How to Prevent Sleep Lines
Sleep lines are those annoying lines caused by pressing your face 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.
Frownies, for the uninitiated, are little cardboard-like patches which you stick on your face at night to smooth out the lines, and keep them smooth all night, so you wake up to smooth, unlined skin. These DID prevent my existing line from re-appearing every night – instead, though, I’d wake up with NEW lines: these ones formed by my skin creasing around the edge of the Frownies themselves, as I smooshed my face into the pillow. FAIL.
As a better alternative to Frownies, however, I’ve also used…
Silicone Patches for Sleep lines
These are exactly the same idea as the Frownies mentioned above, but they’re made from silicone rather than card, which makes them easier on the skin, and less likely to just create new creases on your face. I buy these occasionally from Amazon, but you can also find similar products on eBay. I find these to be a much better alternative to Frownies, however they’re not a failsafe, and my biggest issue with them is that, although they claim to be “multi-use” products, I only ever get a handful of wears out of them before they stop being sticky, and fall off during the night, so they’re far from an ideal solution. Next!
Blumbody Chest Wrinkle Patches
A few weeks ago, I hit a new – and incredibly unwelcome – landmark in my ageing journey when I woke up one morning to discover that, not content to restrict themselves to my forehead, my sleep lines had now spread to my chest, with the natural folds which occur in the skin when I lie on my side turning into creases which were still there in the morning. Seriously, guys, side-sleeping is NOT the one: trust me on this. In desperation, I ordered a set of Blumbody Chest Wrinkle Patches from Amazon.
Now, these are silicon pads, and I know I JUST told you silicone pads don’t work very well for me, but I’m making an exception for these, which are amazing. There are two pads in each box, and although I initially thought the £24.97 price tag was a little steep for that (But, like I say, I was DESPERATE…), I’ve been using the first pad for around four weeks now, and it’s still just as sticky as it was when I first took it out of the box – and that’s in spite of the fact that I’ve been washing it regularly with the dinky little bar of soap provided.
What’s more, this product does actually work: I stick it on my chest every night before bed, and wake up wrinkle free. Even better, the sleep lines that had started to form in that area seem to have disappeared now, so I think it’s done some good in that respect, too. These patches did come with a sample pack of Blumbody’s Face Wrinkle Patches, which are paper rather than silicone: although they do remain sticky, the sizes in the sample I was sent aren’t quite big enough to be effective on my forehead lines, so the jury’s still out on those: I will update if I decide to purchase some more, though!
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.
Anyone else suffer from sleep lines? Got any magic solutions for me?
[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!]