Microneedling Skincare Patches: Vice Reversa

Microneedling patches have been used in medicine for delivering vaccines, human growth hormones and insulin for some time. For skincare purposes, they are relatively new technology, with significant advances having been made in microfabrication in the last few years.

They have largely been championed in Asia, until now.

Enter Vice Reversa: A modern skincare company for age-old skin issues who have fined-tuned both concept and communication, taking the technology further afield with sell-out launches in Australia (2018) and the United Kingdom in early 2019. Their patches have been lauded as revolutionary from some well-trusted people in the beautysphere.

Vice Reversa has now strategically partnered with Dermastore to launch into South Africa, and we’re unbelievably excited about what this new skincare category can offer.

Vice Reversa products are simply unlike anything we’ve ever seen or have tested before, and for us, that is always an excellent starting point.

How Microneedling Patches are made

Vice Reversa products are manufactured in South Korea, a country well-known for its innovations in skincare. They offer two patch types – one circular patch for pimples, and one bean-shaped patch for wrinkles. The base of the patch is made from a single-use medical-grade hydrocolloid, that is also biodegradable. This material not only prevents moisture from evaporating but also assists in better absorption of ingredients allowing them to have maximum effect. The patches prevent bacteria from entering the treatment area, an added benefit for any kind of acne treatment. Through a world-leading and patented manufacturing process, microscopic crystalised active ingredients are affixed to the hydrocolloid surface in razor-sharp uniformity. From here, patches are sealed into high-quality, sterilzed packaging to prevent outside contamination.

How Microneedling Patches Work

Each microneedle is about a third of the width of a single human hair, and have a square pyramid shape. They are also water-soluble. This allows them to dissolve as soon as they come into contact with water in the skin. One should be vigilant not to expose the patch to water before applying, as this might prematurely dissolve the needles, making them less effective. Make sure to properly dry the skin area before applying.

Once applied, the needles begin to dissolve, delivering active ingredients into the targeted area.

In addition to their unique delivery mechanism, there is also evidence the microneedles themselves can be beneficial. Much in the same way as dermarollers and medical microneedling encourages the skin to self-repair by creating a small trauma or infliction, thereby stimulating the production of collagen. 

Efficacy & Clinical Data

Efficacy and safety of microneedling skincare patches have been demonstrated in a number of clinical studies. One of the most convincing was a study where Adenosine‐loaded dissolving microneedle patches showed the same or better effect over the application of an adenosine cream. There was also 140 times less Adenosine on the patch!

There are essentially four types of microneedles for delivering medication or active ingredients into the skin: Solid, coated, dissolving and hollow, each with their own benefits and limitations. In terms of end-user usability, dissolving microneedles patches are considered the easiest to use. They are also able to deliver a sustained and consistent dose of active ingredients.

In one specific study, an HA microneedle patch was found to be more effective than an HA essence for wrinkle improvement. Although, in another study, the combination application of a soluble microneedle patch and a wrinkle cream was found to be an effective treatment in improving facial wrinkles. We therefore encourage users to incorporate a peptide-based or growth factor serum in combination with the Wrinkle patch, in order to maximize the benefits of both products.

Microneedle Patches vs. Hydrocolloid Patches

Hydrocolloid patches (also known as bandages) work superficially on pimples that have already formed a pustule. This is essentially too little too late as your skin has already been inflicted and compromised. Microneedingly pimple patches, on the other hand, work in a more targeted way before the pimple head has formed, reducing inflammation and encouraging wound healing from within. Both patch types notably do a good job in preventing bacteria from reaching the area of concern.

Silicone patches exist on the market for plumping and hydrating fine lines and wrinkles. They’re highly effective at retaining moisture and assist over time in reducing transepidermal water loss much as hydrocolloid patches would also. The added benefit of microneedling patches is that they infiltrate the skin with a dose of active ingredients which in turn hydrate and plump the skin. The hydrocolloid then seals the area and allowing for best efficacy, whilst preventing TEWL.

Microneedle Patch vs. Topical skincare

Some skincare ingredients with the right properties can penetrate through our skin barrier, but many of them can’t get in. This is why formulation in skincare is everything. It’s also the reason why a lot of products are formulated with penetration enhancers. Incorrectly formulated products, with large molecule sizes often have difficulty penetrating the epidermis. Ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, which generally has a large molecule size (there are newer forms of Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid) sit on the skin’s surface, superficially hydrating the skin for a few hours, after which your skin goes back to how it was pre-application. Microneedling patches are a newer approach to solving this issue by penetrating the skin with 90% permeability, delivering ingredients like HA deeper beyond the dead layer (stratum corneum).

