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How to Prevent Sleep Lines

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leep 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 stop that happening…

 

01.
Sleep on your back

When you sleep on your back, your face doesn’t get “smooshed” by your pillow and you don’t wake up with sleep lines. Which is all well and good, but 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.

how to get rid of sleep lines: frownies

02.
Frownies

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.

03. 
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.

04.
Peter Thomas Roth InstantFirmx

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 foolproof. It’s also not cheap, unfortunately, so you might want to ask for a sample first, if you’re thinking of trying it.

How to Prevent Sleep Lines

05.
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 one of Gingerlily’s Beauty Box pillowcases 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…

06.
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…

07.
The SYLA sleep mask

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. I do intend to buy another one of these – eventually – but, for now, I’m making do with…

08.
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? 

 

8 ways to prevent sleep lines and wrinkles caused by your pillow
how to get rid of sleep lines: everything I've ever tried to stop waking up with pillow creases on my skin, including the one thing that actually works to stop them

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43 Comments
  • Mariana
    July 14, 2015

    I have one too, but I got it mostly because* of my curly hair. I’m 99.99%** sure that the proteins don’t actually do anything, it’s works the same for the hair as it does for the face – since it has no friction with the pillow, it tangles&breaks less during the night, and there’s less frizz in the morning, which in turn makes it look softer and smoother. Less frizz is the key thing for me, I don’t wash it everyday, and I can’t brush it either if I’m not washing it…

    * I was using my silk nightgown over the pillow to sleep, and some friends decided it was enough and got me the pillowcase for my birthday.
    ** I’ve been watching a lot of sci-fi. Who knows?

  • Anna Tuckett
    July 14, 2015

    I will try the silk pillowcase, thanks for reviewing it.
    I would recommend Foreo as well (I’m not paid to recommend it, I wish I was). It is expensive, but any sleep lines disappear pretty much after 2 minutes of use. I’m 41 and my skin is still quite bouncy, as it used to be quite oily, but I’ve been getting the sleep lines that would take a few hours to fade. Foreo definitely speeds it up.

  • Selina
    July 14, 2015

    I have this image of you arranging little bits of cardboard on your face in your sleep 😛 But I’ve heard that silk is good for the skin and hair so maybe one day I’ll invest in one

  • Quaintrelle Georgiana
    July 14, 2015

    The silk pillows are on my “to try” list, so thanks for the review, I was a bit skeptic. I am too quite obsessed about my face and wrinkles, I started to use oils on my face and it feels really great – I must recomment an argan oil from Fragonard (I bought it when in France), I am using it on my face and dry hair ends and it is fantastic. I also like a rose oil from Saloos.
    btw I would recommend you to masage your face gently with a bit of oil or cream.
    I also read a lot about face gymnastic but am not still sold for it, did you try this? What is your opinion?

    • Amber
      July 14, 2015

      I haven’t tried any kind of face gymnastics, I’m afraid!

  • Myra
    July 14, 2015

    Interesting blog, it’s probably too late for me lol, but I’d like to get one for Marsha. Which one did you buy?

    • Amber
      July 14, 2015

      It’s the one that’s linked in the post, Myra 🙂

  • Elizabeth Rose
    July 14, 2015

    I’m so tempted. I’m only 28, but sometimes I notice things that WERE NOT THERE YESTERDAY. I currently use satin pillowcases that my mother made me because supposedly your hair catches less on them (makes sense) and I have major volume problems. Amazing how so many people try so hard to gain volume, and then there are those of us who have entirely too much… anyway though, my point is perhaps satin is fine for the face too. However, the inner paranoia in me wants to get the silk!

    • Amber
      July 14, 2015

      Haha, if satin creates volume, I want THAT! Swap? 😉

  • CiCi Marie
    July 14, 2015

    Oh dear me, I didn’t even know permanent sleep lines was a thing! How naive I was… I have literally just had to get to grips with the first lines around my eyes appearing and now I have a whole new fear – which is probably going to manifest as worry lines. Gah!!

    • Amber
      July 14, 2015

      Once you know about them, you see them everywhere – I always notice them on people on TV now: you can quite often tell what side someone sleeps on just by looking at their face!

  • Rebecca
    July 14, 2015

    Ha, botox gets rid of them…. silk pillow probably a bit safer though!

    • Amber
      July 14, 2015

      I wouldn’t have thought it would work on a sleep line – mine are kinda diagonally across the forehead, so there’s no muscle under them to freeze: it’s literally just the skin folding against itself while I sleep!

      • Catherine
        February 5, 2016

        Fillers might?

      • Lisa
        April 25, 2018

        Botox ABSOLUTELY works on your diagonal forehead sleep line! What’s even better about Botox than it relaxing the existing line, is it will prevent future wrinkles from forming. WIN-WIN!

