As we age, the wrinkles we form are often associated with loss of collagen in our skin, an important component to its strength and structure. We often refer to collagen as the “scaffolding” that holds up our skin. Over the years, our facial expressions can lead to forehead lines, smile lines, and more. We also develop folds around our mouth as our skin sags down from loss of fat in our cheeks. But did you know your sleep habits can cause lines too?
A recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal showed that side and stomach sleepers are causing pressure on their facial skin, resulting in lines that are different from the typical expression lines. You can tell the difference because the skin in that area does not fold as a result of facial expressions (like smiling), but does line up when you push on the side of your face, similar to when you are sleeping. These lines can happen on your forehead, near the mouth, chin, cheeks, or ears. You may even notice that the wrinkles on one side of your face are deeper than the other if you tend stay on one side when you are sleeping. The good news is the study only proved that we get wrinkles from sleep, but not sagging. But now the question is: what can we do about it?
For one, trying to sleep on your back should stop the lines from getting worse. Only 30% of people tend to sleep on their back, compared to 65% sleeping on their side and 5% sleeping on their stomach. Sleeping on your side or stomach will continue to press on your face and deepen the lines that have already developed. Unfortunately, we can’t easily control our sleep position once we have fallen asleep. You may want to try placing a pillow on each side of your body to reduce the chance of turning on your side at some point during the night. Luckily, the number of times we move around during the night decreases with age.
When it comes to receiving treatments to address wrinkles, Botox is used to treat expression lines by reducing the muscle movement in that area. Unfortunately, we are dealing with lines caused by pressure on the skin, not movement of the muscles. In this case, we need to restore our skin’s natural “scaffolding” by increasing our collagen, both to correct the lines that have formed and to help prevent even more lines in the future. There are several ways to increase collagen, including treatments like Microneedling, Laser Genesis, and Laser Resurfacing, in addition to the use of anti-aging skincare products. You may also be a candidate for Filler to correct some of the lines that have already formed.
If you think some of the lines on your face are caused by your sleep habits, we are here to help. Schedule a consultation with one of our treatment providers to discuss possible treatment options.