When it comes to acne treatments, you shouldn’t touch your affected areas as this runs the risk of exposing them to bacteria. This is trickier to circumnavigate when applying a topical spot treatment with your fingers. The patches won’t dry or damage skin like some topical treatments can, instead they treat and reduce inflammation at the source. Continued use of the pimple patches will encourage further healing and ensure scarring doesn’t occur.

Microneedle Patch vs. Other forms of Needling

Dissolving microneedling patches can be described as the beauty love-child of sheet masks and microneedling tools, harbouring beneficial qualities of both. The length of a microneedle makes a huge difference. Longer needles can get into the dermis, which is why you’ve probably seen microneedling videos online with a lot of bleeding.

Much like how you wear a sheet mask (think lazying about on the couch) you have in addition here, microneedles that are 0.3mm in length doing more work. Vice Reversa patches gently penetrate the stratum corneum to reach deeper layers of the epidermis, then slowly dissolve to deliver the active ingredients inside, without any pain or blood. Obviously longer microneedles will have more of a collagen-stimulating effect, but they require additional time dedicated for the pre and post-treatment steps. You also don’t need to worry about sterilising any equipment or spreading infections, as the patches are single-use, and remain fixed in one place.

Ingredient Overview

/ Pimple Patch

Salicylic acid

A beta-hydroxy acid and chemical exfoliant that can unclog pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory as well.


Is antimicrobial compound that comes from yew and cypress trees and has been found to act against Propionibacterium acnes.

Green Tea Extract (EGCG)

A popular antioxidant that helps to scavenge free radicals which cause premature skin ageing. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.


Derived from Centella Asiatica, the key ingredient in “cica” products. It is known to promote wound healing and reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) in addition to being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Hyaluronic acid

A humectant moisturiser found naturally the skin, it attracts and holds onto water, increasing hydration and elasticity for plumper skin.

/ Wrinkle Patch

Hyaluronic acid

A humectant moisturiser found naturally the skin, it attracts and holds onto water, increasing hydration and elasticity for plumper skin.


Application of hydrolyzed collagen through microneedles stimulates the skin to produce more collagen, plumping and smoothing it’s appearance.


Is an anti-ageing ingredient that has been demonstrated to decrease wrinkles. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.


Derived from Centella Asiatica, the key ingredient in “cica” products. It is known to promote wound healing and reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) in addition to being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.


Signal the skin to boost production of new collagen and elastin fibres by stimulating the fibroblasts. The wrinkle patch contains three popular types of peptides: Acetyl hexapeptide-8, Copper tripeptide-1, and Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 each thought to increase the production of collagen, elastin and glucosaminoglycans, resulting in smoother, fuller-looking skin.

What to Expect

There might be a very mild prickling sensation (no pain) when applying pressure to the patch on your skin for the first time. Make sure the whole patch is properly set, applying pressure only for 2-3 seconds – not for longer. Once a patch is in place you’ll need to leave it on for a minimum of 2 hours while the ingredients dissolve into the skin and get to work. We recommend using a Wrinkle patch every 3 days on your area of concerns for 4 weeks, after which you should start to notice signs of improvement.

A pimple patch can be applied on a need-to-use basis. They are best used on pimples that have yet to have formed a head. You should notice a decrease in swelling and size after 6 hours of applying the patch. In our testing, the pimple patch completely flattened a pimple we are pretty certain otherwise, would have formed a head. For a day afterward we noticed a slight reddish ring where the patch had been applied, but this soon disappeared and we noted less post-acne discoloration. Obviously if you are a pimple popper (never encouraged), you would not experience scarring or scabbing if the pimple life-cycle was ended before a head is formed. If you’re struggling with deeper, cystic acne the needles might not be long enough to get the job done, but our advice would be to give it try! If you don’t see any improvement, you can try another patch, followed by a consult with a Dermatologist for additional treatment options. Deep cystic acne is harder to treat topically and usually requires a form of oral treatment for long-term improvement.

Vice Reversa’s microneedling patches create a smart and easy solution for targeting everyday skin concerns. Based on the supportive evidence and our experience in testing the products, we are confident they will earn a rightful place within skincare routines across South Africa.

Posted in LEARN / BRAND FOCUS on July 30th, 2019.

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