"If sleeping with your face in a pillow is a nightly routine, then you can develop permanent sleep lines. And you don't have to plunge head first to get these lines; even years spent sleeping on your side can cause wrinkles."
~ American Academy of Dermatology
There are two types of wrinkles. Expression (or Dynamic) Wrinkles and Sleep Wrinkles... and this is how to tell the difference.
Expression or Dynamic wrinkles occur as a result of muscle contraction with facial expressions such as frown lines between your eye brows, horizontal forehead lines and crows feet which are caused by squinting. Photos below...
Sleep lines or wrinkles have nothing to do with muscle contraction or expression and are caused by the repeated scrunching 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, chins etc. Dr. Samuel Stegman, a well know cosmetic dermatologist, 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. He would surprise his clients by telling them which side they slept on. Sleeping on their sides (and therefore their faces) was causing “sleep wrinkles”. As our skin ages and loses collagen and elasticity these sleep lines become permanently etched into our faces. Dr. Stegman coined the term “Sleep Lines” and said the only way to avoid these wrinkles was to SLEEP ON YOUR BACK and minimize our facial contact with our pillow.
Photo below show the tell tale vertical lines through the eye brow and criss crossing the crows feet.
Photo below shows the deep vertical creases around chin area and lip lines caused by pressing face into pillow at night.
To assist in the understanding he used the “hand test” that shows the effect of the nightly squishing that demonstrates how our facial skin moves but remains attached to several points on our skull. This is what creates the sleep line which over time becomes permanent.
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 enVy pillow was developed to ALLOW for ergonomically supportive side sleeping but MINIMIZE face-to-pillow contact….. brilliant .)