  • Fran
    July 14, 2015

    Love silk pillows for my curly hair! And they are just so darn pleasant and stylish. Also I completely get you on faces just changing with age. I never used to have puffy eyes…now I do. A lot. -.-

  • Steff
    July 14, 2015

    As with other commenters I have been meaning to get one for my curly head for ages, now this no sleep line miracle is an added incentive! I have been lucky so far with sleep lines but I’m sure I will wake up any day now with my own Harry Potter line! I am still curious about frownies but the side effect of extra lines doesn’t sound great either! And I never stay on my back, and I snore when I do so it’s not a great option for me either! Thanks for the pillowcase rec, sounds definitely worth a try. 🙂

  • Wild Tea Party
    July 15, 2015

    ….I didn’t know this was a thing I had to worry about. I’m already busy looking at the wrinkle getting deeper and deeper on my neck… Why is aging so awful?

  • Sally
    July 16, 2015

    I sleep on my side/stomach-ish and can’t sleep on my back if my life depended on it – which is a serious possibility when I’m sick! – because my neck doesn’t get enough support; even with my TempurPedic pillow. I haven’t noticed any facial lines yet because I use to side of my pillow, but I’ve got them cropping up on my chest and clavicle. My mother noticed. (The ensuing arguments and guilt trips were worthy of any Jewish mother worth her salt.) They ended when she bought me a JuveRest pillow. They look super funky, like a Save My Face on steroids, but they are amazing! I find the divots cradle my head just perfectly, so I don’t have to worry about holding the correct placement at night. So far I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in chest lines, and my neck hasn’t had to be torqued by my chiro in weeks because it’s finally getting the support it needs – and no longer has my mother breathing down the back of it, so I’m sure that helps.

    Ah, er.. I am in no way being paid, coerced, bribed, or otherwise compensated by JuveRest or TempurPedic for this comment card. At least, I don’t think I am.

  • Erika
    July 17, 2015

    You sound just like me in this post. I remember the day precisely and have tried several things that you have. I did finally learn to sleep on my back, but on the nights I just tell myself so what and sleep on my side, I get the best sleep ever. I have bangs, and have on and off for many many years, so I don’t notice my line all the time, but I had an awful week the last time I cut them too short – I even found myself doing some facial exercises.
    I alternate between slathering coconut oil and MSM cream on my face nightly. I know it’s part of life, but not a part I am liking at all.

  • Becky
    February 4, 2016

    I have been meaning to get a silk pillow case for ages because I’d heard they do wonders for curly hair but I never quite got around to it. I didn’t know they were good for your skin too, but I guess it makes sense. Do they take much getting used to when you swap out your regular pillow cases?

    • Amber
      February 4, 2016

      No, I don’t remember it taking any getting used to!

  • Holly
    February 4, 2016

    No one has mentioned staying hydrated yet. That would be another tip to try.

  • Janine BakeGlueandTrend
    February 6, 2016

    Oh Amber how I love thee for posting this!! I could have literally written this myself… I have tried all sorts (including the frownies) and eventually stumbled on the feather pillow thing whilst staying over at my mum’s house too (what is it with parents and feather pillows??). I promptly bought my own and things have gotten much better! Next on my list is the silk pillowcase. My budget is right right now. One thing I have found to work is massaging my face on a night with my night oil. This plumps my face up and gets the blood flowing. I then wash my face as soon as I wake up (with glycolic fix from nip and fab; also great for anti aging), then I massage my face again with my day cream – paying particular attention to any lines, bringing more blood flow towards them. I then pop on some under eye gel masks which I leave on whilst I eat breakfast and drink my coffee (plus browsing some blogs, obvs..), then when I come to apply my makeup I find I have a plump glowing face. I’m still hunting for more tricks and treatments though as I suspect this won’t keep them at bay forever. Bloody aging, who invited him to the party eh?! Not me!! Xx

    • Janine BakeGlueandTrend
      February 6, 2016

      Oops meant to say budget is tight right now!

  • Lu
    March 15, 2016

    I only get thoses lines when I stay at some hotel that uses very loose fitting pillow cases. At home I have rather firm pillows (40cm*80cm) that have tight fitting cases. The pillow cases can’t form any folds and leave no lines in my face. I can imagine that very soft pillow would form folds, no matter how tigth the case fits.

  • Annette
    August 22, 2016

    So come on ladies how the hell do we get shut of these sleep wrinkles there driving me insane, someone tell me a miracle please!

  • Dante
    August 26, 2016

    Hello… What kind of feather pillow should I get and can someone tell me what is Foreo is?

