HEALTH

What is the Deal with Silk Pillowcases?

Celebrities and influencers are all talking about switching to a silk pillowcase for its frizz-preventing and anti-ageing benefits. So what is the hype about? We look into the beauty benefits of this wellness trend.

By SHREYA MAJI

If you have watched skincare or haircare advice videos on Youtube, chances are you have come across the viral trend of sleeping on silk pillowcases for your skin and hair. Celebrities in the West seem to swear by it, with everyone from Cindy Crawford to Victoria Beckham and even Kim Kardashian touting this trend as one they all follow. NBC show This is Us even had an episode featuring one of the characters being upset about not bringing her curl-protective silk pillowcase with her on a vacation. Let us look at what the hype is all about.

  1. Silk stops your hair from getting tangled and frizzy overnight
    Waking up with a bad case of bedhead every morning, with your hair all tangled up and knotted, causing split-ends and breakage? A silk pillowcase might be the solution you need. Silk is a naturally-occuring filament fibre, which means it does not need to be woven together, giving it a smooth, edge-free texture. This reduces the friction on your hair during the night. Sleeping on silk is actually a beauty secret followed by many with curly or textured hair, which are more prone to getting tangled. Similar to the use of silk scrunchies, silk pillowcases prevent tugging or tearing of your delicate strands, and you wake up with smooth, frizz-free hair.
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  3. Silk pillowcases can keep your hair healthy
    Traditional pillowcases are made of cotton, which is porous and thus absorbs moisture from your hair, leaving it dry and lifeless. Dermatologist and skincare influencer Dr Dray says on her Youtube channel that silk pillowcases can help with protecting brittle hair, as they absorb less moisture than cotton.
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  5. Silk pillowcases keep your skin hydrated
    Do you want to make the most of the skincare products you are layering during your nighttime routine? A silk pillowcase, because of its non-porous nature, is less likely to wick moisture and product from your skin. This means that all the serums and overnight masks that you apply to your face will remain in place, and you will wake up with well-hydrated, glowing skin.
  6. Silk pillowcases can prevent wrinkles
    American supermodel Cindy Crawford famously told People magazine in 2018 that the secret behind her graceful ageing is a silk pillowcase, which prevents her from getting pillow lines (the creases caused on skin by cotton when you press your face down into it). In a 2014 study published by Journal of Cosmetic & Laser Therapy, pillow lines were seen to be one of the causes behind the formation of wrinkles as you age. Silk pillowcases reduce friction and lessen the risk of wrinkles from bad sleeping positions.
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  8. Silk pillowcases are gentle on sensitive skin
    Silk fibers contain a protein called sericin, which repels dust mites, a major source of allergic reactions. They are also resistant to mold and fungus, making them naturally hypoallergenic. This makes silk pillowcases a good alternative for those with sensitive skin or who suffer from frequent contact allergies.

 

Worth It or Overhyped?

Every trend naturally brings with it a fair share of skepticism, and this is no exception. So is investing in a silk pillowcase worth it? While many dermatologists and hairstylists say yes, Dr Liv Kraemer, MD, a Zurich-based dermatologist calls the trend “overrated” on her Instagram Reel, as pillowcases need to be washed regularly with warm water to maintain hygiene, something that you cannot do with silk. Also, little research has been done on the benefits of silk pillowcases, so most of them are anecdotal. Ultimately, there is no harm in trying out the trend, although the prices of silk pillowcases compared to cotton ones make them an expensive investment.

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