Sleep is supposed to be the key to smoother skin, the fountain of youth. Yet many find themselves waking up to a nightmare when they discover their morning skin to be rougher than before; drawn out by lines that were not there the night before.
Surely the sleep can’t be working? It’s widely accepted that sleep has miraculous powers for the body and the skin, in particular, helping to plump up the appearance with fresh collagen.
So why then is morning misery written out across the lines of the forehead? These crude crevices can only be attributed to ‘crush wrinkles’; a fitting name for when the skin is ‘crushed’ during the night.
These fearsome lines can be just as common as sleep cycles itself, if not combated with the right tools and techniques.
Here in our latest investigation into the secrets of the skin, we’re going to be discovering more about these mysterious lines, what causes them and what you can do to save your complexion the next time you go to sleep.
The Law of Lines
Wrinkles aren’t all that popular for many different reasons. Their appearance is strongly related to premature ageing, being one of the very top concerns in the big wide world of dermatology.
People do a lot to avoid their coming, and can actually end up making the situation far worse if not applying the right techniques.
In many cases, the skin is pulled and pushed too much, and not every piece of advice will be as skin-friendly as it appears to sound.
Wrinkles are largely down to decreasing amounts of collagen in the skin. We mentioned this a little bit earlier, but what does collagen actually do?
Collagen is an all-natural type of protein found all over the body. Actually, it accounts for about 30% of the body’s proteins, and for very good reason too.
Its main purpose is to hold the body’s important bits together. Not just the skin, but the hair, nails and internal organs too; think of it as the body’s scaffolding.
Lots of collagen will keep the skin strong, and its elastic properties will keep it from drooping.
Not only does it help your skin to form new skin cells, but collagen also works to sweep away those old dead skin cells that have sunk to the middle layer of the skin.
The build-up of dead skin is something to note. This is because they can cause wrinkles to appear more tragic and defined, hence why exfoliating is so important, and why collagen’s housekeeping is a must for glowing skin.
Unfortunately, as the skin ages and the body’s processes begin to slow down, less of this wonderful collagen gets produced, and it loses the power of its visage-affirming benefits.
This is wrinkles’ villain origin story, but where does sleep come into it?
Crush Wrinkle Causes
So far, we’ve looked at the foundations of wrinkles and the building blocks behind them, now we’re turning our attention to what’s causing them to be crushed.
That’s right, it’s your sleep. Given the lack of any movement at all, it seems almost impossible for the skin to experience strain during sleep, so what’s the cause of our antagonist?
There are lots of things at play when crush wrinkles happen, and they’re not as straightforward as the lines they appear to cause.
Here are the three main causes of crush wrinkles:
While everyone has their own style of sleeping, it’s true that some styles are better for the skin than others. And chief among the worst is the most popular position of all: sleeping on the side.
This position forces the most forward-facing areas of the skin, like the cheeks, décolletage and part of the forehead, into close contact with the sheets and mattress.
Combined with the need for an extra pillow to support the weight of the shoulders, this position causes the skin to fold and crease.
What’s worse about this specific cause is that the wrinkles appear on one specific side of the face, out of line with the natural symmetry of the body.
Sideways sleeping causes sideways wrinkles!
There’s always a favourite set of bedding, and the skin will interact with different types of fibres differently, and this is really important when it comes to understanding crush wrinkles.
Take for example cotton. It’s a common choice for bedsheets and pillowcases, and although simple and easy to maintain, it’s secretly wreaking havoc on your skin.
Cotton fibres love to absorb all the skin’s natural oils and hydration, stealing away its most vital resource and leaving it dry and flaky.
Additionally, its rough surface will not only retain unwanted nighttime heat, making your sleep unbearably warm, but it’s also the worst aggregator for crush wrinkles and stressed skin.
Cotton’s not-so-kind qualities are also worth considering when we take a closer look at the face, and especially the popular sleep masks that keep light away from the important eye area.
Cotton-based sleep masks are enemy number one for crush wrinkles, as all its bad habits are amplified onto the most delicate area of the skin.
Lack of Hydration
We’ve spoken a lot in the past about the wonders of the wet stuff, and why hydration is so cool and hip for the body.
It’s all good to drink water as often as you can, but when the body’s asleep and motionless for eight hours a night, it’ll have little option but to tap into its own internal reserves.
A lot of the body’s most important nighttime processes depend on good hydration, including those that replenish the skin.
When the body begins to drift off and silent sleep sets in, the skin goes into a sort of recovery mode, whereby it’ll recover damaged cells, remove dirt and filter out pollution. Water is a integral part of this process.
Going back to what we were saying about collagen, it’s actually during this recovery process that the body produces the most collagen, which is why sleep is so interconnected with good skin.
But if resources are running dry, there’ll be less opportunity for these processes to carry out their restorative phases correctly, leading to a less replenished complexion in the morning.
How To Combat Crush Wrinkles
If approached with the right techniques and tools, crush wrinkles are fairly simple to combat. And there are lots of different things you can do to not only prevent them from happening, but to boost the skin in the process.
For anyone who frequently wakes up to these dreaded lines, we’d definitely start by recommending that you change your pillow.
When it comes to nighttime skin care, cotton bedsheets are going to be the most basic option. Instead, why not swap it for something a little silkier that’ll keep the skin and hair’s oils and hydration exactly where they need to be.
Crush wrinkles will find it much more difficult to form against this soft, cooling and smooth surface
For this, there’s nothing better than a satin pillowcase; these really divide good skin from great skin. Cool, clever and kind to the skin, satin pillowcases should be your first point of call.
As word of the powers of sleep masks continue to spread, pioneered by the likes of the 3D Contoured Blackout Sleep Mask, attention has turned to solving solutions that combat crush wrinkles around the eye area.
Just like its pillowcase counterpart, this satin sleep mask is one of the leading products on the market for combating crush wrinkles and protecting the delicate area of skin around the eyes from the raves of premature ageing.
For the best of both worlds, and to never wake up to a single crush wrinkle ever again, you can find both the pillowcase and the eyemask hand-in-hand in one of the year’s most highly anticipated partnerships here.
To take your sleep-skin routine to the next level, checkout our complete collection, including our exfoliating bamboo cleanse pads, here.
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