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True or False: Sleeping on Your Face Causes Wrinkles

A new study reveals findings that may surprise you

woman sleepingenlargewoman sleeping
Don't cross your eyes, they'll freeze like that. Don't go out with wet hair, you'll catch your death of cold. Don't sleep on your face, it causes wrinkles. All of these adages have become part of our every day parlance -- despite the fact that none of them are true -- according to a new study at least.

The research, called "The Effect of Sleep Position on Perceived Facial Aging," was conducted by Dr. Brett Kotlus, a Michigan-based plastic surgeon. Kotlus evaluated several perceived causes of wrinkling and determined that there's no correlation between sleeping on your face and wrinkling and that those "anti-wrinkle" pillow cases -- even the ever-popular, always lauded silk ones -- are pretty much pointless.

READ: 12 Anti-Aging Skin Care Ingredients You Need to Know About

While doing his research, Kotlus polled 100 women about their preferred sleep position with 41 saying they slept on their right, and 23 on their left. Then, "An independent expert observer evaluated frontal images with digital laterality randomization to identify the side with more wrinkles." The conclusion? "Sleep side preference was not significantly correlated with the appearance of wrinkles or facial descent."

Kotlus did find more overall wrinkling on the left sides of people's faces but that's because of UV exposure while driving (more skin cancers are found on the left, too) not due to sleep position.

Of course, not everyone would agree with Dr. Kotlus' findings. Prior to the publication of his study, New York dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, told the Huffington Post that, "The way you sleep does affect wrinkles -- that's why some lines are called sleep lines. If you crunch your face against a pillow you can get them."

READ: How to Prevent Chest Wrinkles

Not surprisingly, Jaliman's also a fan of the silk pillowcase and includes it among her sleep line avoidance tips. "Get satin pillowcases as opposed to the usual cotton pillowcases. The face slides against the satin pillowcase so that it doesn't crunch against it, and no sleep lines are formed. Beauty sleep pillows are also an option, they are made with a special foam and have a unique shape which helps alleviate pressure on the face."

Whether or not Jaliman will change her tune now that the study's been released remains to be seen. However, it could just be that, much in the same way some doctors swear by one diet while others are dead set against it, there are two sides to every story.

Do you try and avoid sleeping on your face? And, if so, have you noticed any difference in wrinkling?


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