If you have acne or sensitive skin, you probably spend a good bit of time -- and money -- caring for your face. Your routine may include special cleansers, lotions, and medication, both over the counter and prescription. It's a lot of effort, but worth it for clear, healthy skin. But you may not have considered another very important factor in keeping your skin looking its best: your pillowcase.
You spend nearly a third of your time asleep, with your face in direct contact with a pillowcase. Pillowcase fabric can have a big impact on your skin. At Mulberry Park Silks, we strongly recommend a silk pillowcase for anyone with acne prone skin, sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin or combination skin. Along with preventing bedhead, hair breakage, frizzy hair, and fine lines, mulberry silk fabric has special properties that help fight acne causing bacteria; allow skin to retain its natural moisture; and repel allergens, dust mites, and irritants.
Read on to learn why a natural silk pillowcase from Mulberry Park Silks should be a part of your daily skincare routine.
Is My Pillowcase Fabric Affecting My Skin?
Just like anything that touches your face, pillowcase fabric can have a big impact on how your skin looks and feels. This comes down to understanding what causes conditions such as acne or other sensitivities such as eczema (atopic dermatitis) and allergies. Let's take a look at underlying and aggravating factors for these common issues.
Acne: While it can vary in severity and duration, acne breakouts are most commonly caused by bacteria, inflammation, clogged hair follicles, or excess production of oil (sebum). Acne can be aggravated by certain materials or fabrics, including anything that creates pressure or irritation against the skin.
Atopic dermatitis: Commonly known as eczema, this condition is caused by your skin's inability to retain natural moisture. The skin becomes itchy, irritated and inflamed, and thus very vulnerable to bacteria and environmental allergens. Keeping skin well-hydrated goes a long way to minimizing the frequency and severity of eczema and related issues.
Allergic/sensitive skin irritation:These conditions fall under the umbrella of contact dermatitis, which is caused by an external irritant that causes a rash. Poison ivy, for example, is a type of contact dermatitis, as is an allergic rash caused by a highly perfumed shampoo or body wash. Contact dermatitis can also be triggered by environmental allergens such as mold and dust mites; in these circumstances, skin irritation is accompanied by more common allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and nasal irritation. Dust mites actually feed off of dead skin cells, so they tend to gather in spaces where skin cells collect such as carpeting and -- as you may have guessed -- bedding.
What Is The Best Pillowcase for Controlling Acne or Soothing Sensitive Skin?
When you're choosing a pillowcase to keep your skin healthy, consider how the specific fabric will perform next to your skin. If acne, eczema, or sensitive skin are your issues, look for a pillow that is both clean and calming. Pay attention to these criteria:
Texture and feel: A pillowcase that is made of rougher fibers can tug and pull at your skin, leaving it irritated and inflamed. Even high thread count Egyptian cotton has fibers that can cause friction. Silk fibers, on the other hand, are smooth and nearly friction free, allowing your skin to glide across the surface of the pillow case.
Absorbency: At some point, you will sweat when you sleep. How your pillowcase absorbs or wicks sweat is very important. Cotton sheets and pillowcases are known to be highly absorbent; they soak up moisture from sweat and stay wet. Unfortunately, a damp pillowcase is more than just uncomfortable; it provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to clogged pores and breakouts in acne prone skin. Unlike a cotton pillowcase, a silk pillowcase wicks away this type of moisture to minimize discomfort and irritation.
Resistance to bacteria, dust, and allergens: As we noted above, bacteria tend to grow in warm, moist environments. And dust mites and other allergens naturally gravitate to bedding. Choosing silk will minimize these issues, as silk is naturally hypoallergenic and inherently resistant to mold, dust mites and irritants (see below to learn more about the special properties of silk).
Natural moisture: The natural moisture within your skin helps protect against drying and irritation, which are major contributors to eczema. Even oily skin needs natural moisture; in fact, drying out oily skin too aggressively can worsen the problem by leading to overproduction of oil. Cotton pillowcases pull precious moisture from your skin. Silk, on the other hand, is protein based, which helps your skin (which is also protein based) retain moisture and stay healthy. In fact, the amino acids and protein in silk are often used as ingredients in high end skin care products.
