Research suggests that the repeated pressure of sleeping on your side contributes to face and chest wrinkles. The market is filled with products that claim to prevent the problem.
Pillows and mattresses compress, stretch, push, and pull your skin overnight, which can lead to sleep wrinkles over time, says Alix Charles, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Hinsdale, Illinois.
Since sleep wrinkles aren’t caused by muscle contractions (unlike forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet), you can’t get rid of them with Botox, explains Dee Anna Glaser, MD, interim chair of dermatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. “You can use all the tretinoin, retinoids, anti-wrinkle creams, and even sunscreens but that mechanical force is still acting on the skin every night.”
The best way to prevent these wrinkles is by sleeping on your back. You can also reduce damage by using a silk pillowcase, which allows for more movement, or a memory foam pillow, which doesn’t compress the skin as much. Still, don’t let your sleep setup overshadow other, more pressing, culprits. “It’s definitely not as great a contributor to wrinkle formation as other environmental factors like UV sunlight,” Charles says.