Fact: Getting enough sleep every night is super important, and how much you sleep can have a major impact on how your skin looks. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothin’! Just think about what happens when you don’t catch those zzz’s. If you’ve ever stayed up too late bingeing a TV show, you know to expect dark circles under your eyes in the morning. But it’s not just snoozing for eight hours that matters for your skin — the WAY you sleep might just play a role in your complexion’s appearance as well.
Is it a myth that sleeping on your face gives you wrinkles?
While the evidence is limited, there is some research suggesting that sleeping on your face can lead to wrinkles. For a small study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, researchers had 15 participants sleep with their faces on pillows. Upon waking up, the researchers saw that the participants had noticeable lines on their foreheads, cheeks, and chin. And that makes sense, because when you have your face pressed up against your pillow for hours on end — whether you sleep on your side or directly on your stomach — it puts pressure on your skin, leading to the formation of temporary wrinkles.
But those little lines go away, right?! Yes, they will fade. But the thing is, when you repeat this behavior night after night for hours at a time, you run the risk of these wrinkles, which are also known as “sleep lines,” becoming permanent. Yikes, we know.
And while we hate to keep delivering bad news, it’s important to know that the older you get, the harder it is for your skin to bounce back from a night of having your face smashed into your pillow. Ugh.
When you’re young, your skin is full of collagen and elastin — the two building blocks that keep our skin springy. But as you age, your collagen and elastin production slows way down, and it becomes virtually impossible for your skin to smooth itself out when you wake up.
Okay, I’m convinced. What can I do to make sure I don’t end up with sleep-induced wrinkles?
Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to prevent sleep lines from showing up on your face!
Sleep on your back.
We know, duh. The most no-brainer way to avoid sleep wrinkles is by making sure your face doesn’t touch your pillow — so that means resting on your back. Of course, if you’re used to sleeping on your side, it’s definitely going to be a challenge to break out of the habit. You may want to consider investing in a special pillow, like JuveRest The Sleep Wrinkle Pillow, which is designed to minimize your face’s contact.
Switch to silk pillowcases.
If you just can’t bear to sleep on your back for a full night, another option is to simply change your pillowcases. Silk won’t pull at your skin the same way cotton will, meaning there’s less of a chance it’ll cause sleep lines. As a bonus, sleeping on silk causes less friction to your hair, so you can preserve a blowout longer.
Make smart skin care choices.
You may not be able to control if you roll onto your side in the middle of the night, but you can put together a wrinkle-fighting skin care routine.
One of the best things you can do preventatively is to use a retinoid. This stellar skincare ingredient speeds up cell turnover, unclogging your pores and minimizing the look of wrinkles.
A few words of warning: Retinols can be irritating, so you should start by using a teeny-tiny amount two or three times a week. You should also only apply retinoid at night. Since it increases cell turnover and exposes the fresh new skin underneath, it leaves you sensitive to the sun.
Catch that shut-eye.
We’re coming full circle here, and it’s to remind you that beauty sleep really is beauty sleep. Changing your sleep position, pillowcases, and skin care routine are all ways to mitigate the effects that snoozing on your face can have, but that doesn’t give you a free pass to stay up until 3 AM. We all fall victim to the Netflix binge every once in a while, but try to remember that sleep is the time when your skin renews itself!
Follow this advice and you’ll hop into bed for a night of wrinkle-free dreams!