We often wake up with our faces looking different from when we went to sleep as a lot happens to our faces when we sleep. I want to share some simple Face Yoga moves and top tips you can use to reduce any morning lines and wrinkles.
There are two types of lines we get when we sleep. The first is expression lines. These tend to appear in your forehead area. They happen because our faces are surprisingly mobile while we are asleep. Although you aren’t aware of it, you’ll be pulling all sorts of expressions – smiling, frowning, raising your eyebrows, etc.
It’s just our subconscious mind reacting to our sleeping thoughts and dreams, but it can mean you wake up with lines and wrinkles that weren’t there when you went to sleep.
I have a short and simple Face Yoga routine you can do before bed to make it less likely that you’ll get expression lines. I’m going to share that in just a moment.
The second cause of overnight wrinkles is sleep lines. You’ll typically find these appearing on the side of your face. They are usually vertical, and you might find you get them around your eye area especially. These sleep lines are from our skin being pushed up and wrinkled by our pillows. You’ll be particularly prone to them if you are a side-sleeper, like me.
You’ll spot sleep lines when you first wake up. They usually fade gradually throughout the day. However, as we get older, our skin tends to have less collagen and loses some of its elasticity. This means it takes longer for your sleep lines to fade. They can eventually become permanently etched into our skin. The best way to tackle sleep lines is to address your sleep environment and position. I have a tip to share for this too later in this article.
First, let’s take a look at some Face Yoga moves you can use to combat expression lines. These are all moves I teach regularly as part of the Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method. I also use them myself, and they are simple to incorporate into your evening routine.
Before You Start
Before beginning any Face Yoga routine, I recommend cleaning your face. Since this sequence works best just before bed, you might want to do it after completing your evening skincare routine. This won’t take long, but it is all about relaxation and releasing tension, so make sure you are sat comfortably and in an environment without lots of distractions.
You’ll also want to clean your hands before you start. If you have a serum available, apply it to your skin to help your hands move smoothly over your face. My serum, Fusion by Danielle Collins, is a perfect option if you are looking for one. It is moisturising without being greasy, ideal for Face Yoga.
One last thing before we get going. Face Yoga is all about working intuitively. With each move, find the pressure that feels right for you. What that is may vary from day to day, depending on how tense you are feeling. I like to close my eyes and focus on the area I am working on, so I can get a sense of what my face needs in that moment.
Step 1: The Frontalis Muscle
We have a large muscle that runs across the front of our foreheads, called the frontalis muscles. This is going to be our first area of focus. The frontalis muscle is involved in moving our foreheads and eyebrows, so it is used in most facial expressions. We can often end up holding a lot of tension here. And we tend to over-express with it as well.
Relaxing this muscle just before bed can help to reduce tension and prevent expression lines. To do this, take the fingertips of both hands to the centre of your forehead. Smooth your fingers over your forehead, starting in the centre and moving to the sides of your face. Then lift your hands off and replace them in the centre to begin again.
I like to repeat this Facial Yoga move for around a minute. Since the goal is relaxation, I also take some deep breaths as I do it. Concentrating on your inhale and exhale can help calm your mind and release any additional tension you are holding in this area.
Step 2: Deepen the Move
After you have been working with your fingertips for around a minute, you might like to deepen this move by switching to your knuckles instead. Continue with the same smoothing motion out from the centre towards the side of your face.
Find the pressure that feels right for you here. I think there can be a temptation to think that harder and faster will mean better results, but it isn’t the case. Our skin is very thin, especially on our faces, so it doesn’t take much. Apply more pressure if you feel that is what your muscle needs, but it is fine to stay gentle too.
Again, repeat this move for around a minute. Continue to focus on taking those deep, calming breaths as you do.
Step 3: The Procerus Muscle
Another muscle in our upper face that can hold a lot of stress and tension is the procerus muscle. This starts at your nose and extends up between your eyebrows to the centre of your forehead.
It is the muscle that pulls in and down when you frown, causing those number 11 lines that often appear between your eyebrows. Relaxing it before bed helps to prevent these worry lines from turning up while you sleep.
We are going to release tension from the procerus muscle by forming a hook with our index finger. With your fingertip pointing upwards and your knuckle pointing down, drag your hooked finger up from the bridge of your nose to your hairline.
Don’t worry if you see some pinkness appear as you do this move. As long as it isn’t painful, you can keep going. The pinkness will fade once you stop.
Step 4: Acupressure Point
I love to use acupressure points. They are a vital part of the Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method, along with facial exercises, massage, relaxation techniques, and general wellness. Never underestimate how powerful simply stimulating an acupressure point can be in relaxing muscles and boosting your wellbeing.
There’s one located between your eyebrows. This spot is wonderful for releasing tension from your face and helping you get a good night’s sleep.
Place your index finger on this point, using a pressure that feels right to you. After a few moments, you can start to use a small, circular movement to activate the acupressure point further. Circle in one direction and then the other.
Step 5: Relax
The final step in this routine is to completely relax your forehead. You can close your eyes to help you focus on releasing any last bits of tension from this area.
Tackling Sleep Lines
I’ve taken you through an easy Face Yoga routine to reduce expression lines. So, that takes care of one form of sleep wrinkle. But what about sleep lines?
Unlike expression lines, sleep lines aren’t caused by tension in your muscles. Instead, they appear when your pillow pushes up the skin on the side of your face. You can try it now with the palm of your hand. Just rest your cheek against it. You will see how the skin of your face wrinkles. Side-sleepers are especially prone to this issue. I’m a side-sleeper myself, so I can share a tip I’ve learned that has helped me reduce sleep lines.
I was sent a pillow by Sleep and Glow a few years ago now. It was a gift, but it didn’t come with any obligation for me to promote it. However, I love this pillow, so I talk about it a lot and even have a a discount code for you. You can use faceyoga10 to get $10 off. I use my pillow every night, and my husband has one too.
It comes with a silk pillowcase, which helps to keep your hair smooth while you sleep. It also prevents your skin from catching on the fabric the way it does with a cotton pillowcase. But the real genius of these pillows is how they are shaped.
I started off using the Omnia, which is designed for side-sleepers. It has special contours on either side, so it fully supports your head and neck without pushing up your skin. It helps to reduce sleep wrinkles from lying on your side.
If you want to go a step further and prevent sleep lines altogether, you need to switch to sleeping on your back. I’m trying to train myself to do this at the moment. It isn’t easy overcoming the habits of a lifetime though!
I am currently trying the Aula pillow to help me get used to sleeping on my back. It has bolsters on either side, so it supports you on your back and stops you from accidentally rolling onto your side once you are asleep.
Both pillows are available via the Sleep and Glow website. I love them so much that I asked for a discount code to share with all of you. Use faceyoga10 to get $10 off.
I hope you find these tips useful to reduce sleep wrinkles and lines. I also filmed this routine, so you can catch up via my YouTube channel. And I share plenty of other Face Yoga moves on my Instagram and via my app.
You can also train to be a certified Face Yoga teacher with our accredited teacher training course. More info here