Is Kate's peaches and cream complexion thanks to silk pillowcases? Photo: Wireimage

It's been said that snoozing on silk is far better for the skin and hair than cotton.

Apparently Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon think so two. They're just two of several starlets who sleep on silk pillowcases and wake up looking perfectly coifed and creaseless.

So, are they onto something?

"Believe it or not, the weight of your head pushing your face against the pillow will create what are called sleep wrinkles and can worsen existing lines. So to prevent sleep wrinkles and to help delay worsening of existing facial lines, it's best to sleep on your back," says Dr. Neal Schultz, a New York City-based dermatologist and founder of DermTV.com.

But, he notes, if you toss and turn and end up face down, silk pillowcases may help prevent or minimize sleep creases because they are softer and smoother so your skin slides around.

But some companies who produce silk pillowcases are not only touting the soft, slippery effect as a face-saver, but also the naturally occurring ingredients found in them (amino acids and copper to name a few). Not so says Schutlz. "It has nothing to do with the chemical effects of amino acids or copper inside the skin as the amino acids and copper of the silk fiber do not enter or penetrate the skin."

As for the hair, the experts agree that silk is a strand savior. "If your hair has become very brittle and easily broken from excess chemical treatments then anything that decreases friction on the hair like a silk pillowcase can be helpful until the damaged hair grows out and is replaced by normal undamaged hair," says Schultz.

Adds celebrity hair stylist Gina Bertolotti, "Silk pillowcases help keep you cooler therefore help avoid any perspiration around the hairline throughout the night, which will help keep your hairstyle intact."

Branche makes silk pillowcases favored by celebrities. Photo: branchebeautysleep.com


My two cents (I tested celebrity favorite Branché's Silk Charmeuse a week before writing this article): I saw no difference in my skin, but then again I've never noticed any sleep wrinkles as a result of my cotton pillowcase. However, with my hair I noticed a major improvement. Normally when I blow my hair out and sleep on it, I wake up with knots and crinkles, almost like it's been crimped. Sleeping on satin saved my blow dry for 3 days-sleek and smooth every single morning.

If you're in the market for some slippery shuteye, look for ones that are 100% silk to reap the most benefits. Brands like Elle Silk, Branché and Beautyzzz, each of which use a select type of pure silk, range from $40 to $75, and while that may seem steep to some, it's on par with certain types of cotton.

Silk pillowcases may not be the fountain of youth, but for better-looking hair and crease-free skin, we'd say Kate and Reese take their beauty sleep seriously. And so will we.