One of the most consistent pieces of advice I’ve gotten in my existence as both a woman and as a lover of all things related to beauty is how important getting a good night of sleep is. But could sleep, or more specifically your pillow, be causing you to prematurely form wrinkles?!
Let’s dive into a few case studies and skincare experts on their thoughts on the matter, along with some tips and tricks you can do to reap the full benefits of a night of rest.
Why Is Sleep So Essential for Good Skin?
We’ve all heard of the phrase “beauty sleep”, but does it hold any truth to it?
Dr. Yelena Yeretsky, a physician specializing in anti-aging and aesthetic medicine and founder of the West Village-based aesthetic practice Clinique YFT, certainly thinks so.
“Sleep is one of the most important parts of our beauty regimen. While we sleep, our skin builds new collagen, circulation increases which reduces the puffiness in our face and around our eyes, and the body detoxifies. When we are younger, our bodies (and skin) can handle the get-up-and-go lifestyle after only getting 3-4 hours of sleep. However, the older we get, the more apparent the signs of aging- sluggish skin, bag under eyes, etc. While we could always counterbalance poor quality sleep by having a good skin care regimen, drinking enough water throughout the day, and chemical peels, the day comes when there is no way around it. Beauty sleep becomes a must because the body needs to repair itself,” Dr. Yeretsky emphasized.
Moody Sleeper, Deeper Wrinkles
Just like you’re more likely to develop lines on your forehead or between your brows if you scowl a lot, or frown lines from a consistently pouty, how you sleep has an effect on your face as well.
As someone who constantly shifts around in their sleep, I’m disappointed to report that yes, if you tend to sleep on your face or smoosh your face hard against your pillow, it’s more likely to lead to wrinkles as you age.
When you’re young, your skin has great elasticity and is chock full of collagen that helps those morning pillow lines fade away fairly quickly. However, as we age, we gradually experience decreased skin elasticity and volume loss, and our ability to replenish collagen diminishes, which can lead to deeper lines on our faces.
If you’re a fussy sleeper like I am, take a deep breath before you start freaking out over wrinkles. There are some tricks to help fix your restless sleeping habits.
One way to avoid getting wrinkles from awkward sleep positions is to cushion your face with pillows on both sides to make it more difficult to turn around in your sleep. Also, invest in some homeopathic methods for getting a longer, more peaceful night’s rest, like drinking chamomile tea before bed.
Another trick for falling asleep more easily is sour cherries. No, really. Tart or sour cherries are high in melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. So if you want to avoid using melatonin capsules, an alternative way to ingest the melatonin is by drinking a sugar-free/low-sugar glass of tart cherry juice right before bed.
And if worse comes to worst, there are always treatments available to help minimize the effects of poor sleeping positions.
As Dr. Yeretsky pointed out, “Yes, certain sleep positions can create wrinkles, but wrinkles could be corrected through multiple treatments: injectables, peels, etc. However, not getting sleep is something that cannot be corrected. So the anxiety and worry over which sleep position is best are more damaging than the actual position itself. Cheers to enjoying your sleep and remembering that there is always Botox!”
Silk Pillowcases Aren’t Just for Princesses
As bougie as it may sound, switching out your regular pillowcase for one made of silk could also really help out your skin in the long run.
Silk is an extremely light, smooth, and silky texture which isn’t only great for wearing on hot nights out, but for making sure your skin stays hydrated as well. In comparison to materials like cotton, which absorbs moisture, silk is less likely to absorb moisture from the skin, which is essential in keeping your face hydrated and wrinkle-free.
Friction from tossing and turning leads to creases in the skin, so by sleeping on a smoother surface, your face experiences far less friction. An added bonus is that your hair will also be saved from experiencing further friction and potential breakage. Not to mention, silk pillowcases and headwraps are great for curly-haired girlies whose locks thrive on moisture.
MEET THE EXPERT
Dr. Yelena Yeretsky is a world-renowned physician specializing in anti-aging and aesthetic medicine. She is the founder of the NYC West Village-based medical aesthetic practice Clinique YFT and creator of the premiere skincare line Dr. Y secrets.