Have you ever woken up with ‘sleep-creases’ or ‘sleep lines’ on your face? While the creases usually go away later the same day, they are an indication of the damage that is done to your face when sleeping on a cotton pillowcase. And as we get older, our skin typically gets more fragile, our collagen and elastin grow less resilient, and the sleep lines take longer to dissipate, eventually turning into permanent wrinkles. Ask any plastic surgeon or dermatologist! They will tell you which side you sleep on by virtue of the creases on your face.
We spend a third of our lives in bed. By the time we are 60, we will have slept for an average of 20 years. Most of us are side sleepers and we spend 7-8 hours every night of our life sleeping in a position which will crease our skin. In fact, over 90% of people sleep on their sides and most people find it impossible to switch positions and sleep on their backs. Virtually everyone (99% of the population) sleeps on pillowcases made from cotton. But, as you might have guessed, the problem with cotton is that it has a relatively high friction and rigidity, it is not sleek and does not slip, so the fabric continuously tugs at delicate parts of the face, our neck and hair.
Roll in the silk pillowcase
Say the word “silk” and it will evoke certain images in one’s mind. One of the most common images is the smooth and silky feeling of the luxurious fabric and the exquisite feeling of silk against your skin. And., of course, the way that silk allows things to glide over its surface. That inherent “silkiness” means that your hair is not spending the night rubbing against surfaces that do not glide, causing friction, contributing to split ends, hair breakage and “bed head”. It means that your face, rather than being imprinted throughout the night, is merely caressed.
Silk pillowcases are also hypoallergenic. Because of the small areas between the individual silk threads, there is very little space that allows for dust and other allergens to sit and irritate your skin, eyes, or nasal passages. Additionally, the smooth nature of silk allows many of the things that may hide in traditional cotton pillowcases to simply glide away, leaving you to sleep and breathe easier through the night.
One of the properties of cotton is its ability to absorb many times its weight of a liquid. Silk doesn’t do that. It is absorbent, yet its absorbency is at about 11%. That means it will absorb some sweat and face cream, yet not nearly as much as cotton. What this means is your face will stay moisturized and hydrated for longer than with cotton or linen, which can have a noticeable drying effect on the skin. In other words, sleeping on a silk pillowcase can actually make your skin look better and younger over time than it would if were you sleeping on a cotton pillowcase. Also: expensive night oils/creams stay where they are supposed to be…..on your skin.
What is more, silk has a natural beautifying affinity with your own skin. Just as the oriental horn comb helps to nourish the hair in virtue of being comprised of the same amino-acid structure, silk is comprised of 18 essential amino acids which naturally nourish our own skin, made of the same similar amino acid composition. In traditional oriental philosophy, silk is said to beautify the skin and counter the effects of aging for this exact reason.
Finally, silk is a natural heat regulator which ensures that the perfect body temperature is maintained while you sleep. Base layer ski clothing is made from silk because of its wonderful properties as a temperature regulator. Silk keeps you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool.
For 100% mulberry silk pillowcases, comprised of only the highest quality creamiest silk (many other “silk” pillowcases have silk on top only, and then a cotton underside): 100% graded 25 Momme mulberry silk, skillfully crafted by talented members of an old, multi-generational silk weaving tradition in Vietnam see here.