How to Stop Waking Up With "Pillow Face" Every Morning (It's Possible)



Every morning starts out in pretty much the same way. I wake up, scroll through my phone (don't judge me), and get out of bed. I walk across the room to the mirror and inspect my face. Without fail, I have "pillow face" every single time, with creases and folds from the position in which I slept the night before. And recently, those very same markings have been cropping up as real wrinkles, splayed across my face for more than just the few minutes it used to take to watch them fade away. "This may come as a surprise," celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau warns, "but did you know the second cause of wrinkles is sleeping?" No, I certainly did not. She continues, "After sunlight and UV exposure, squishing your face into a pillow for approximately 2500 hours per year is like ironing wrinkles into the skin." Needless to say, I am not okay with this.

To be frank, it never really occurred to me I had any say in the matter—that there were treatments and prevention tactics I could employ to keep the fine lines from becoming permanent. I didn't realize I could sleep differently or buy products to change the course the wrinkles were bound to take. But there are. And according to Rouleau, there are behavioral changes I can make starting right now. "Sleep wrinkles are creases that form on the face due to skin positioning and pressure," explains Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group. "They typically form as people move around in their sleep, sleeping with their face down or pressed up against their pillows, and primarily when fabrics have higher friction forces and the skin cannot glide along the fabric."