Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Anti-Aging Pillow?

You've read it in the beauty section in magazines and heard it confirmed on the Dr. Oz show: sleeping on your side gives you wrinkles on your cheeks and chin, not to mention acne. I never quite paid attention to these warnings--who can help how they sleep? Having fallen asleep with my face towards the ceiling, I'd find upon waking in the morning that I was facing a completely new direction, either on my side or on my stomach. I believed that my wild sleeping habits were, alas, incorrigible. Besides, I wasn't worried about wrinkles in my early twenties!

However, to my horror, I began to notice that my unruly sleeping position was leaving its marks on my face. I noticed that the left side of my face was beginning to sag and that I had developed a subtle line from the inner corner of my eye down to my cheek. Now this could be paranoia, sun-damage from driving, or the simple fact that no person has a perfectly symmetrical face, but it nevertheless left me very self-conscious and depressed. I also realized that I slept mainly on my left side. The coincidences were too great to ignore now. I was therefore determined to correct my sleeping position in order to prevent further sagging and future break outs on my left cheek.

Continue reading for details about my experimentation with anti-aging pillows.
One night, as I lay in bed, I repeated to myself how pertinent and important it was to sleep on my back. I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to turn on my side, but crushed this desire, thinking about my wrinkle. This technique of being very conscious about how I slept seemed to work, however, it wasn't until about an hour and a half of telling myself I had to sleep on my back that I finally managed to fall asleep. I awoke in the morning on my back. Success! However, the next night, I was faintly conscious of waking in the middle of the night and turning on my side in order to be more comfortable.

Deeply frustrated, I began to search the web for advice on how to sleep on my back when I came across suggestions that reported Japanese women sleep on special pillows that support the neck and do not tug at the face. I then remembered the traditional Korean rectangular pillows that my grandmother uses and realized that I had come upon one of the Asian secrets to smooth skin!

My grandmother, who is approaching her seventieth year has very smooth and supple skin. Her closest friends have accused her  (wrongfully) of having had a face lift and strangers mistake her for my mother. She also coats her face with thick lotions and creams that make her skin as shiny and bright as Christmas day. But that's besides the point. It also made me think of all those times I had wondered how the Ancient Egyptians could sleep on wooden head rests. They seemed to have known the secret too.

In my desperation, I searched my house for a Korean pillow, knowing that my parents must have one somewhere and found a small pillow filled with soft white beads that allow the pillow to mold to your head. It was a good start. It wasn't a neck roll and could still make contact with my cheek, but it was small enough that the impact with the side of my face would be less damaging and not tug at my skin. I noticed after using this pillow for two weeks that my acne had diminished significantly.

Korean pillow with beads, 11"x 18"
I was still on the search for a neck roll. I was very excited when my mom bought me a traditional pillow from a local Korean grocery store. Not only did I love the richly colored fabrics and design of the pillow, but it was just what I was looking for. Upon lying on it, my face made zero contact with the fabric. This pillow is filled with dried barley seeds and is quite stiff. My first night using this pillow went well. I could imagine my face tightening and lifting already.

traditional Korean pillow with barley seeds, 4" x 17"
However, the second night was torture! I had such a miserable night. When I awoke, my neck and the back of my head were numb from lack of blood circulation. The third night, I thought I would bear the torture, but woke several times in the middle of the night to readjust myself and puff with torment. I managed to turn my head to the side a bit and woke with a numb ear. (The stiffness and pressure of the pillow causes lack of circulation and is dangerous!) The fourth night, my sister slept with me and brought her big fluffy pillow. I looked at it as a child looks at another child from afar eating some delicious sweet. In the morning, I had abandoned my neck roll and was lying beside her on her pillow. She said that when she opened her eyes in the morning, she was taken aback by seeing my face so close to hers.

Needless to say, I have stopped using my traditional pillow and have continued using the small pillow. I have thought about removing some of the barley seeds from the neck roll to see if this will make the pillow less stiff and more comfortable.

It seems that in these modern times, there are more effective and comfortable alternatives to the anti-aging pillow. I found this advertisement in a Japanese magazine and thought, this is what I need! Only problem is, where do I buy one that's just as pretty and colorful outside of Japan?

Peach John advertisement in ViVi magazine, July 2010 

1 comment:

  1. I have to try this !!! I have so much acne because of my bed and pillow XD