6 Ways to Prevent Wrinkles While You Sleep

Even sleep itself can help.

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There are ways to slow down signs of aging, such as wrinkles, overnight. However, sleeping in the wrong position can thwart your efforts to avoid having lines on your face.

According to Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist and author of Skin Rules, sleeping in such a way that your face comes into contact with cotton pillowcases, like on your side or stomach, can lead to the creation of deep sleep lines on your forehead and cheeks.

In general, wrinkles are caused by the loss of collagen and elasticity, which reduces skin volume. Applying repeated pressure (such as sleeping with the side of your face on a pillow) or muscle motions (such as laughing and squinting) against the collagen will promote its breakdown, eventually leading to visible lines.

With that in mind, here are six ways that you can prevent wrinkles while you rest.

Sleep on Your Back

Sleeping on your stomach or on of your sides means there is constant pressure on your face. Over time, this action will produce unwanted sleep lines. You can remedy this by sleeping on your back, Dr. Jaliman said—this way, you will not apply any pressure to your face.

For many people though, this might be uncomfortable. Additionally, you can't control your involuntary sleep movement, according to a September 2016 Aesthetic Surgery Journal study, leading you to a side or stomach position. But, you can practice and can get used to it over time.

Use a Special Pillow

If you do want to promote sleeping on your back, try a contoured pillow designed to reduce facial contact with the pillow surface, which can result in reduced sleep lines.

Dr. Jaliman recommended the NIGHT Pillow for sleep. "It has many benefits including minimizing wrinkles, supporting clean skin, and assisting with hydrating your skin cells, which helps prevent the formation of fine lines," Dr. Jaliman added.

There's also a lower-tech option for those who want to become back sleepers. The same pillows they sell in airports so you can sleep comfortably on long flights can be used in bed too. They make it easier to sleep on your back without eventually rolling onto your side. Try the Edelvey Travel Pillow, which has memory foam cushioning.

Upgrade Your Pillowcase

If you just can't get comfortable sleeping on your back, you can still prevent those pillowcase-induced wrinkles by upgrading from cotton to silk or satin. "With a silk pillowcase, your skin slides on the pillow," Dr. Jaliman said. In other words, there is less traction, and your face won't "crunch" against it like it would on a cotton pillow. Try the Spasilk Satin Pillowcase. The 100% silk case is hypoallergenic and available in 12 colors.

We also love the MYK Pure Natural Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, a 100% silk case. It's hypoallergenic, super soft, and comes in a variety of colors to match any type of bedding. They're all machine washable, so you don't have to worry about a dry cleaning bill.

Give the LilySilk Luxury Silk Pillowcase a chance if you want to try a silk pillow but don't want your pillow to slide while you sleep. This case solves that issue since the side that lies against the bed is made out of cotton.

Try a Moisturizing Cream

Retinol may be the most powerful tool in your anti-aging arsenal. The vitamin A derivative teaches your skin to act young again by stimulating the collagen that prevents fine lines. Dermatologists consistently recommend using the strongest cream your skin can tolerate (which may require a prescription), but there are plenty of over-the-counter options, such as Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisturizer.

For eye concerns, we recommend RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Eye Cream Treatment. The anti-aging eye cream is super moisturizing, and visibly reduces signs of crow's feet, dark circles, and puffiness.

You can also try a night cream to help with your wrinkles. Night creams are heavy, ultra-moisturizing lotions that you probably couldn't get away with wearing during the day. Choose one that contains hyaluronic acid, which helps plump and firm the skin. Health's editors loved Garnier's Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream. Unfortunately, it's no longer being offered.

We're also big fans of the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Anti-Wrinkle Night Accelerated Retinol SA Facial Moisturizer. Not only does it contain hyaluronic acid, but it also boasts retinol and glucose complex to visibly fade wrinkles and treat early signs of aging, so you'll be getting your best beauty rest.

If you want to splurge, SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex might be a great choice. This night cream helps fight signs of aging without irritating skin. Magnolia bark extract soothes inflammation, making it great for even sensitive skin.

Get a Full Night's Rest

Sleep deprivation, according to the Sleep Foundation, is sleeping for a shorter period of time than needed—typically less than seven hours for adults.

A September 2017 Maedica study noted that when people have been affected by sleep deprivation, it shows in their appearance. Hanging eyelids and dark under-eye circles; redder, swollen eyes with fine lines around them; and more wrinkles are some of the indications.

So, it might sound obvious, but getting the right amount of sleep is necessary. "It is important to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night to rejuvenate the skin," Dr. Jaliman said.

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