Best Sleeping Position For Skincare (Sleep Series Pt.2)

By Minji

  • Sleeping on your back is the best sleeping position when it comes to skincare but difficult to master
  • If you're a side sleeper like me, get the right pillow to alleviate some skincare risks while sleeping
  • Also focus on putting weight near your head versus directly on the face near your eyes, nose or cheeks

As skincare obsessed as I am, there are a few things that, although clearly good for healthy skin, I just cannot pull off.  One of them is sleeping on my back.  Continuing on with our series on "sleep," now that we've proven beauty sleep is a real thing, let's explore the best and worst sleeping positions for your skin!

It's undeniable - sleeping on your back is the best sleeping position when it comes to skincare.  Since your face isn’t rubbing on your mattress or pillow, less chance of wrinkles and creases on your face the next morning.  Also, this position prevents fluid from pooling in your face overnight which can result in a puffy or bloated face the next morning. 

I’ve tried… but think I might be cursed.  During my time as a TV news reporter in Seoul, one of my co-workers told me it’s impossible for people like us who are always chasing stories and news to sleep on our backs.  His theory was, if you try to sleep on your back, all of those thoughts constantly swirling in your head would pile up in the back of your head and weigh you down making it impossible to doze off.  Instead he recommended side sleeping – he convinced me that if you slept this way, instead of those thoughts congesting at the back of your head, they would fall out though your ear and into the pillow.  Looking back, this sounds pretty bogus but for some reason, many years ago when I heard this for the first time, it stuck with me and I’ve been a constant side sleeper since.

 On the bright side, at least I’m not a stomach sleeper.  This position is the worst when it comes to skincare.  Not only is your face aggressively rubbing against your pillow and causing friction and creases, fluid is pooling into your face and assuming your pillow case isn’t 100% clean (and really, they never are, right?), higher chance of breakouts and blemishes.  If you sleep like this, I would highly recommend that you try to find a comfortable position either on your side or back instead – maybe experiment with pillows and other support.

Coming back to side sleeping, the conclusion is it’s somewhere in the middle when it comes to skincare.  For those of you out there like me who just can’t master back sleeping, here are a few tips to make this position better for your skin.  First, get a silk or satin pillow case.  These fabrics are much softer and gentler on the skin, so even if you have face to pillow contact, it will be less abrasive.  Second, make sure your pillow is not too high - modest height and close to flat is better in preventing neck wrinkles.  I also recommend focusing on putting weight on the back sides of your face, so near your hairline and jawline versus near your eyes, nose or cheeks.  It’s a subtle adjustment but very helpful in avoiding those unnecessary wrinkles.  I’ve seen “wrinkle-free” pillows sold out there that have cut outs or are shaped to put less pressure on the middle face…but if you’re like me and move around a lot during your slumber, likely not very effective.  

I recently came across cylinder shaped pillows from Korea which are interesting.  They minimize your face skin to pillow contact which is great to prevent creases.  They’re supposed to be ergonomically designed to provide a therapeutic sleep posture.  They’re also the perfect size for travel.  I recently got a few.  They took some adjusting, but now I find them pretty comfortable and amazing for my skin.   

What’s your favorite sleeping position?  If you keep waking up with lines and creases on your face or puffy eyes, maybe it’s time to explore some different positions and pillows.  Experiment, have some fun and see what works for you!