    Thanks

  • pernilla
    October 2, 2016

    Im not the only one here!!??!! I use to be blessed with looking way younger than I was until one day those sleep lines decided to stay, p.e.r.m.a.n.e.n.t.l.y. OMG misery. I have them like a raccoon around my eyes, and I started looking like an old woman with hollow eyes, this time WAY older than my years 🙁
    When I was single a year and a half ago i thought why not try everything even the things that makes me look stupid since Im all alone at night! I ended up using surgical tape, you now, skin friendly skin colored tape, more papery in its texture, around half an inch to an inch wide. I taped it over the line and in the morning THANK YOU dear night ferry they were GONE!!!!! I did this for six months and they were gone the entire time. Then a year ago I got into a relationship again, and let me tell you I did contemplate to wear the tape but I just couldnt face looking like I had a car crash and got patched up every night, after all it was a new relationship and I wanted to look a little attractive at least. WELL those wrinkles came back faster than lightning, after a month they were back as strong as before. I tried pretty much all of the above you mention to a fail. A year later I was now desperate, the lines were much deeper and they never left after any period of time, I knew these were to stay, these were the wrinkles I would have to learn to live with from now on. Bot oh, it made me look so tired and worn, people often even commented I looked tired from my bags. So i though *fk it, the tape came back out, and now its been a week and they are less pronounced in the morning, dont get me wrong, these were already by now deep lines, but at least they were less deep. Who knows maybe the skin will regenerate new cells and smooth it out I dont know. SO here is my advice, Prevent it! as soon as you see it! Dont wait! And dont slack! Because once they are there deep and pronounced maybe you can only take it so far, but if you are lucky that you caught it in time you may never have them back. At least thats what I read from a woman online, she cought it in time and this is 17 years later and she never got any of them back! But she does sleep with tape every night 😉

    • Emily
      January 7, 2017

      I’m 24 and am as desperate, sad, and anxious as you! I had extremely good looks (only in my face) but always had creases that appeared under my eyes every morning. They always went away throughout the day, though. Then one day, those horrendous lines would not go away! Now I look like an old raccoon, just as you said! I look hideous! I can’t even go out unless it’s something required like school or work, and even then I’m so late because I dread being seen like this at all. I’m going to go look for some surgical tape tonight. I bought deep line fillers and Elastaderm online as well. Why do I have to already be ugly and aged like a 90+ year-old at age 24??? 🙁 I am praying for a miracle!!!

  • Manola
    October 2, 2016

    Silk pillow is for me a must (or it’ll take forever to untangle the hair!) and I add Olay regenerist serum in the morning, a Foreo dupe and Shisheido mask at night…. The wrinkle which horizontally signs my forehead is way less noticeable. If I think this was a gift of applying mascara without glasses (obviously) instead of lifting my head…. So put attention on beauty routine! 😸

  • veronica
    December 2, 2016

    Great article!!! I’m 26 and recently have be really into taking care of my skin, I guess I would rather start taking care of it now than it be to late and not be able to fix it, i come from a family of very wrinkle prone skin so I’ve been doing my research lol I see that you mention a lot of good product on here but one that I did not see is a 2 step system called Stemuderm Anti-wrinkle Treatment and Suvoderm Night Time Rescue Repair Treatment by SOLVADERM

  • Kay
    January 30, 2017

    Does anyone know whether the Syla mask would work for sleep lines under my eyes (on my cheek bones)? I’ve tried the silk pillowcase, which helps a tiny bit, but not enough and the feather pillow, but that just ‘smushed’ my face even more! I’m training myself to fall asleep on my back but still wake in the morning on my side looking as if I have scars on my cheeks! The Syla sounds great, but I’ve only seen/ heard people using for forhead lines, not cheek/under eye ones. I’m hoping that if it’s work like a normal sleep mask it might? But, strangely, it seems to be designed to wear on the forhead! Thank you in advance!

    • Tanya Shipley
      May 21, 2018

      Kay I know this is a old post but I am suffering from the very same thing! Have you had any luck? Thanks 🌸Tanya

  • nancy fischer
    February 16, 2017

    I have been online trying to get a feather pillow. Most all pillows have some sort of down to it and I am wondering what your recommendation was? Pure feather pillow or 5% down etc…?

  • Penny
    March 2, 2017

    Just wanted to say that I am going to be 60 this year. I’m lucky, I don’t look it ..just as well as my husband is 16 years my junior. We’ve been together for 15 years and have young twins. I’ve only ever used basic skincare, but have been religious in that. I also watch my weight and lately, have taken up running to help that, so I’m still the same figure as 40 years ago. I met a facial surgeon and chatted about facelifts as my skin is starting to sag now and he said that I look so young because I have very open eyes. He persuaded me not to go under the knife. So here is my tip for open eyes – when you apply your makeup, raise your eyebrows and stretch open your eyes. I’ve done it from my earliest days and it seems to have produced a good result over time (not that I ever intended it to). Oh, and smile, takes YEARS off everyone. I do understand the vanity of panicking over a wrinkle. I remember my first too. However, reading the comments I can see that some of you are worrying far too much and actually seeing yourselves as ugly. And I bet you aren’t! You can’t freeze time and, unless you have enough money for a very good facelift, you will age. For me, I look back at pics of me when I truly believed I was the plainest, ugliest thing on the planet because of tiny hardly visible wrinkles, and now I see a gorgeous girl, but one not enjoying herself because of self doubt. So do believe you are beautiful. You are now and you will be tomorrow.

