Silk pillowcases have become a certified cult product for hair and skin care lovers, and the benefits of these luxurious additions to our bedding have been doing the rounds for a few years now. They are widely stated to increase the health of our hair and skin and have even been claimed to fight the effects of ageing, breakouts and a haircare miracle. But what exactly is the science behind them?
THE STORY OF SILK
Silk is derived from silkworms who feast on mulberry leaves or Osage orange and whose silk is harvested using only hot air or water. Therefore, silk has virtually no chemical exposure before arriving in your bedroom. In comparison, cotton is often grown inorganically, washed with toxic chemicals then dyed with harsh colouring agents. This isn’t a great origin story for a material many of us faceplant for eight+ hours a night.
ARE SILKCASES REALLY ANTI-AGING?
Silk pillowcases’ have been claimed to act as a natural anti-aging product. They work by reducing the friction or “sleep creases” cotton tends to create them on our very delicate visage. Science supports this theory as silk is a largely frictionless material and therefore prevents this delicate area of skin from being tugged, pulled and strained every night; especially if you tend to sleep on your side or front. Hydration is a major weapon in our anti-aging arsenal and silk’s low absorbency will keep your face hydrated through the night.
HOW ARE SILKCASES BETTER FOR ACNE-PRONE/SENSITIVE SKIN?
Synthetic fabrics are notorious for trapping heat, but silk has a lighter and more breathable texture which prevents redness and inflammation of the skin. Sweating in the night is bad news for your pores, but silk fibres have a natural temperature regulator and will keep you cool while you catch those zzz’s. In contrast to cotton, silk wicks moisture away to keep you dry and cool. The low absorbency rate of silk is also great for anybody with dehydrated skin whose cotton pillow is stealing all their bougie night cream.
Silk’s natural anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic properties make them ideal for those with sensitive or blemish prone skin. Silk is a less absorbent fabric than cotton and its properties are naturally hypoallergenic. This means that it resists mould, mildew and bacteria; all of which can build up on pillowcases in between washes. Frictional fabrics like cotton can inflame sensitive and acne-prone skin and exacerbate existing skin concerns.
What’s more, hair products that are often absorbed into cotton pillowcases contain ingredients that you do not want anywhere near your face. But if these products are being pulled into your pillowcase every night and you don’t sleep on your back then breakouts are likely to occur.
WHAT ABOUT OUR HAIR?
Silk pillowcases work to improve the texture of our hair because their low absorbency properties avoid stripping our hair of essential oils. This is advantageous to both greasy and dry manes; silk won’t leech of your expensive hair treatments, nor will it remove essential oils which cause our scalps to overproduce oil.
In contrast, cotton pillowcases are more porous and actively draw moisture from your hair meaning you might as well have poured that expensive hair oil down the sink! The frictionless properties of silk are also a miracle worker for those of us who suffer with bedhead or hair breakage. Hair isn’t being tugged or entangled in cotton fibres meaning fewer tangles in the morning and a smoother appearance. The royal treatment given to our hair by silk also means any styling treatments or salon blow drys will last for longer. Read more about the benefits of silk
ARE SILKCASES THE REAL DEAL?
SILKCASEs are absolutely fantastic and are a perfect partner to any great skincare and haircare routine. I don’t personally believe there is a good reason anyone should be sleeping on anything else but a silk pillowcase. SILKCASEs are by far the easiest skin and haircare product you can use.. I mean all you need to do is sleep.
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