You may have heard that sleeping on a smooth surface such as silk or satin is really good for your skin and hair. As satin is the most affordable option, you may have thought about purchasing a pillowcase or two made from the shiny, slippery fabric, hoping that it will give you more youthful-looking skin with fewer lines and wrinkling. But does sleeping on a satin pillowcase really help skin?
What is satin?
The term satin generally refers to a smooth, shiny fabric woven from man-made fibres such as polyester. Oil polymers are what polyester is made from (hence the name), so the material’s chemical structure is basically pretty similar to plastic.
Satin is really a weave technique rather than a specific fabric, and in fact, natural silk material can even be made using a satin weave.
What is silk?
Silk is made from fine threads that are produced by silkworms, who spin to form a cocoon. Silk fibres that are spun by the silkworm are woven together to create pure, natural silk fabric.
What about the weave?
The weave is very important when it comes to silk or satin. The most highly regarded technique is the charmeuse weave, as this results in the smoothest, softest satin or silk fabrics. The weave is crucial, because a smoother material will lead to a reduction in friction as your hair and skin move across the pillow’s surface during the night. This is why sleeping on silk or satin can help in the fight against frizzy and damaged hair, pillow creases, fine lines and wrinkles.
Why silk is better than satin?
Less loss of night cream
Silk is an all-natural product, whereas satin is made from the same kind of raw material as plastic. Silk can help to hydrate your skin overnight, as less oil is absorbed by silk than by man-made fabrics such as polyester satin. You get more mileage from every penny you spend on expensive skin products such as night creams and anti-ageing serums, as far less is lost on the pillow. So while satin may be cheaper, a high-quality silk pillowcase with a good momme count (the silk equivalent of a thread count) will soon pay for itself. Particularly if the material was made using the charmeuse weave technique.
Silk is naturally hypoallergenic, which benefits people with skin conditions or sensitivity. It also resists bed mites, fungus, mould and mildew. It is kinder to skin than man-made fabrics like satin, and acne, eczema, psoriasis and other sensitive skin condition sufferers do reap the benefits of this – as do chemotherapy patients – who often suffer from ultra-sensitive skin during treatment.
That time of your life
Menopausal and peri-menopausal women also tend to love real silk pillowcases. This is because pure silk has a cooling effect, and thus can reduce sweating and hot flushes.
Speaking of heat, silk is even a safer fabric, as it is extremely difficult to ignite and therefore resistant to flame.
To top it all, natural silk is much easier to wash and dry than you might think. It can normally be machine washed at 30℃, and even dries much more quickly than cotton.
Why buy silk rather than satin?
Satin has only one advantage over silk – the cost. Silk is a much better investment, though, as over time it can save you spending so much cash on facial creams, oils, lotions and serums.
So does sleeping on a satin pillowcase help your skin? It might, but this really depends on what you compare it to. When it comes to pure, top quality silk, there really is no comparison. It’s subtle, luxurious sheen means it looks better in your bedroom, and there are many benefits for your hair as well as your skin too.
For a product that will give you many years of far-more-than satisfactory use, silk is a very valuable investment. To give it the very best chance of success – and therefore ensure that your skin and hair look and feel the best they possibly can – go for a charmeuse weave silk pillowcase with a high momme count – between 19 and 22 is ideal.