Photographed by Ben Ritter.
We all know a good eight hours of snooze time is the beauty equivalent of taking a probably-longer-than-necessary lunch break during a particularly stressful day. But, what if we told you these precious ZZZs could actually be aging you? Besides a nap in the sunshine, our moments tucked into bed are generally regarded as a time for total skin rest and rejuvenation. Why, then, do we so often wake up scared to look in the mirror? Well, apparently, it all comes down to our pillowcase.
According to NYC dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler, those morning face creases we try to hide from anyone who’s there to see us rise and shine aren’t thanks to a cozy slumber; they’re a sign of how cotton materials pull at our skin overnight. The solution? Silk.
Photo: Via Neiman Marcus.
“Silk is a smooth material, making it less prone to tugging on the delicate parts of your neck and skin while you move in your sleep,” says Wechsler. In a world where we only ever pat-dry and would never apply eye cream with anything but the gentlest touch, sleeping on what dermatologists equate to woven sandpaper is kind of counterintuitive to all that careful skin care we're doing during our waking hours.
Beyond the face lines we wake up with, the material we’re resting our heads on can also alter the effectiveness of our nightly skin routine. “Silk is a naturally less absorbent material, which ensures the moisturizer or serum you put on your face before going to bed gets absorbed by your skin rather than your pillowcase,” explains Wechsler.
Also relevant as we ease into what many are forecasting to be a brutally hot summer? Sleep sweating. Nothing like waking up drenched in sweat and your face in a soggy pillowcase! According to Dr. Wechsler, silk can also help regulate your temperature, which in turn helps to limit night sweats and the annoying skin irritation that comes with them.
Clearly, opting for some silky-smooth goodness would be our skin’s first choice in the bedding aisle, but hold on to your hair, because it’s about to be pretty stoked, too. As long as beds have existed and humans have cared about their locks, there’s been bedhead-induced frizz and women who hate it more than pretty much anything. Just as less-smooth fibers like polyester pull at our skin, they also grab on to our hair, messing it up big time. Curly-haired ladies in particular will notice the difference when making the switch to silk, as their strands easily slip around during each change in sleeping position, without knotting or extra frizz.
So, sorry, weird-polyester-blend pillowcase we've had since college — it’s been fun and all, but our skin and hair have spoken, and it’s over. For good.
iLuminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase, $60, available at Neiman Marcus.
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