How to Prevent Sleep Lines
Sleep lines are those annoying lines caused by pressing your face – or any part of your body, really – against your pillow all night: you know – the ones that make you wake up looking even worse than when you went to bed? So much for “beauty sleep”, huh? When you’re young, your skin has enough elasticity to just snap back into place as soon as you get out of bed: as you age, though, those pesky sleep lines can become permanently etched onto your skin – here are 8 ways to avoid that happening:
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Sleep lines and how to avoid them
Sleep on your back
Sleep lines occur most often in people who tend to sleep in the same position every night. I, for instance, have always been a side-sleeper, and favour my left side/// which is why my vest first sleep line appeared on that side of my forehead, making me look a bit like a really bad Harry Potter impersonator, with this weird line on my head. When I reached the point where that line started to seem permanent, as opposed to fading away a few minutes after I woke up to (Like it did when I was young: sob!), I started trying to sleep on my right side more often… with the result that I now have a matching line on that side too. GAH.
The only guaranteed way to prevent sleep wrinkles, then, is to sleep on your back. When you do that, your face doesn’t get “smooshed” by your pillow and you don’t wake up with sleep lines… which is all well and good IF you’re able to train yourself to do that. Because I’ve always slept on my side, and I find it absolutely impossible to train myself to sleep any other way, for any length of time. Even if I do manage to drift off on my back, at some point during the night, I’ll move onto my side with a blissful sigh of relief – and wake up the next morning with a jagged scar on my forehead. FAIL.
Anti-wrinkle patches are, as the name suggests, patches you stick onto your skin, which are designed to keep the skin smooth and stop wrinkles from forming.
There are tons of different brands selling these. I’ve had limited success with the patches designed to be used on the face (I find they either make no difference whatsoever or my skin just folds around the patch, creating EVEN MORE WRINKLES), but when I started to notice sleep lines on my chest recently (Because yes, you can get these little bastards appearing anywhere you have skin, basically), I started using some of the ones designed for the chest area, and I now absolutely swear by them.
My favourite chest wrinkle patches are these ones by Sio, but I also rate the Blumbody patches shown below. It’s important to note here that these don’t do much for lines that have already formed (or not for me, anyway), although some brands do claim they’ll help with that, too. Instead, I find them much more useful for stopping lines forming in the first place: so much so, in fact, that I don’t go to sleep without one now.
The Save My Face Pillow
The Save My Face Pillow. is a croissant-shaped pillow which prevents sleep lines by basically suspending your face between the two edges of the “croissant”. It DOES work – but only if you can managed to keep your face in exactly the right position, all night long. You can guess how that works out, can’t you? And, I mean, it’s actually easier than you’d think: I used this for a couple of years, and most of the time it worked. Other times, though, I’d wake up with the pillow under my chin and and a deep line on my forehead- and any time I forgot to use it, I’d have the best night’s sleep ever, so take from that what you will.
Peter Thomas Roth InstantFirmx for sleep lines
This is a genius little product which acts almost like a face mask: you apply a thin layer to your skin, and it tightens and lifts it, smoothing out lines and leaving you looking like either a younger version of yourself. No, seriously, I’m not joking about this: it’s THAT good, and it really smooths out the wrinkles – so much so that when I first bought it, I made every member of my family try it, and we all walked around for a few hours looking like scary clones or something.
There’s one drawback, however, and it’s a big ‘un: although the product is awesome at tightening the skin (albeit temporarily – when you wash it off, your face will go back to normal, and you’ll get to see yourself age instantly: pretty freaky, really), it’s really hard to apply – or, at least, it is for me – and has a tendency to leave a white residue on the skin. That’s a bit of a deal-breaker, really, so although it’s designed to be worn during the day, I quickly switched to only using it at night, on my forehead. I find that because it keeps the skin fairly tight, I’m less likely to wake up with sleep lines, although it’s not fool proof. It’s also not cheap, unfortunately, so you might want to ask for a sample first, if you’re thinking of trying it.
A silk pillowcase
Silk pillowcases are supposedly good for skin, because the slippery fabric allows your skin to just “glide” off it, rather than getting all mushed up against it. On silk, unlike on cotton, your face won’t scrunch up, and it won’t crease – or so the theory goes, anyway. What’s more, silk also contains natural proteins which are apparently good for the skin and hair, making them softer, smoother, and, in the case of hair, less likely to tangle and break.
I was sent my very own silk pillowcase to try a couple of years ago, and I used it until it wore out. It did make a difference to my skin, and I was less likely to wake up with lines than I was using my previous pillowcases. There were still, however, the odd mornings where I’d once again wake up looking like the Boy Wizard, which brings me to my next weapon in the fight against sleep lines…
A feather pillow
For years I’d used memory foam or fibre filled pillows, without giving it much of a second thought. After spending Christmas at my parents’ place, however, Terry and I both noticed that the feather pillows on our bed there were much more comfortable than our own, and because my parents would give us the clothes off their backs if we asked for them (Which we try not to do TOO often…), they kindly sent us home with them.