Pure, natural fabric: Not all fabrics are created equal, no matter how they feel. A cotton or bamboo pillowcase is made of natural fiber, but not necessarily gentle on skin or even environmentally friendly. A polyester microfiber or satin pillowcase may feel smooth, but it is man made from petroleum-based material; therefore it will have none of the breathable, moisture wicking, or hypoallergenic properties of silk. Only genuine, pure silk does all that. Mulberry Park Silks goes a step further by ensuring all of our products are independently certified to be non-toxic and safe.
Dermatologists Say a Silk Pillowcase is the Top Choice for Acne-Prone or Sensitive Skin
A silk pillowcase is the perfect choice for anyone with acne prone or sensitive skin. In fact, skin care specialists and dermatologists often recommend sleeping on silk to help manage these skin conditions.
“Silk sheets and silk pillowcases are gentler on the skin of people with acne or sensitive skin that rough cotton ones," says Dr. Anna Chacon, a board certified dermatologist. "This is because the friction from cotton on sensitive skin can create more inflammation, making acne, eczema, or other skin conditions worse."
Dr. Chacon offers another reason not to choose a cotton pillowcase for acne. "Cotton also sops up the natural oil and bacteria from your face and hair, and that grime accumulates on your pillowcase night after night, creating a bacteria petri dish out of your pillow, " she says. "Silk pillowcases absorb less of the moisture and dirt, thus can be considered a better choice for people with acne or sensitive skin.”
Why Choose a Mulberry Silks Pillowcase for Your Skin?
A Mulberry Park Silks pillowcase has special properties that make it the ideal sleep surface for people with and other skin conditions:
- Breathable: Mulberry Park Silks pillowcases are spun from the highest quality silk in the market: Grade 6A. The individual silk fibers are thin, fine, and strong, for the ultimate in breathable comfort.
- Moisture wicking: Pure mulberry silk wicks away moisture, which keeps it away from sensitive skin.
- Temperature regulating: The unique cellular structure of silk fiber allows it to naturally regulate temperature, keeping you warm in winter, cool in summer, and comfortable year round.
- Hypoallergenic: Silk fibers contain a special protein known as sericin. During the silk processing, the water-soluble protein sericin is removed. The protein retained in the silk is called fibroin, which is rich in 18 amino acids. These amino acids bestow silk with its inherent resistance to dust mites, mold, and fungus, as well as its hypoallergenic properties.
- OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Certified. At Mulberry Park Silks, we believe you should feel absolutely confident that any silk you put next to your sensitive skin is safe, non-toxic, and natural. That's why we've taken the step of certifying all of our products to the rigorous criteria of OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. This independent certification means that everything we produce is free from harmful toxins and chemicals through all phases of manufacturing.
A Mulberry Park Silks pillowcase is the very definition of luxury, and delivers many other well-documented beauty benefits for your skin, hair and sleep quality. You can learn more about the benefits of a silk pillowcase by reading the Why Choose a Silk Pillowcase? blog. Our silk pillowcases come in a variety of momme weights and colors to suit every budget and style. Learn more about picking the right momme weight pillow case for your needs by reading the blog Silk Pillowcase Guide: How To Choose the Best Momme Silk Weight.
Caring for Your Silk Pillowcase
Happily, caring for your real silk pillowcase requires very little extra effort. A mulberry silk pillowcase can easily be washed by hand or in your machine on a gentle cycle and hung to dry out of direct sunlight. We always recommend using a detergent specially formulated for silk, and placing silk items in a mesh wash bag to protect them from snags and tears. You can touch up your pillowcase with a cool iron, but most people find that simply smoothing the fabric by hand is sufficient to remove any wrinkles.
NOTE: If you are actively using acne preparations on your skin, beware that chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide can stain and remove color from any fabric, including silk.