Benefits of a silk pillowcase for your skin

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

Do silk pillowcases really make a difference?

My 97-year-old grandma always tells me that I need to get to bed before 10 pm every night to get my 8 hours of beauty sleep. Despite what people (normally the night owl types who can survive on 4 hours and 4 cups of coffee before 10 am) say, beauty sleep is a real thing.

No matter which way you look at it, in order to look and feel our best, we simply need to get a good night of sleep. It is essential that we give our bodies enough time to reset, especially since cell turnover primarily happens at night. As I reach my (mid) 30’s, I’ve started to pay more attention to the lines on my face and my general skin wellbeing.

Although there are a number of fancy creams and potions you can slather on to help maximize skin regeneration while you sleep (thank you retinol and hyaluronic acid), sleeping on a silk pillowcase is something both me and my 97-year-old grandma swears by.

Here are 7 reasons why a silk pillowcase is great for your skin.


Reduces Friction

Silk will keep your skin looking radiant and glowing by reducing friction, stretching and pressure on sensitive skin. Instead of rubbing against harsh cotton fibres, silk is tightly woven and smooth, so your skin will simply glide against the fabric instead.


As a cystic acne sufferer for most of my teens, this was the benefit I was most drawn to. Now, silk pillowcases cant cure your acne overnight. However, hair products can contain harsh ingredients and can be oil or silicone-based, all of which can cause inflammation and breakouts. If that moisture is getting pulled into your pillowcase and you’re sleeping on your face, inflammation and breakouts might occur. 

So sleeping on a silk pillowcase that won’t absorb this moisture, along with sweat, which can encourage bacteria growth on your pillowcase will help keep breakouts at bay.



While silk pillowcases don’t exactly prevent wrinkles, they are a better option than cotton alone, as the fabric doesn’t create friction and helps prevent abrasion of the skin. Also, it helps retain moisture, so they can help keep your skin’s moisture and products where they belong, on your face,  which can be beneficial in wrinkle prevention. Getting a good amount of REM sleep is the best way to avoid wrinkles.

Reduces sleep creases

Not only does silk feel wonderful against your skin, but added to that, silk can also help reduce the signs of sleep creases. I’m an ugly sleeper, normally sleeping on one side with my face in the pillow, which means I’ve often woken up with creases on my arms, chest and face from my pillowcase and bedding. 

As skin ages, it loses elasticity because our collagen production slows down, so sleep creases which are caused by friction and pressure on your skin can become more pronounced. While the creases usually go away later that day, they can be gradually ‘ironed in’ over the years, which ideally I’d like to avoid. Switching to a silk pillowcase means your skin will glide over the smooth surface, no tugging or scrunching, so no creases. 


Helps to retain moisture

Thanks to the smooth tightly woven fibres, silk pillowcases help to keep moisture close to your skin and will help your skin stay more hydrated, which means it looks and feels smoother and plumper when you wake up. This makes them the ideal sleeping companion for anyone with dry skin, especially in winter. 


Silk pillowcases can significantly reduce the symptoms of allergies due to its hypoallergenic qualities.  Because it is naturally pure and tightly woven, silk repels live allergens, such as bed mites, dust, pollen and other airborne allergens, so if you are an allergy sufferer, or have asthma, it can really make a difference to your sleep, which as we know, is vital to cell regeneration.


Reduces product use

Sleeping on silk will reduce the number of products you use, and I’ve noticed this myself.  Waking up with soft and smooth skin means I don’t need to use as much foundation and concealer, because there isn’t as much to conceal. When my skin looks good, I feel good. 

I’ve also found I don’t need to reach for the acne products in my routine as much which is a massive benefit. I’m not saying I’m going to throw away all my products because a silk pillowcase can’t replace a good skin care regimen, but it certainly makes enough of a difference that I don’t reach for them so often.

Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.