Anti-Aging Pillows Are All Over TikTok, But Do You Need One?

Here's what experts think about this beauty sleep skin hack that's taking over TikTok.

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There's nothing like snuggling up in bed and getting a good night's rest. Have you ever slept so soundly that you awoke with lines or wrinkles on your face? It turns out those lines that seem to be imprinted on your cheeks aren't just a sign of deep sleep, but they can ultimately lead to fine lines or wrinkles over time, according to Debra Jaliman, M.D., a board-certified New York City dermatologist and author of the book Skin Rules.

Instead of stressing about how to protect your skin while getting your beauty rest, a quick scroll through TikTok will show some users have already come up with a hack to avoid those pesky sleep lines and wrinkles. Amassing more than 150,000 views, the #antiagingpillow hashtag shows videos of users praising their anti-aging pillows, that are typically silk lined and have a hollowed center supported by two side flanks to keep the head positioned upright, helping prevent sleep lines and wrinkles.

For example, one user shared a video demonstrating how anti-aging pillows "cradle your head and keep you sleeping upright." By using this unique skin-care tool, you won't press your face into a pillow throughout the night, which could cause sleep lines and wrinkles over time. The video has now garnered over 170,000 views.

Curious to know if this TikTok anti-aging pillow hack for preventing fine lines and wrinkles is really worth the hype? Ahead, learn everything you need to know from experts about the skin benefits of using an anti-aging pillow, if it's safe to use these pillows, what causes sleep lines, and more.

What are anti-aging sleep pillows?

Anti-aging sleep pillows are pillows designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles associated with side sleeping and stomach sleeping, according to Lian Mack, M.D., owner of GlamDerm, a division of Gramercy Laser and Medical Dermatology. The difference between an anti-aging pillow and a standard pillow is the shape of the pillow, which keeps the neck and head cradled in a position that doesn't allow for sleeping on your side. "The shapes of these pillows vary to minimize the contact of your face on the pillow and subsequently the development of deep cheek wrinkles in the morning," says Dr. Mack.

"The creation of these pillows is centered on the idea that wrinkles of the face are caused not only by muscle contraction but also by the distortion of facial structures from pillow contact at night," explains Dr. Mack. Therefore, anti-aging pillows were purposely designed to make users sleep on their backs rather than their sides to reduce the pressure of having the skin pressed into the pillow, which can cause lines and indentations. In case you were wondering, TikTok user and dermatology resident Jarett Casale. D.O. demonstrates how sleeping with your face smashed against a standard pillow for years can lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles as opposed to sleeping on an anti-aging pillow in a video.

These pillows are different from simply switching from cotton to silk pillowcases. However silk pillowcases have skin benefits such as keeping the "skin hydrated due to the smoothness of the fiber," says Dr. Jaliman. Silk fibers absorb less moisture than a cotton pillow case, as the smoothness of silk prevents moisture from being pulled out of our skin," she explains. Yet, silk pillowcases can still cause sleep lines if you're a stomach or side sleeper as your face will be pressed into the pillow throughout the night. The anti-aging pillow's unique shape and design work to completely prevent pressure on the skin overnight, and most are silk lined to provide the additional skin benefits of silk material.

Do anti-aging pillows really help prevent wrinkles and sleep lines?

In short, yes! The entire idea behind anti-aging pillows is to reduce the appearance of sleep lines and swelling of your face by relieving the pressure caused by your face making extended contact with, or being pressed into, the pillow throughout the night, and experts say they really work. 

As previously explained, sleep lines or wrinkles occur when you sleep directly on your face. There are two main reasons for this. "When you sleep on your face at night, you're compressing the lymphatics (lymph nodes are small glands in your body that help to fight off infection), which means you get more swollen," says Kami Parsa, M.D., a Beverly Hills oculoplastic surgeon. The reason sleep lines are visible is because the lines on the pillows can leave a demarcation on a swollen face. "Initially, these lines are temporary, but as [you] get older, [your] face can’t bounce back as easily," explains Dr. Parsa. Therefore, one way to prevent these lines is to avoid sleeping on your face, hence the use of anti-aging pillows.

"If you tend to be a side sleeper and sleep on the same side [of your face], you will notice the lines becoming more pronounced," says Dr. Jaliman. Using these specially designed pillows to become more of a back sleeper than a face or side sleeper is one way to ensure that you're not putting unnecessary pressure on your face and causing the development of lines and wrinkles. Other advantages of using TikTok's well-known anti-aging pillows include "decreased sleep wrinkles and creases, decreased face puffiness, as well as helping with acne by reducing the tugging of the skin by the fabric, which may further inflame breakouts," according to Dr. Mack.

Is it safe to sleep with anti-aging sleep pillows?

While it may seem uncomfortable to have your head and neck cocooned in a pillow, there isn't anything unsafe about anti-aging pillows, according to Dr. Jaliman. If you're concerned about having your head cradled by a pillow throughout the night the risk of suffocation is low, although it's recommended that only adults use anti-aging pillows, says Dr. Mack. Overall, it may take some time to adjust to sleeping with an anti-aging pillow if you're a habitual stomach or side sleeper, but as these pillows make users sleep on their backs, there aren't any safety concerns about using one.

Anti-aging sleep pillows help prevent wrinkles: True or False?

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The shape of the anti-aging sleep pillows allows people to place their heads in a cradle, minimizing contact between the face and the fabric as well as preventing some of the effects of the weight of the head on the pillow, explains Dr. Mack. Taking this into account, anti-aging pillows are a great way to prevent wrinkles as they're "gentler on the skin and will prevent tugging or sleep lines on your face," says Dr. Jaliman.

Generally speaking, sleeping on your stomach and pressing on your face when sleeping can cause permanent wrinkles, says Dr. Parsa. So if you're looking to up the ante on your beauty sleep and avoid those annoying sleep lines and wrinkles that can become permanent down the line, considering grabbing an anti-aging pillow.

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