Pillow Talk

I have been reading a lot about the effects of pillows and pillowcases on the face aka contributing to wrinkles. As much as I want to get to my golden age, I would like to get there looking as graceful as possible. Looking at my family genetics, I think my mom and grandmother aged well. And they did this without the use of a mirage of anti-wrinkle products which my generation has been bombarded with.

While I agree that wrinkles are unavoidable, if I can slow the process down, then why not. But before I ran out to raid the Nordstrom silk pillowcase section, the medical doctor in me decided to do a little research.  I found there were misguided information regarding what research has shown,  views from specialist in the field (Dermatology and Plastic Surgery) and what is being marketed to consumers based on “evidence”. Keep in mind, in 2009 UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banned adverts that made claims about silk pillowcases having ant-aging effects or made hair more beautiful.

Dr. Baek (et al) published a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatlogy in 2012 concluding that sleeping on copper oxide-containing pillowcases resulted in reduction of wrinkles depth and overall improvement of skin appearance.  Silk was not specifically mentioned however there are copper infused silk pillowcases on the market.

In 2015 another study in the Forensic medicine and Anatomy Research journal, Dr. Borut Poljsak (et al) came to the conclusion that sleeping on specially designed pillow can reduce facial wrinkles- Again, not silk pillowcases but special pillows which are designed to displace the pressure normally exerted on the face (especially on the cheeks, around the eyes and the mouth where the pressure is highest) when we sleep on our stomachs.

Dr. Brett Kotlus, a NYC Plastic Surgeon, digitally examined the faces of 100 women, using an independent observer, concluded that there was no difference in which side of the face looked older or had more wrinkles. On his website, he goes to say that there is little evidence that silk pillow cases or specialized pillows aid in wrinkle prevention. I am not sure where his conclusion regarding silk/specialty pillows came from as his study was set to study ‘sleep positions and facial aging” not whether or not silk pillow cases/specialized pillows aided with wrinkle prevention. Either way Dr. Kotlus does not support the use of these devices for such reason.

I also consulted with a well known and respected Plastic Surgeon in Philadelphia, let’s give a Maven applause to Dr. Emily Pollard (Philadelphia). In her expert opinion, she was not convinced that one should run out and buy silk pillows or sleep on their back either.

Well, despite the not so enthused expert opinion that “silk” specifically will do Jim Carrey Faceanything to prevent wrinkles, I rather not wake up looking like I took a sello tape selfie. Personally, I am interested in anything silk.  It’s a lush fabric that I love feeling against my skin.  There are claims that silk helps prevent moisture loss from hair and skin. Where is the proof or evidence that this will help retain moisture? I have no clue. What I do know is that I have dry hair and dry skin, so I accumulate all I can to prevent further dryness.

Want to jumping on the “Silk pillowcase” bandwagon?  For anti-wrinkling purposes, it is recommended to get 100% silk (not satin), mulberry silk with a charmeuse weaving.  You will find some at your fine retailers. Amazon.com also has a huge selection. Prices range from $30+. Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Sephora sells copper infused Iluminage Beauty pillowcases.

What do you think about Silk pillowcases? —Deal or no deal?



Header Image: Courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net