Worry lines, smile lines, frown lines, 11 lines… All of these different types of lines and wrinkles could be considered inescapable, especially in those of us who would be considered to be expressive.
They all come under a category that is sometimes called “mechanical ageing”, skin ageing that occurs due to movement and the mechanics of our faces so to speak.
As we age, our skin becomes less elasticated and more “tense”, as the structural proteins that make up our skin’s elasticity and plumpness (elastin and collagen) become damaged and degrade.
This lack of elasticity and ridging of collagen comes together to mean our skin doesn’t “snap back” as easily, leading to the formation of lines and wrinkles over time.
Lines and wrinkles form in areas of movement, with the forehead and eye area being the first place most people will see lines and wrinkles form, followed by the mouth.
Because of this, there is a misconception that moving less will always equal fewer wrinkles.
Unfortunately, it ain’t that simple because that very same degradation of our skin’s structural proteins does happen over time regardless, and the speed at which we develop lines or wrinkles isn’t solely defined by facial movement but a variety of external factors: UV exposure, smoking, diet, stress, genetics, and more.
In this respect, it isn’t as simple as becoming facially emotionless — it’s more about protecting our collagen and elastin in the first place with skincare and our lifestyles.
However, more and more experts are beginning to talk about how we sleep. Is there merit to using a silk pillowcase to stop us scrunching up our faces like pugs on our pillows?
Sleep wrinkles, unlike other mechanical wrinkles, tend to run vertically along the face rather than horizontally like traditional wrinkles and in tests, those carrying out the testing find it hard to cause this type of compression to the face in circumstances outside of lying on our sides, face smushed.
Bad news for those of you who get cosy by burying your head against your pillow! Additionally, research shows that how you sleep can also contribute to the more typical horizontal lines and wrinkles.
Sleeping on a softer fabric that won’t allow you to compress your skin, such as on silk, should help when it comes to this — but it’s important to note that at present, there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of silk pillowcases in particular, and if you are one of the old dogs who can be taught new tricks, you could simply shift to sleeping on your back.
Some dermatologists and experts promote head pillows that cradle your head and support your neck, a la travel pillows — if that’s up your alley, you could try the YourFacePillow (£64.99, Amazon.co.uk).
My general verdict is that though I feel that mechanical ageing can, slowly, and throughout the course of our lifetime, have an effect on the appearance of our skin, it’s much more important to take care of your skin with good skincare than it is to get yourself a silk pillowcase — although I wish it was as simple as that.
The difference that can be made to the skin through the use of ingredients like vitamin A, peptides, and vitamin C can be astounding, in my experience, and we have years worth of evidence that they can genuinely help to trigger collagen production and improve the appearance of signs of ageing like lines and wrinkles.
If silk pillowcases could do that… They’d be a better solution!
THE NERDIE PICK
Speaking of peptides and skin elasticity, this product from Mama Mio uses peptides, enzymes and nourishing oils to improve the appearance of stretchmarks, with their clinical trials proving that the appearance of stretch marks are reduced with regular use.
Like with any stretch mark product, I always recommend to begin using it when stretch marks first appear and are still red or pink rather than ‘healed’ and colourless or silvery in colour.