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Causes and Prevention of Sleep Wrinkles

How to Get Rid of Sleep Lines With These Easy Steps

Have you ever woken up and looked in the mirror only to see a creased face staring back at you? You may feel refreshed by a good night’s rest, but your skin does not feel the same way. Sleeping on your front or side, using a rough pillowcase fabric, and not moisturising your skin before bedtime, can all contribute to sleep wrinkles.

Overtime, these can become etched into your face permanently. 

Preventing wrinkles in the first place is always better than trying to treat them later. To help you maintain a youthful appearance, we have put together a number of top tips to help you prevent sleep marks on the face. But first, let’s take a closer look at what causes them in the first place.

What Causes Sleep Wrinkles?

When your face rubs against your pillow it creates friction and stretches the skin, causing it to crease and fold. This contributes to the breakdown of collagen, a structural protein that gives skin its elasticity, and damages the elastic fibres in the skin, resulting in permanent lines. Rough fabrics such as cotton are particularly bad for pulling on the skin.


The position that you naturally sleep in also plays a part in the development of sleep wrinkles. If you sleep on your side or front, the pressure from pressing your face into your pillow can cause deep sleep lines on your forehead and cheeks. Unfortunately, sleep wrinkles worsen as you get older. This is because collagen in the skin starts to break down, which reduces elasticity and firmness. Without this elasticity, your skin can’t bounce back from sleep imprints so easily.

How to Prevent Sleep Wrinkles

Invest in Silk Pillowcase

Cotton is the most common fabric choice for pillowcases, however many people are unaware that it can contribute to wrinkles and exacerbate other skin problems, such as acne. The reason for this is because it creates friction between your face and the pillow and absorbs bacteria, moisture and essential oils from your skin. If you strive to keep your skin healthy and clean, silk pillowcases are the best choice for you.

Silk pillowcases are increasing their popularity in the beauty industry for their amazing benefits for the skin. A silk pillowcase helps reduce tugging on the skin and sleep wrinkles by providing a luxurious, smooth and frictionless surface to rest your head. As silk is non-absorbent, it also helps ensure your skin stays hydrated throughout the night and keeps breakouts at bay. 

As silk may not be an appropriate option for everyone, there are also now a number of silk pillowcase alternatives that are vegan friendly, but offer all the same benefits as real silk.  Try our eucalyptus silk pillowcase which is made from 100% sustainably farmed eucalyptus, is hypoallergenic, contains no harmful chemicals, and provides an extra smooth surface. Or, try our clean silver pillowcase which is made from a blend of supima cotton and antimicrobial silver yarn, helping prevent bacteria growth and preventing sleep.

Sleep on Your Back or Get a Special Pillow 

Sleeping on your back spares your skin from the harmful tugging and stretching caused by contact with your pillowcase. If you aren't naturally a back sleeper, the chances are you will roll over onto your side or stomach whilst you're sleeping. Support pillows strategically placed around your body can help discourage you from rolling over and help train you to sleep on your back. Travel neck pillows can be another good way of physically preventing your face from coming into contact with your pillow. However, for those of you who can’t sleep on your back, there are special pillows that can help minimise wrinkles, by reducing friction and contact between your face and the pillow.

Wear Night Cream or Apply Coconut Oil Before Bed 

Moisturising traps water in the skin which helps smooth creases and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Applying a night cream that contains retinol, a derivative from vitamin A, can help encourage the production of collagen to firm up skin. Hyaluronic acid is another powerful ingredient to look for in a cream, as it packs in moisture to help maintain skin hydration and integrity. 

For an all-natural and cheaper option, head to the kitchen. Coconut oil is becoming an increasingly popular product for preventing wrinkles because of its amazing benefits to skin health.  Research suggests coconut oil is even more effective at moisturising skin than mineral oils, and can help treat skin conditions such as eczema. 

Wear a Sleep Mask

Wearing a silk sleep mask can not only help you get a better night's sleep by blocking out light, but can help minimise friction between your face and the pillow. The silk fabric can also help your skin retain its moisture throughout the night, for a more refreshed appearance in the morning.

Massage Your Skin in the Morning

Treating yourself to a facial massage every morning may sound a bit over the top, but it can in fact offer numerous benefits to your skin health, including smoothing sleep lines and helping improve the overall appearance of skin. Massaging works by improving circulation and bringing blood to the skin’s surface that is rich in oxygen and nutrients. It also helps encourage collagen production and stimulate the body's lymphatic drainage system, which can reduce puffiness. According to one study, facial massage alongside anti-ageing creams helps reduce wrinkles by increasing the production of beneficial skin proteins.

As discussed, there are a number of steps you can take to tackle the appearance of sleep wrinkles. We suggest starting by switching to a silk pillowcase and training yourself to sleep on your back; as well as adding a night cream to your skincare routine, investing in a silk sleep mask and beginning your morning with a gentle facial massage. We hope with these tips you can bid farewell to unwanted sleep lines and creases, and wake up with smoother, more refreshed skin.