Will Silk Improve Your Skin?
Beauty trends are nothing new. They fade in and out every season with only a handful of them surviving to the next season. Those that do survive tend to be either interesting or have some degree of truth to them. Most of us can think of some failed trend in the past whether it was a full diet overhaul or just downing the current miracle food and hoping. What we all want are the trends that stick and appear to have a degree of validation to them. An ongoing trend is the idea that silk can actually improve your skin in a number of ways. It began around silk pillowcases, but expanded over time as people tried out silk in other ways. As a result, people have started recommending sleeping on and in silk as well as just simply wearing it. But why? Silk seems like an odd thing to suddenly discover is useful to skin. Let’s look at the claims for silk and see where they take us.
The core claim most people end up emphasizing is that switching to silk pillowcases can actually help reduce the overall signs of aging compared to using pillowcases of other materials. Not everyone talks about the mechanisms of action though. The prevailing belief of how the silk helps is connected directly to a few of the material’s properties. A big one is that it doesn’t bunch up in the same way that other materials do. Cotton and similar pillowcases tend to bunch up during the night when we press out faces into them while sleeping. This can pinch or push the skin as we sleep. It damages the collagen in our skin and repeated pillow creases can easily become wrinkles. Silk does bunch, but doesn’t do so as readily and therefore the likelihood of dealing with these issues in far lower. It is important to note that pillow creases are typically highly random. This makes it very unlikely that you’ll have creases repeated enough to cause permanent collagen damage.
Another claim is that silk is uniquely powerful among potential materials because it provides an additional boost to your skin’s moisture in the night. The claims generally revolve around that idea that cotton and other materials will absorb moisture from your skin while you sleep. People using materials other than silk would be constantly rubbing their skin in the night as they shifted in their sleep and the sheets or pillowcases would be absorbing moisture from their skin. Proper moisturizing is necessary for your skin health. Drier skin is more susceptible to damage in all its forms too. This makes the whole idea make an intuitive sense, but you only need to go a little past the surface claim to see the truth. The claims for silk’s special moisture properties come from different sources depending on who you ask with them frequently being hand weaved with an airy “amino acids” explanation. That makes this claim highly suspect and is enough to make anyone rightfully skeptical.
Interestingly, there is a place for silk in beauty. It can do wonders when used for pillowcases, sheets, and even clothing for people with sensitive skin. Some varieties of silk appear to demonstrate a light antimicrobial property alongside allowing the skin to “breathe” easily. This helps keep the skin a little cleaner and drier. These two factors alone can improve the health of anyone’s skin, but are particularly useful for highly reactive skin. Additionally, naturally colored silk is frequently available when buying products made from it. You can get an extra benefit here as the silk is generally less treated than many other fabrics and as a result, has come into contact with fewer compounds. It makes silk less likely to trigger a topical allergic reaction than other materials. Unfortunately, these traits are about all anyone can verify with much confidence.
Silk feels luxurious to the touch. It is cool, soft, and feels more like it flows across our skin than clings. This is why people have been enjoying it as a material for ages. Looking for special beauty properties in it may be a bit more modern than we’d like to think though. There are some potential benefits for some people, but the actual benefits of a broader use of silk for bed sheets and clothing are hard to clearly confirm. Silk may help improve your skin or it might not. At the very least it isn’t likely to hurt your skin.