I found the softness of the pillow, combined with the smooth silk pillowcase allowed me to get a good night’s sleep for the first time in years, without having to carefully balance my head on a croissant, stick bits of cardboard to my face before bed, or wake up looking like someone drew a line on my forehead during the night. This only worked for a while, though, before I was finding sleep lines on my forehead again, so, in desperation, I tried…
The SYLA sleep mask, designed especially to prevent sleep lines
I wrote a detailed review of this product here, but it’s a bit like an eye mask, which you wear around your forehead, rather than over your eyes. The idea is that the mask holds the skin in place and prevents it creasing – and guess what? It really does! This is by far my favourite solution to the sleep lines problem so far: sure, I look a bit silly getting into bed with a mask around my head, but it really does prevent the dreaded lines from appearing, and it doesn’t matter what type of pillow or pillowcase I’m using either. The only problem I have with this is that it’s not exactly cheap at $50, and after a couple of years, the elastic on mine started to stretch out a bit, making it less effective.
[UPDATED TO ADD: I had intended to buy another one of these eventually, but it looks like the website I bought it from has closed down, and I’ve yet to find another stockist – I’ll update again if I ever do!]
A neck pillow
You know those odd-looking travel pillows that are designed to fit around your neck and allow you to fall asleep on the plane, or on other modes of transport? Well, it turns out they’re also pretty good at helping you avoid sleep lines, too, because they stop the skin on your face from coming into contact with the pillow – no contact means no sleep lines, and these tend to be cheaper than most of the other solutions listed here, too, which is another bonus.
I use one on top of my regular pillow every night now: I don’t think my husband will ever stop making fun of me for it, but it stops me waking up with a huge line on my forehead, so I’ve chosen to live with the teasing, rather than the sleep lines.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Lines:
How long does it take for sleep lines to go away?
The time it takes for sleep lines to go away can vary from person to person and depends on factors such as skin elasticity, age, and the severity of the lines.
In many cases, sleep lines are temporary and may disappear shortly after waking up as the skin returns to its normal state. However, if you consistently sleep in the same position over a long period, the lines may become more noticeable and take longer to fade.
To minimize the appearance of sleep lines and promote skin health, you can try the following:
- Change Sleeping Positions: Try sleeping on your back to reduce the pressure on your face. This can help prevent the formation of sleep lines.
- Use a Silk or Satin Pillowcase: These materials cause less friction and are gentler on the skin compared to cotton, potentially reducing the likelihood of sleep lines.
- Use a Wrinkle-Reducing Pillow: Some specially designed pillows are meant to reduce pressure on the face and minimize the formation of wrinkles during sleep.
- Apply Skincare Products: Use moisturizers or anti-aging products containing ingredients like retinoids or hyaluronic acid to improve skin elasticity and hydration.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water helps keep your skin hydrated, which can contribute to its overall health and resilience.
How to get rid of sleep lines on face quickly?
While sleep lines are generally temporary and may fade on their own after waking up, there are some steps you can take to help minimize their appearance quickly:
- Facial Exercises: Gently massage your face or perform facial exercises to stimulate blood flow and promote skin elasticity. This can help relax the muscles and reduce the visibility of sleep lines.
- Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected areas can help reduce inflammation and temporarily tighten the skin, making sleep lines less noticeable.
- Topical Treatments: Use products that contain ingredients known for their skin-plumping and hydrating effects, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin. These can help temporarily smooth out fine lines.
- Moisturize: Apply a moisturizer to your face to hydrate the skin and improve its elasticity. Look for products with ingredients like ceramides, peptides, or antioxidants.
- Avoid Harsh Products: Avoid using harsh skincare products that may strip the skin of its natural oils and contribute to dryness. Opt for gentle cleansers and products suitable for your skin type.
- Sleep on Your Back: Changing your sleep position to sleeping on your back may help prevent the formation of sleep lines in the first place.
How to get rid of permanent sleep wrinkles?
It’s important to note that once wrinkles become permanent, it can be more challenging to eliminate them completely. However, there are several cosmetic and dermatological treatments that may help reduce the appearance of permanent sleep wrinkles. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of these treatments can vary from person to person, and results are not always guaranteed.
- Topical Retinoids: Prescription retinoid creams, such as tretinoin, can stimulate collagen production and promote skin cell turnover, which may help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. It’s important to use these products under the guidance of a dermatologist.
- Dermal Fillers: Injectable dermal fillers containing substances like hyaluronic acid can be used to plump up and fill in wrinkles. This provides a temporary improvement in the appearance of wrinkles, and results typically last several months.
- Botox: Botulinum toxin injections (commonly known as Botox) can be used to temporarily relax muscles and reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles, including those caused by facial expressions. Botox is often used for lines on the forehead and around the eyes.
- Laser Therapy: Laser treatments, such as fractional laser or ablative laser resurfacing, can stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. These treatments may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Alternatively, microcurrent treatments can also be effective: check out my Foreo Bear review for more on these.
- Microneedling: This procedure involves using a device with tiny needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production. Microneedling may help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Chemical Peels: Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which causes exfoliation and stimulates the growth of new skin cells. This can improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- Facial Exercises: While not proven to eliminate wrinkles, facial exercises may help improve muscle tone and reduce the appearance of sagging skin. However, results can vary, and it’s essential to perform these exercises carefully to avoid causing additional wrinkles.
(Note: this post was originally published in 2016, but as I update it every time I discover a new product to add to it, I’m republishing it now so that those of you suffering from the scourge that is sleep lines won’t miss out on anything!)