5 Ways to Prevent Wrinkles While You Sleep

Even sleep itself can help.

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Believe it or not, 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) against the collagen will promote its breakdown, eventually leading to visible lines.

With that in mind, here are five ways that you can prevent sleep wrinkles.

Get a Full Night's Rest

Sleep deprivation is sleeping for a shorter period of time than needed—typically less than seven hours for adults.

When people have experienced sleep deprivation, it shows in their appearance. Some indications include hanging eyelids, dark under-eye circles, swollen eyes with fine lines around them, and more wrinkles overall.

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

Sleep on Your Back

Sleeping on your stomach or one of your sides means there is constant pressure on your face. Over time, this action can 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, back sleeping might be uncomfortable. Additionally, you can't control your involuntary sleep movement, which may lead you to a side or stomach position.

But you can practice and get used to back sleeping over time by using pillows. Some methods you can try include placing a pillow under your knees or your lower back, as well as surrounding yourself with pillows on either side of your body (specifically around your midsection and hip areas). The pillows can not only help you feel more comfortable, but by making it harder for you to move to a side or stomach sleeping position, they will help your body to get used to a back sleeping position.

Use a Special Pillow

Another way to promote sleeping on your back is to try a contoured pillow designed to make back sleeping more comfortable.

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," added Dr. Jaliman.

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 help prevent those pillowcase-induced wrinkles by upgrading from cotton to silk or satin. "With a silk pillowcase, your skin slides on the pillow," said Dr. Jaliman.

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.

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

Give the LilySilk 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 an Anti-Aging Cream

Retinol may be one of the most powerful tools in your anti-aging arsenal. The vitamin A derivative teaches your skin to act young again by stimulating the collagen that prevents fine lines. Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to sun damage, so if you want to add it to your skincare routine, overnight is the perfect time to use it.

While you can obtain stronger creams by prescription, there are plenty of over-the-counter options, such as Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisturizer. For eye concerns, Health recommends 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 wrinkles. Night creams are heavy, ultra-moisturizing lotions that you probably couldn't get away with wearing during the day since they might leave your skin looking greasy. Choose one that contains retinol and hyaluronic acid, which helps plump and firm the skin.

Health is a big fan of the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Anti-Wrinkle Night Accelerated Retinol SA Facial Moisturizer. It contains both hyaluronic acid and retinol. This product helps 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 is another great choice to try. This night cream helps fight signs of aging without irritating skin. Magnolia bark extract soothes inflammation, making it great for even sensitive skin.

A Quick Review

Preventing wrinkles doesn't have to be designated for daytime—you can work on reducing wrinkles while you sleep. The act of sleeping itself can help you avoid wrinkles, but it also matters how you sleep.

For example, you'll want to sleep on your back as much as possible or use pillows that can promote back sleeping. Even the type of pillowcase you use matters: Silk and satin pillowcases are better for wrinkle reduction.

Finally, using an anti-aging cream with retinol or hyaluronic acid overnight can help the skin feel firmer over time.

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