Chin straps will 'snatch' your face and improve your sleep, TikTokers claim. Are they right?

Experts weigh in on the TikTok trend of sleeping in a chin strap. (Mikealla Wegner/Kerri Rosenthal via TikTok)
Experts weigh in on the TikTok trend of sleeping in a chin strap. (Mikealla Wegner/Kerri Rosenthal via TikTok)

If TikToks of people sharing their “daily shed” confuse you, you’re not alone.

These videos show the first step in a person’s morning routine, removing products they slept in the night before — taking out hair curlers, peeling off mouth tape, discarding face masks and even unhooking chin straps.

Yes, the chin strap looks as dramatic as it sounds: It’s a piece of fabric wrapped around the head or ears to keep one’s chin in place — more suitable as protective gear than for a comfortable night’s rest, in my opinion. But people who use them claim it helps them get a more restful sleep without snoring and that it “snatches” your jawline and face while in the throes of an REM cycle. One woman even calls it her “$5 face lift.”

But do these statements hold up? Fortunately, I investigated so you don’t have to.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me catch you up:

  • Women have been getting into a TikTok trend called the “daily shed” where they show the removal of all of the contraptions that they sleep with. Many include a silk hair bonnet, an eye mask, mouth tape, a skincare mask and even a chin strap.

  • The chin strap is the latest star of the show after one user received 18.4 million views to date on a video removing a pink strap that restricted mobility of her mouth as she slept.

  • Some people sleep in their chin strap, while others wear it sporadically throughout the day or before bed.

  • Alleged benefits include correcting mouth breathing, which is said to reduce snoring, and a slimmer (more attractive) jawline.

In short, experts like facial plastic surgeon Dr. Joel Kopelman say that the claimed benefits aren’t proven, nor are they long-lasting.

“Chin straps are often marketed with promises of lifting the face, reducing double chins and improving the jawline. While they might offer a slight and temporary improvement in appearance by compressing the soft tissues, there is no scientific evidence to support significant or lasting benefits,” Kopelman tells Yahoo Life, adding that it “should not be considered a substitute for medical treatments or procedures like liposuction or a facelift.”

Dr. Michael Bassiri-Tehrani, a reconstructive surgeon, explains that chin straps or other compressive dressings are typically only useful after a surgery for the sake of preventing a build-up of fluid. “A normal, healthy individual who has not undergone surgery will have minimal swelling from lying flat and as a result no real cosmetic benefit from this,” he tells Yahoo Life. “Additionally, keeping a tight strap on at night can block normal lymphatic flow and drainage from the face. We need lymph flow to remove waste and support immune function of the skin.”

As for sleep, a 2014 study on obstructive sleep apnea patients found that a chin strap “does not improve sleep disordered breathing” and is “ineffective in improving snoring.”

“Ideally, people sleep with their mouth closed and breathe through their nose. Wearing a chin strap overnight will force your mouth to remain closed, which can help with snoring in some people,” says Bassiri-Tehrani. “Others who have nasal congestion or structural blockages of their nose may experience even more difficulty breathing with the chin strap on. This can be scary and dangerous, especially in the setting of prior sleep apnea.”

Nevertheless, Dr. Chelsea Perry, owner and practicing dentist at Elite Dental Studio in Westborough, Mass., tells Yahoo Life that wearing a chin strap to sleep is generally considered safe. But some precautions should be taken when wearing it.

“It's crucial to ensure it's not too tight, as this could restrict blood flow or cause discomfort,” she says. “Regarding long-term impact on teeth or the jaw, there isn’t much evidence to suggest significant negative effects, especially if the strap is used correctly and is not excessively tight.” However, Perry says prolonged use could cause discomfort or even changes in how the jaw feels, particularly if the strap affects your natural bite or jaw position. “If you notice any discomfort or pain, it would be wise to discontinue use and consult a health care professional,” she says.

Trying a chin strap might be enticing after seeing some convincing before and afters on TikTok. But it isn’t the alternative to plastic surgery that people are claiming it to be. Its sleep and snoring benefits are also negligible. If a chin strap was truly effective, we’d probably all be rocking one by now — and certainly gifting them to our snoring partners.

Let’s face it: Wearing a restrictive chin strap for eight hours of sleep (if you’re ever so lucky) doesn’t seem worth only the possibility of a slimmer-looking jawline for a short amount of time. And the content creators advertising the product for snorers likely didn’t do their research.

I, for one, will be resisting the urge of this seemingly quick cosmetic fix. If you want a solution to your snoring, I suggest consulting your doctor instead of relying on TikTok Shop.