Skincare has become all the rage on the internet.
There are countless articles and videos that showcase skincare tutorials, anti-wrinkle advice, and products for sale to help curb signs of aging.
But there’s one piece of advice that many of us haven’t heard of: sleeping on your side or stomach can cause “sleep wrinkles” to form on your face and chest.
According to Dr. Farah Moustafa, a dermatologist and director of Laser and Cosmetics at Tufts Medical Center, repeatedly sleeping on our side or our stomach means our face is pushed against a pillow.
This pressure on our skin can cause wrinkles to form.
While we all know about expression lines that form on our foreheads—those horizontal wrinkles we can’t ignore—these are different than sleep lines.
Lines caused by sleeping on our side or stomach usually appear as vertical wrinkles, while horizontal expression lines are formed when a person makes facial movements like raising or furrowing their eyebrows.
As we age, sleep lines—similarly to the expression lines—begin to take permanent form rather than just disappear after a few hours.
This is likely due to the body’s loss of collagen over time.
“I think there is definitely some benefit from sleeping on [your] back to avoid a lot of the compression forces on the face that create lines over time,” Moustafa told Reviewed.com.
Although sleeping on your back may be better for sleep lines, Moustafa also said that it’s not the best idea to try this position if you’re not accustomed to sleeping that way.
Besides the fact that sleeping on your back can increase problems like snoring and sleep apnea, most of us move around a lot at night—meaning we likely won’t even stay on our backs.
Additionally, if sleeping on your back is difficult to do, you’re likely to get a poor night’s sleep, which won’t do any good for your skin.