Though we know very well that good sleep is vital for good health, we have been in the dark about the beauty benefits of silk pillowcases — until now.
Purportedly, Jackie Onassis slept on a silk pillowcase — with her hair ensconced in a silk scarf — to maintain her blowouts. Since her era, we have learned that silk pillowcases can do far more than maintain a perfect coif. Want to limit stress on hair while retaining skin’s moisture and reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles?
You’re not dreaming: Leave it to a silk pillowcase.
Although your current cotton pillowcase may feel soft, especially paired with your favorite well-worn sheets, the friction created by nightly tossing and turning can damage hair follicles, usurping shine and creating frizz.
“Cotton is a material meant to absorb moisture, and it will do just that to your hair,” says hair stylist Kevin Murphy. “Hairstyles that lack moisture tend to appear frizzy and lifeless, and are more prone to static. Silk is a material that will allow hair to slide around more smoothly, so you will have less breakage and no more bed head.”
But silk pillowcases benefit more than hair aesthetics; they manage oil production. A pillowcase spun from natural protein fiber (aka silk) does not absorb hair’s natural oils, preventing your scalp from producing more oil to replenish itself. Oily hair sufferers rejoice!
In addition to absorbing your hair’s natural oils, a cotton pillowcase also absorbs your hair products. According to Laura Dyer, of Amy Wechsler Dermatology in New York City, hair products that have been absorbed into cotton pillows can wreak havoc on your skin. “Hair products can contain harsh ingredients and can be oil or silicone based, all of which can cause inflammation and breakouts,” she says.
Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase also causes more friction against your skin than sleeping on silk does, leading to irritation and dryness, while amplifying lines, wrinkles, and creases.
But the issue is more than a simple loss of moisture. Dr. Dennis Gross, renowned derm and founder of a namesake skin care brand (and, full disclosure, a spokesperson for SlipSilk pillowcases), says a silk pillowcase allows skin to breath and does not tug on delicate tissue the way that cotton can.
Board-certified dermatologist and author of Skin Rules Debra Jaliman agrees. “Cotton pillows crunch the collagen and make sleep lines on your face” causing premature wrinkles. Repeated sleep wrinkles ultimately lead to deep, permanent lines on forehead and cheeks.
As skin slides on a silk pillowcase versus tugging against cotton, you’ll experience less abrasion, reducing redness in skin. Due to the hypoallergenic properties of silk, eczema, asthma, and allergies are also soothed. And your beloved serums and lotions applied before bedtime? They will retain their rightful place, working toward luminous skin by morning, rather than being absorbed into your bed linens.
Get Your Beauty Sleep Aids
The way we see it, with silk pillowcases you will literally become sleeping beauty. Some of our favorites:
- The SlipSilk Pillowcase
- Spasilk 100-Percent Pure Silk Facial Beauty Pillowcase
- Queen Marble Silk Pillowcases
Want to extend these beauty benefits? Consider silk sheets. In addition to benefits for wrinkle-prone areas, such as décolletage, they can assist with temperature control.