STYLE
03/20/2012 02:41 pm ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Does Sleeping On Your Side Cause Wrinkles? Beauty Myth Or Not?

In the world of beauty, it's ever-so-easy for fiction to become fact. These so-called "secrets" are passed down among generations, traded at beauty shops, touted on the pages of women's magazines ... but are they true? Of course we've all heard that drinking eight glasses of water will hydrate your skin, but according to whom? And then there's the old tale that getting regular haircuts will actually make it grow faster. Or that washing your hair less makes it more healthy. In our new column Beauty Myths? we've enlisted the help of pros to help demystify and debunk some of the more popular advice out there.

This week, we're pulling apart the thinking that the way you sleep can exacerbate wrinkles. New York dermatologist Debra Jaliman, author of "Skin Rules," breaks it down for us.

This all started a few months back when I was getting a facial. I asked the aesthetician why the fine lines around my eyes seemed to be more noticeable on the right side of my face. "Do you sleep on your side?" she asked. "Yes," I responded. I've been faithfully sleeping on my right side my entire life. "Well, that's why," she pointed out. Dr. Jaliman concurs: "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."

"It's best to sleep on your back, although most people find this difficult," says Jaliman. Indeed. Every attempt I've made to become a back-sleeper usually ends back at square one, i.e., comfortably on my right side. "One way to do this is to put a U-shaped bucky pillow around your neck and to prop yourself with other pillows all around you so you don't turn in your sleep," advises Jaliman.

If sleeping on your back is absolutely impossible, don't worry, all is not lost. "A few tricks to avoid sleep lines is to 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."

Have a beauty myth you'd like to us to investigate? We want to hear them -- leave your suggestions in the comments.

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