I’m a textbook hard sleeper. As much as I’d love to be able to train myself to sleep peacefully on my back like Princess Aurora, I flail from side to side, face smushed into the pillow. As a result, I often wake up with deep creases in my cheeks and cowlicks in my hair. “Beauty sleep,” it is not. But while the tossing and turning certainly doesn’t help my case, it’s the fabric upon which I’m sleeping that’s also an issue.
“If you have ever awoken to "sleep creases" on your face, a silk pillowcase will help to reduce the strain or friction on the skin,” says Stacy Chimento, MD, a board certified dermatologist of Riverchase Dermatology in Miami. Cotton pillowcases (the kind I used) provide far less “slip” than a silk pillowcase, which translates to tugging and pulling on both your skin and hair. However, Chimento notes that the only way to fully prevent creasing is to sleep on your back. Where hair is concerned, “silk pillowcases can keep your hair smoother than a cotton counterpart and preserve a blowout or other style better,” she explains.
Aside from immediate aesthetics, silk pillowcases also offer a slew of other benefits: for starters, because of its tightly woven, vitreous texture, it absorbs less moisture than a cotton case, meaning the hydrating products you so dutifully apply before bedtime won’t end up sinking into your case and instead stay put on your skin. “Silk absorbs less moisture than cotton,” says Chimento, “Therefore, skin will stay more hydrated overnight on silk. For many of us who sleep with serums and lotions on our face, having your pillowcase absorb less allows what you put on your face to remain in place throughout the night.” It’s these moisture-wicking properties that also help keep you cool at night, says Lucy Chen, MD, a must for night sweats and generally hot sleeper. Finally, because of the decreased friction mentioned before, those with acne and rosacea will experience less irritation and chafing than when sleeping on a cotton pillowcase.
It’s each of these reasons I decided to trade in my cotton pillowcase for a silk iteration, specifically Blissy’s 22-Momme 100% Pure Mulberry Silk Pillowcase in white (which reads like more of a pretty, soft ecru). The look and feel of these cases are divine, and even despite being so luxe, you can actually throw them in the washing machine (it’s recommended to wash them in a garment bag, however, to keep them in prime condition). I also appreciate how soft they are—some silk cases I’ve tried have oddly felt a bit scratchy to the touch, so I’d written them off entirely… until Blissy came along.
After one night, I was pretty shocked at how noticeably different my hair and skin appeared—come morning, my skin had much more of a dewy finish and little to no creasing as opposed to when I sleep on cotton, and my hair, which I had curled the day before, hardly looked slept on. Below, you can see my strands after sleeping on cotton (before) vs. Blissy's silk case (after).
I hadn’t noticed how much moisture a regular cotton pillowcase draws from your skin and hair, nor how abrasive they can be (cotton is generally soft and comfortable after all!), but after seeing firsthand how much the look and feel of my hair and skin has improved, it’s safe to say I’m going to stick to Blissy’s pillowcase for the foreseeable future. It also doesn’t hurt that the pretty sheen of the pillowcase on my bed adds a bit of an expensive feel to my otherwise boring linens. Consider me a convert.