  • Karen
    March 4, 2017

    Use apple cider vinegar for your face toner. I am 45 and a smoker. Does nothing good for my face at all. I have been using a donut pillow to try and stay off my face but ultimately the ACV is unbelievable for wrinkles and keeping your skin tight. First I bought the tri polar stop and tri polar pose. Incredible little machines, work very quickly too. I had big lines under my eyes, side to side, then they started fanning down my cheek. The Tri polar really helped tighten them up. I tried every cream under the sun. I have found The Roc products to be the best and very effective. BUT, nothing has worked like the ACV. The very first time I put it on I literally watched the wrinkles under my eyes almost vanish and stay that way. The blackhead pores on my nose are almost gone when it looked like I had a million of them crammed into one little spot of my face. Cheap and effective for everything. I started drinking it, made me change my eating right away without even thinking about it. I lost 10 pounds in first 3 weeks of drinking it. I just tried my first hair rinse with it instead of conditioner. Can not believe the results. I will never use conditioner in my life again. Next up for me is to try 1 cup ACV, half cup real lemon juice, 1 tblsp turmeric and soak in a tub. After seeing the results on my face I can’t wait to see it on my entire body. I use facial smoothies sometimes too. They worked awesome for me, especially for the half moon lines around my mouth. They were so deep long and just awful. They are practically gone thanks to facial smoothies. When you sleep, even off your face, your entire face tightens when you sleep. Once you hit your 40’s but closer to 45 you can really feel it in your face. I use the facial smoothies every night over and under my lips for the periwinkle lines, keeps my mouth from scrunching up and honestly when I wake my mouth feels so nice and relaxed. Face yoga is highly recommended especially for those younger than 40. Start now while you can actually feel your muscles. After 40 its a lot of work and patience trying to get those things moving again.

  • Drew
    March 6, 2017

    I have had a very different experience! The Harry Potter scar is the exact same line I get and it took me several years to figure out a cure. In a nutshell: blocking out light. If I sleep with either an eye mask or a t-shirt completely covering my eyes and 100% blocking out light, no lines. If there is just a little light peeking through the eye mask etc, lines.

    Sleeping on my back makes no difference. I might fall asleep for just 30 minutes in the day and won’t have budged from my back, and yet still, there is this canyon carving out the canvas that is my forehead when I wake. If light has been blocked, however, and my eyes are completely covered, the forehead remains smooth and wrinkle free.

    Having something flatten out the skin, such as the ‘Styla’ mask, makes no difference if light comes in through my eyes. I can wear a soft crumpled t-shirt over my eyes and provided the light is blocked out, I will not get the Harry scar. Any light comes through, though, and the scar appears.

    It’s taken quite a few years to figure that out. Maybe someone else can test this idea, just make sure that the eye mask really blocks out all of the light because most don’t.

  • Karen
    July 5, 2017

    I’ve noticed if my pillowcase don’t fit tight against my pillow, I will wakeup to new lines on my face.

  • Karen P.
    July 5, 2017

    I’ve noticed if my pillowcase don’t fit tight against my pillow, I will wakeup to new lines on my face.

  • Ashlee
    November 14, 2017

    The only thing that works for me is olive oil. I read somewhere that olive oil is good for the skin, and is full of antioxidants, so I decided to try it on my face. I put it on before I went to bed, and when I woke up the first thing I noticed was my usual puffy eyes and indents I get around my eyes when I sleep, were nowhere to be found! My skin never looked better, too! I have never had an issue with oily skin so the olive oil doesnt cause me to breakout, and I make sure to wash my face as soon as I wake up. My skin is also softer than I can ever remember it being, too! I’m not sure how it works exactly with the puffy eyes or sleep lines but it does. I also noticed if I miss a couple nights in a row of not using the olive oil on my face, I will wake up with the sleep lines and puffy eyes. I don’t have a certain brand I use, I just make sure it’s organic. Hope this trick can help others who suffer with the same issues as me! 😊

  • Carol
    January 15, 2018

    I have read vitamin C oils or creams are helpful. Is this true?

  • Marilyn Croft
    May 29, 2019

    I have little wrinkles on my left cheek of my face and my right side of my face is smooth. I have tried mostly everything

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