s so effective for instantly hydrating and smoothing the thin, generally drier eye area, but as hyaluronic acid is a large molecule, it’s often not readily taken up by the skin. Diffusing the dose deeper into the skin results in improved moisture retention.

You can wear them overnight but they should stay on for a minimum of three hours. Here’s how they work and why they’re perfect for a bit of DIY SOS.

What do they feel like?

I’ve been through several packets of Vichy Liftactiv Micro Hyalu Patches , £28, and can report that they’re a little prickly on application, but the sensation subsides after a few minutes. They feel quite tight and thick on the skin - I would liken them to the feeling of wearing tiny Spanx around your eyes as they suck everything in and ‘freeze’ your under-eye area. It’s not uncomfortable per se, but you definitely know they’re there.

All was calm and bright in the eye department, with no dehydration lines to speak of, which is saying something because I really deserved them. I've since taken to wearing them at my desk, but clearly, they work far better if you’re not wearing makeup, and they’re an expensive habit to adopt on the regular (plus I imagine not too eco-conscious). If you’re in need of a smoothing quick fix, however, they quite literally patch things over.

They are not just for your eyes - 5 more microneedling patches (and one roller) to try

111Skin Meso Infusion Overnight Micro Mask x4, £120 

Using 95 per cent hyaluronic acid and five per cent vitamin C these pimped up patches are high in actives, high in price. They don't contain needles at all, rather tiny dots or 'cones' which penetrate to a depth of 0.3mm, like a pretty decent microneedling device, dissolve after three hours, hence the advice to use these at night. Once the cones have dissolved the ingredients melt into the skin, penetrating deeper than your usual surface mask. Hydration is the name of the game here and you'll notice an immediate improvement on fine lines.

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Luna Microcare Microchannel Patches x8, £120

Designed to be used as a weekly treatment these powerful patches which come in several forms to target pigmentation, lip plumping, spots and wrinkles have rave reviews.  The Eye Zone patch has potent mix of active ingredients - marine extract to repel free radicals, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and adenosine to help smooth out fine lines - is delivered deep into the skin via little microstructures which puncture the skin.

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Sarah Chapman Microneedling Roller and Serum, was £138 now £96.60

No, it's not a patch but the delivery principles of this smart roller are the same. The roller head contains dissolving 'needle' tips which create microchannels in the skin. You roll it all over the face, including under the eyes, for about ten minutes and then follow with the hyaluronic acid serum which, yup you guessed it, penetrates deeper into the skin thanks to the pre-skincare roll. As well as the hydrating benefits of microneedling you get the added glow that comes from the massage type pressure of the roller.

Rodial Bee Venom Micro Sting Patches, £27

First thing’s first, these painful sounding patches contain actual bee venom, so if you’re allergic, don’t go here. If not, the hyaluronic acid plus sodium hyaluronate combo is the main draw - there are 350 cones of the stuff in each patch. Antioxidant plant extracts help to fight free-radical damage and bee venom is intended to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects, although the research jury is still out as to whether bee venom can have rejuvenating action when applied topically on the skin.

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Natura Bissé Inhibit Hugh Definition Patches, £350 for four sachets of two patches

Our eyes are watering profusely at the price point, but if money’s no object, these copper peptide  and hyaluronic acid loaded gel patches are designed to be used as a four-week course and can be adapted to your eye shape and any facial contour you’d like to apply them to. Fans claim that they plump and enhance radiance in as little as two hours.

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Everything you need to know about mesotherapy