How You Sleep Might Be Causing Your Skin To Age

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 called beauty sleep for a reason. If you’ve ever stayed up too late binge watching a show, you and the dark circles under your eyes in the morning can attest to that! Aside from locking in those eight hours of sleep though, you should also be aware that the WAY you sleep plays a role in your complexion’s appearance as well.

Can sleeping on your face give you wrinkles?

While the evidence is limited, there is some research suggesting that sleeping on your face can lead to wrinkles. A small study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy 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…

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!

Young skin is full of collagen and elastin — the two building blocks that keep our skin springy. 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.

So what can I do to make sure I don’t end up with sleep-induced wrinkles?

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 topical retinoid, like SLMD's Retinol Serum. This stellar skincare ingredient speeds up cell turnover, unclogs your pores, minimizes the look of wrinkles and fine lines, and improves skin tone and texture.  

Be sure to only apply retinol at night. It is a PM, time-release formula that is activated gradually through the night, to minimize irritation. Because retinol exfoliates and increases cell turnover, it exposes fresh new skin and makes it more sensitive to the sun — ie. why it should not be applied during the day!

Make sure you’re layering something hydrating on top of your retinol. Try a non-comedogenic moisturizer, like SLMD's Facial Moisturizer or a serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Squalane, like SLMD's Hyaluronic Acid Serum — which will keep your skin smooth, hydrated, and supple.

Try to sleep on your back.

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, designed to minimize your face's contact.

Switch to silk pillowcases.

If you just can’t bear the thought of sleeping on your back for a full night, another option is to simply change your pillowcases. Silk has a lot of benefits — it won’t pull at your skin the same way cotton will and it causes less friction to your hair. There will be less of a chance you’ll get sleep lines and you’ll be able to preserve that blowout for one more day!

Catch that shut-eye.

We’re coming full circle here. 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 the crack of dawn! Try to remember that your skin needs sleep, just as much as your well being. Sweet dreams!


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