Debunking the Myth of the Silk Pillowcase

A beauty sleep-obsessed editor weighs in.

red silk
Getty ImagesLorado

We all the know the fairy tale myth of the silk pillowcase. It's beauty sleep's secret weapon, keeping our precious blowouts in tact and our skin ultra-soft. As an editor forever on a quest to get the most (beauty) bang for my lack-of-REM-sleep buck, I decided it was time to trade in my old cotton pillowcase for something a bit more luxe.

But before choosing a silk pillowcase, I made sure to do my research because, unbeknownst to me until this very experiment, not all silks are created equal. For one, it's essential that the pillowcase be 100% silk, because apparently manmade is a no-go. Another thing to look for is a long strand mulberry silk with a traditional charmeuse weave (yeah, you'll need to write that down) as it's the smoothest, and to be perfectly honest, fanciest. It's expensive, but we've got a few options for you of all price ranges.

The Hair

As a black woman, my hair is very important to me. If you asked me to choose between my hair and sleep, I don't know which one I'd be able to pick, that's how much I love both of them. Even though my hair is almost always in a protective style or a wig, I still take what I sleep on very seriously to protect this huge head of natural hair I have. I may have 100 pillows on my bed at all times, but all of them have high-quality cotton or silk pillowcases. Even though I sleep in a bonnet (like Kelly Rowland and, you know, black women everywhere, even though modern media has you thinking black women just go to sleep the way they are) I still have silk pillowcases. Why? Because I'm very aesthetically pleased by silk, and never in my entire hair-having life has my bonnet stayed on the entire night. I'm not taking any chances. My curl pattern is precious.

But even for my non-kinky haired sisters, silk pillowcases can change the entire game for you. They help prevent kinks and flyaways, so if you're a member of the Thick Hair Club (I'm a card-carrying member) or a frizzy haired gal, this is a worthwhile investment. Oh, and if you're a person who sweats in their sleep, the silk's cooling effects may help you on those nights when your room is sweltering. Silk pillowcases: changing the game.

The Skin

Another great thing: it not only made my face feel less puffy, but it also helped reduce my skin's redness. I'm constantly battling rosacea, so the lack of abrasion was a godsend, especially during these colder months. Lastly, after the first few days, my skin was noticeably softer, like I-shouldn't-touch-my-face-but-I-can't-help-it soft.

Listen, if you're a pretty sleeper, bless up. I am the world's ugliest sleeper, with my face pressed into the pillow, contorted into a not-so-flattering squish. But I sleep well, so it shouldn't matter what I look like. But some of us take precautions not to do that, sleeping on their back without their face touching the pillow, and those people are seemingly precious unicorns. For those of us for whom a facial crease after sleeping is a regular occurrence, a silk pillowcase will save the day. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase has made me wake up crease-free, reducing the likeliness of this ugly sleeper getting wrinkles.

Another benefit is that I wake up less puffy, and a friend of mine who suffers from chronic redness and roscacea loves her silk pillowcase because it protects her face from abrasion, particularly in the colder months. Plus, it'll make your face so smooth you'll want to touch it. But don't do that. Don't touch your face. Stop it.

Final verdict? A silk pillowcase is an absolute must for any woman, nay PERSON, on the planet. Ugly sleepers, rise up!

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