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We all know that beauty sleep is a real thing. Getting enough hours in dreamland can benefit your health in several ways, many of which show up on your skin. Besides the obvious reduction in dark circles and the rejuvenation that can come with quality sleep, there are many other beauty perks that can be attributed to a healthy sleep schedule. Skin repairs and regenerates overnight, so the skin care products you apply before bed can be extra effective during a nice, long slumber.
Part of good sleep hygiene is the environment created in the bedroom, from temperature to humidity levels, scents and bedding — and silk pillowcases are having a moment right now because they offer unique beauty benefits. These luxurious bedding essentials are not only a treat for the senses, but also offer a range of advantages for your hair and skin. Let’s explore how silk pillowcases can level up your beauty routine and enhance your overall well-being while you sleep!
What Is Silk? | How Silk Pillowcases Benefit Skin | How Silk Pillowcases Benefit Hair | Additional Benefits Of Silk Pillowcases | Vegan Silk | How To Choose And Care For Silk
What Is Silk?
Silk is the strongest natural fiber used in the world of textiles. It consists mainly of a protein called fibroin, which is what certain types of insect larvae secrete to make their cocoons. Most of the world’s genuine silk comes from Bombyx mori larvae, which are worms that live on mulberry trees. These days, silkworms are bred and silk is manufactured in factories, but the basic process used to make the fabric has stayed very close to its origins, dating back to ancient China thousands of years ago. Prized for both its softness and durability, the fabric is considered a luxury by many and is used to manufacture everything from scarves to dresses, lingerie and curtains.
The benefits of silk for the skin have long been understood but have only become mainstream in the last few decades. Because silk is more expensive to manufacture than synthetic fabrics and other natural materials like cotton, silk bedding was considered extravagant. These days, thanks in part to social media trends, silk pillowcases have become more popular and their price points more attainable.
How Silk Pillowcases Benefit Skin
Gentle To The Touch
If you’ve had the pleasure of feeling silk in person, then you know that it has an incredibly gentle and soft feel. No wonder it provides such a delicate touch to your skin as you sleep! Unlike other common bedding fabrics that can cause irritation (linen and polyester, among others), silk pillowcases offer a smooth and soothing surface that minimizes friction (aka tugging on the skin as you toss and turn). This reduces the risk of skin irritation, which is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin or those with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or acne.
Reduce Facial Wrinkles And Sleep Lines
That smooth texture allows your skin to slide easily against the pillowcase, reducing the formation of sleep lines and wrinkles. With regular use, silk pillowcases can help maintain a more youthful and refreshed appearance and let you wake up to fewer creases etched into your forehead or cheeks. While your facial wrinkles won’t reduce overnight, you may wake up with a smoother-looking face thanks to a reduction in the sleep lines that other fabrics can cause. This is especially true for side and stomach sleepers!
Help Maintain Skin Hydration
Silk pillowcases provide moisture-preserving properties for skin. Not only does this textile help maintain the natural moisture of your skin and prevent excessive drying, it’s less likely to absorb moisture from the skin — including any skin care products you loaded up on before hitting the sheets. This can be especially beneficial for those with dry or sensitive skin, especially in winter months. By allowing more of the hydration to stay on the skin and not get wiped away, silk pillowcases contribute to a healthier and more radiant complexion.
How Silk Pillowcases Benefit Hair
Reduce Frizz And Breakage
Because silk is naturally smoother than other fabrics, resting your strands on the soft surface of silk pillowcases minimizes friction against your hair, reducing frizz and breakage. Unlike cotton or other rough fabrics that can cause hair to snag and tangle, silk allows your hair to glide gently as you sleep, keeping your locks smooth and manageable.
Retain Moisture In The Hair
Just like on the skin, silk helps the natural oils stay in your hair, preventing dryness and promoting healthy, hydrated strands. By preserving moisture, silk pillowcases can help reduce hair damage and promote overall hair health. And since you spend about one third of your life with your head on the pillow, this can make a big difference in the moisture and hydration levels of your hair.
Prevent Tangles And Bedhead
Tossing and turning during sleep can lead to tangled hair and messy bedhead in the morning. The soft and smooth surface of silk pillowcases allows your hair to glide effortlessly, minimizing tangles and helping you wake up with a smoother mane.
Additional Benefits of Silk Pillowcases
Silk is naturally hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies. Silk pillowcases are less likely than cotton or synthetic fabrics to harbor dust mites, bacteria and other allergens, providing a cleaner and healthier sleep environment. That being said, there are a lot of other spots where these nasty things can hide. Make sure you regularly wash your sheets and that you add a mattress protector to the mix.
Silk has the ability to regulate temperature, keeping you cool in hot weather and warm in colder climates. And unlike cotton and flannel which are known to absorb moisture like sweat, silk does not. This can contribute to a more comfortable and restful sleep, allowing your skin to rejuvenate overnight.
Longevity, Durability And Comfort
In addition to their luxe feel and many benefits, silk pillowcases are also known for their durability and longevity. With proper care, they can retain their luxurious feel for an extended period, making them a worthwhile investment for your beauty routine.
There are vegan alternatives to silk that can emulate the luxurious texture of traditional silk without relying on silk-producing insects. Plant-based alternatives include Tencel, which is derived from the pulp of eucalyptus trees and provides most of the same benefits of silk, including the soft, slippery feel, durability and hypoallergenic properties. Other plant-based silks come from pineapple fiber, banana fiber and bamboo.
Tips for Choosing And Caring For Silk Pillowcases
Types of Silk to Look For
When selecting silk pillowcases, opt for high-quality mulberry or charmeuse silk. These varieties are known for their smoothness, durability and superior quality.
Washing and Care Instructions
Silk pillowcases require gentle care to preserve their softness and luster. It is recommended to hand wash them using a mild detergent or machine wash on a delicate cycle with cold water. Avoid the use of bleach or harsh chemicals that may damage the silk fibers. Air drying is the best method to maintain the integrity of the silk fabric.
Have you experienced the numerous benefits of silk pillowcases? Leave a note in our comments or join the conversation on social media.