What are sleep wrinkles?
How to distinguish them from other types of wrinkles?
Hours of skin exposure, our parent’s skin quality or even our age are not solely responsible for winkles. In fact, there has to be some additional factor to cause formation, consolidation and deepening of the wrinkles.
How to distinguish sleep wrinkles from dynamic ones?
The two main types of wrinkles
DYNAMIC or EXPRESSION WRINKLES
Dynamic wrinkles are related to our emotions, caused by repeated use of facial muscles. Expression wrinkles are on the most expressive parts of the face, in particular the eye area, with crow’s feet at the outer corner of the eyes, or between the eyebrows as in the lion wrinkle.
These images illustrate dynamic wrinkles.
Here is what happens to our face when we squish it into our pillow at night.
Sleep lines or wrinkles have nothing to do with muscle contraction or expression and are caused by the repeated scrunching, shifting and compression of our face into our pillow while we sleep.
These lines tend to by more vertical then expression lines and can be found on forehead, cheeks, chin etc.
Our bad sleeping habits and pushing our faces into our pillows at night cause sleep wrinkles.
Most often they are asymmetric because of the habit to sleep mainly on one side.
Sleep wrinkles are diagonal lines inclined from the arch of the brow up on one side of the forehead and vertical and diagonal wrinkles on one of the cheeks, and also close to one of the ears. If sleep wrinkles occur around the eye, they vertically cross the expression wrinkles, the crow’s feet, spreading radially from the corners of the eyes.
As our skin ages and loses collagen and elasticity these sleep lines do not disappear in the morning any more but become permanently etched into our faces.
Here are the TWO forces that work every night causing sleep lines on our faces in the morning:
- Compression The downward pressure caused by the 4 to 5 kg of weight of our heads AND
- Tissue Shift which occurs as the skin and facial muscles are displaced by the friction against the pillow.
An expert in aesthetic medicine always recognizes on which side a patient usually sleeps.
It becomes clear because of sleep wrinkles, which are diagonal or vertical and mainly asymmetric.
The image above shows the tell tale vertical lines through the eye brow and criss-crossing the crows feet.
The image above presents sharp crease on the chin and lines above the lip, due to chronic sleep on the right side.
HOW TO PREVENT SLEEP WRINKLES?
Sleep creases were first described in 1987 by a well know american dermatologist Dr. Samuel Stegman, who was one of the first to observe that most people tend to exhibit strong facial creases and imbalances on the side they prefer to sleep on.
Dr. James Fulton published a follow-up article in 1999. He confirmed Dr. Stegman’s findings and warned patients against filling these lines with facial fillers (juvederm, restylene etc) which do not offer long term relief or Botox which only works on dynamic or expression lines. Facial creases will reappear within hours of treatment because the underlying behavior that created the lines continues to be unchanged…. sleeping on our faces!
The experts warned that the only way to avoid these wrinkles was to SLEEP ON YOUR BACK and minimize your facial contact with a pillow.
By sleeping exclusively on the back we can limit the contact between the face and the pillow and as a result reduce the formation of sleep wrinkles. However it is almost impossible, because 75% of the population prefers to sleep on the side!
This led to creation of a pillow that would not compress the face and allow sleeping on the side.