How Does Sleeping on Your Face Cause Wrinkles

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Where Do Wrinkles Start?

Just as your mother warned you, "If you make your face like that, it will stay that way," sleeping a certain way on a pillow can leave your face just as it is when sleeping: Creased and wrinkled. This skin is made up of three layers: The epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. As the skin gets older, the skin gets thinner and the subcutaneous layer manufacturing the cells needed to fill in the thin skin decreases in turnover.

What Causes Wrinkles?

The natural process of aging isn't the only thing that causes wrinkles. Wrinkles are also caused by sun damage, free radicals, hormones, muscle use, and gravity.

Gravity Effects

Just as gravity pulls our feet toward the ground, gravity can pull the face down and accentuate wrinkles in the face. For this reason, sleeping on the face only increases the gravitational pull. In a Japanese study, researchers found that people who sleep on their backs can actually reverse gravity's effects levied through the course of the day.

Sleeping on the face also affects how the muscles in the face contract overnight. If the face is smashed into a pillow, this creates sleep wrinkles on the forehead, cheeks, or chin that are difficult to unwrinkle during the day. What makes reversing these lines even more difficult is that they are not the result of muscle contractions, so typical wrinkle treatments, such as Botox, are ineffective in fighting against sleep wrinkles.

A person spends more than 1/3 of his or her life asleep, and the more years a person sleeps on his or her face, the more wrinkles that are likely to accumulate.

Solutions to Sleep-Related Wrinkles

In recent years, sheets manufacturers and dermatologists have released "wrinkle-free" pillows that are either designed to prevent wrinkles or actually reverse the day's effects. One of the most commonly included ingredients in these "super pillows" is copper, which manufacturers claim stimulates cell growth and collagen production to make the skin more supple. Other ingredients added to pillows may include aloe vera and seaweed.

The results of these additives have not been scientifically proven, and some researchers are doubtful that the ingredients could penetrate in the deep layers of the skin.

Sleep-related wrinkles may be alleviated with "filler" injections, such as Restyane.

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