I can still hear my mother’s voice. “Stephanie, you’ve got a big wrinkle down the left side of your face.” (Yes, Mom, I know.) The motherly reminders began in my 40s and continued TFN. Once when Mom visited me in Los Angeles, we went as a pair to a dermatologist who shall go unnamed—and who was advertising the latest, greatest laser of the time. Said laser actually burned my skin: I suffered temporary purple blotches and still have pithy scarring of the skin surface from that unfortunate escapade. And no, the laser treatment didn’t eliminate that long, left wrinkle.
The stubborn crease is a result of sweet-dreamin’ on my left side, my face “squished” against itself, compressed into a fold. There’s even a line below my eyebrow, and another setting up shop next to my nose. Again, the blame game goes to flip-flopping on to my side because “it just feels good.” And yes, I do try to sleep on my back, but eventually succumb to what’s comfortable for that eight-hour nightly ritual. I know I ask myself, while half-asleep, “Do you really want to do this? You’ll make wrinkles.” My snoozy self says, “Uh, yes. I think so.”
Flop. Trouble is, my skin doesn’t bounce right back in the morning, just like the rest of me.
Assume the position
“Back” to sleep: This is the overall “preferred” position. If you sleep on your back, you’ll definitely reduce wrinkles, says the American Academy of Dermatology. Downside: You may snore more. Choose a soft, puffed-up pillow to support both head and neck.
Side ways: This next-best position nips snoring in the bud, is good for your spine, but does create that “smushfest” for your skin. Try a thicker pillow to occupy that space between shoulder and head.
Fetal position: Yes, this is the way you entered this world, but it just isn’t great for sleeping. It also encourages wrinkles. Use a fat pillow if you can’t help curling up into a ball, which could reduce snoring, however.
Belly flop: Not good. You’re pressing on the face again, as your head is turned to the side so you can breathe. Both skin and spine take a nocturnal beating here, but this awkward position may reduce snoring.
There’s no shortage of tips about how to stave off wrinkles, and you’ve heard most of them before. Forgive me:
- Use tape at night to “pull up” your face. (This can’t be good for your sex life.)
- Maintain a “neutral face”: This means show no emotions—smiles or frowns.
- Drink lots of water.
- Do microdermabrasion to exfoliate, along with retinoids applied topically.
- Exercise. (Sorry.)
- Eat your fruits and vegetables. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to facial wrinkle avoidance, we really don’t have too many options here. Like so many things in life, it’s all about choices, isn’t it? Ready for bed? So maybe, just assume the position—one that makes for a great night’s sleep. Zzzzzzzzz…
(Photo courtesy: © Olga Vasilkova | Dreamstime.com)