Should we be sleeping on a silk pillowcase?

The beauty-scape is encouraging us to invest in these luxurious bedtime buddies to keep our skin young and acne-free

September 14, 2019 04:39 pm | Updated 04:39 pm IST

A woman sleeping on a silk pillowcase

A woman sleeping on a silk pillowcase

I’ll admit, I’ve been down the Internet rabbit hole, watching dozens of GTBWM (Go To Bed With Me) videos, where beauty vloggers or celebrities detail the step-by-step of their exhaustive pre-bedtime skincare routine. It’s just so satisfying to know that some form of perfection is achieved by insane investments of time, energy and money. Some of the more recent routines have ended with a perky statement from the person on-screen, “I’ve just been addicted to how a silk pillowcase has helped me keep ageing or acne away!” and then a cursory product shout-out with a pluggy promo code follows.

Sophie Turner, Kim Kardashian, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Ashley Graham vouch for these luxurious bedtime buddies which can cost hundreds of dollars.

But with every endorsement, such as this one, comes a wave of scepticism. Does it work? Why hasn’t my dermatologist suggested I invest in one to keep those pimples and crow’s feet away?

From an expert...

Mumbai-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr Abhijit Desai, of SkinSense, says, “I don’t deny that silk is a very good material. As far as claims around silk being good for the face or skin on the face, or cotton being less than silk in that way, I wouldn’t go so far as to advise that to patients, unless there’s proven scientific data around the benefits. There’s no data stating ‘[silk] does not take away the moisture’. Look closely, a lot of these trends don’t have a lot of scientific data, and that’s why they’re trends; they don’t stick around.”

When I point out that some brands claim their pillowcases have infusions of copper oxide in them to retain anti-bacterial properties against acne, Dr Abhijit reiterates that there’s no data to prove this either. However, a clinical trial in the United States titled ‘Efficacy of Silk: Like Bedding Fabric Pillow Case in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris’ is in progress, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for those results.

Dr Abhijit, who’s been practising for 17 years, points out that just because things trend in the West, we needn’t follow through. “Our skin types are so different from those with Caucasian skin. Indian skin, or Type Five skin, doesn’t have wrinkling as a major problem. Caucasian skin is thinner and therefore does. To state the silk pillowcase is better than a cotton one is not really advisable at this point. But if you are making the choice for the sake of, say, comfort, then that’s your prerogative.”

So our verdict? Definitely ‘Hype’ for now.

In this column, we decode health trends and decide if it’s all just ‘hype’ or actually ‘happening’

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