Do Sunscreen Patches Actually Work? I Tried Them

Franz SunShield Peptide Patch Review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez
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A few months ago, I noticed what appeared to be melasma forming on the right side of my face. I'm fairly diligent when it comes to applying sunscreen, especially when it comes to my face because it's prone to becoming littered with freckles after only a short period of time in the sun. Although I also wear a hat when I'm outdoors whenever possible, it seemed as though I wasn't able to fully escape the sun's wrath.

Recently, I heard about patches you could apply to your face to block UV rays, and my interest was immediately piqued. They sounded great because you don't need to reapply them throughout the day, they're sweat and water resistant, and they help add an extra layer of protection to cover my melasma. But do they work? First, I tapped an expert to find out.

"I like using sunscreen patches in patients with melasma or hyperpigmentation (brown patches on the cheeks and the forehead), Jaqueline Watchmaker, MD, board-certified dermatologist with U.S. Dermatology Partners Phoenix, tells PS. "Patients with melasma and hyperpigmentation can use all the sun protection they can get."

However, Dr. Watchmaker notes that the UV patches have some downsides, especially since they come in sheets and don't often cover your entire face. "Areas not covered by the patch are still at a risk of sunburn," she says.

Keep scrolling to read my full review of the Franz SunShield Peptide Patch ($25, for a pack of 5) and find out why they've become a permanent part of my sun-protection routine.

About the Franz SunShield Peptide Patch

  • This product is a UPF 50+ sun protection patch.
  • It promises all-day UV protection.
  • It's water-resistant and sweat-resistant.
  • The key ingredients include a hyaluronic acid complex to hydrate the skin, glycerin to prevent water loss, and peptides to smooth fine lines.

What I Like About the Franz SunShield Peptide Patch

The first time I tested one of these eye patches, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'm used to applying sunscreen all over my face, but these were a lot different. I actually wasted a couple of the patches trying to figure out how to use them, but once I got the hang of it, I was hooked. At first, it's pretty apparent you're wearing something on your face, but once you apply the peptide serum and let it sit for a few minutes, you're set.

Although I have sensitive, acne-prone skin, these don't make me break out the same way regular sunscreen does. Plus, once they've actually settled onto my face, they're essentially undetectable.

These have honestly been a godsend for the melasma forming on my face. I can even manage to be in the sun for short periods of time without a hat — something I was never able to do before.

How to Use the Franz SunShield Peptide Patch

Franz SunShield Peptide Patch Review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez

The brand recommends starting by cleansing and drying your skin. From there, remove the backing from each patch and then apply it directly underneath your eyes — similar to where you'd apply an eye mask. Then, remove the top layer of the protective film and apply the peptide essence on top of each patch. When you want to remove them, the brand says all you need to do is roll up the edge of the patch with your fingertips and peel it off.

Whenever I use these patches, I follow the instructions perfectly for application. However, when it comes to removing them, I occasionally have to use tweezers to help me out because I have long fingernails and the edge can be difficult to grip. I usually put them on in the morning after applying the rest of my skin-care products. Once I put these on, I add SPF to the rest of my face.

What to Consider Before Trying the Franz SunShield Peptide Patch

Franz SunShield Peptide Patch Review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez

One thing to consider is that these patches don't cover the entire face, so you'll still need to use SPF. I personally love to use them for extra coverage, especially when I have melasma developing.

They can be a little tricky to figure out at first, so if you're having trouble, I'd suggest watching the video on the brand's website, which you can find here.

Additionally, these patches are pretty pricey. At $25 for a pack, you're essentially paying $5 per application. For me, they're worth it because getting lasers or miconeedling to treat my melasma is a lot more expensive. That said, if you're diligent about swearing SPF and hats, you might be OK with skipping this product.



Renee Rodriguez is a staff writer and social producer for PS. She writes across all verticals, but her main areas of expertise focus on fashion and beauty content with an emphasis on reviews and editor experiments. She also produces social content for POPSUGAR's TikTok and Instagram accounts.