Maybe you’re a hair and skincare product junkie with cabinets filled to the brim with jars and bottles.
Maybe you’re a minimalist that washes your face with body wash. Either way, I have a budget-friendly beauty purchase that can change your hair and skin, and maybe your whole life. OK, dramatic. But I’m seriously passionate about this one!!!
Friends, allow me to introduce you to my bedtime bestie: the satin pillowcase.
It all started when I was 15 and bought satin bedsheets from Urban Outfitters for my birthday as part of a “mature” room refresh. They were RED. It was a big mood for a high school sophomore, haha. Anyway, after sleeping on the sheets for a few weeks, I noticed something—my hair was sleeker and smoother, I was getting less split ends, and my skin was clearer.
I didn’t know what was going on, but definitely didn’t think it was my sheets. Fast forward a few years and sheet sets later, and I found myself missing the cooling effects of the satin (I’m a hot sleeper and I find satin makes a huge difference for nighttime temps), so I bought a few pillowcases off of Amazon.
The same things started happening as my accidental high school experiment. Happier skin, happier hair. I finally put two and two together and did some research.
Turns out, cotton pillowcases can be sneaky little things—they draw out moisture (meaning skin care products and natural oils) which can dull your skin tone. Not to mention the moisture in your hair can be depleted, which can make it brittle and cause damage and split ends.
Cotton pillowcases also collect bacteria and dead skin, making it more likely for acne to pop up since you’re spending so much time with your skin up against them. If you’re already struggling with acne, this can obviously exacerbate the issue.
So with all that being said, there is an alternative—and it’s satin, baby! The beauty benefits of satin are kind of amazing, starting with hair. Satin is a slippery soft surface, so obviously your hair won’t get “caught” on the fibers like it can with cotton—it’ll just slide right over them.
If you’re someone that tosses and turns a lot, you may see a big difference in the health of your hair after sleeping on satin for awhile, and you may notice that it just looks less unkempt in the morning as well.
As far as skin goes, satin doesn’t absorb moisture and isn’t as conducive to trapping bacteria, so naturally you might notice a difference in the clarity and the brightness/moisture level of your skin.
Some sources say that because satin doesn’t create harsh folds like cotton it can prevent wrinkles, but there’s really no evidence to back this up, so I remain a skeptic on this point.
If you’re ready to try, I have a budget option, middle of the road, and a splurge option for you. Apparently, the mulberry silk is awesome, but I’ve used the very inexpensive brand on Amazon for years and have had great results.
Anyway, let me know if you have any questions below! I love a good budget beauty buy that makes a difference, and this definitely fits the bill. 🙂
Oh yeah this is a BIG one for flight attendants, a lot of us travel with one folded up in our suitcase, cuz of the beauty benies but also because you just feel that much more a) at home while sleeping in hotel rooms and b) cleaner in what are basically public sleeping areas
I wonder – would a satin pillowcase be less likely to leave those occasional dreaded “pillowcase lines” on my face in the morning?
Cotton is a fiber, satin is a weave. You can have cotton plain weave, cotton twill, cotton sateen, cotton satin and many more fabric varieties. Are you talking about silk satin or poly satin sheets?
This is true, but cotton (or linen for that matter) sheets are almost never anything but a plain weave. Typically when people recommend satin pillowcases a silk satin is considered ideal but a poly satin is still better than a cotton plain weave. It achieves the same end of being made out of a fiber that won’t be abrasive on your skin in a weave that also provides maximum slipperiness. I personally sprung for real silk for environmental reasons (poly is plastic!) but I would imagine the effect on the skin is about the same.
For what it’s worth, a plain weave linen is also considered superior for skin and hair than cotton because the fibers themselves are smoother and are better at regulating temperature and moisture. Linen is also a far superior environmental choice.
This makes total sense, I have suspected for a while that my pillow had been contributing to my occasional adult acne, simply because I often sleep on the right side of my face which is also where I get the worst acne. I am now very tempted to buy satin cases. Thanks for sharing this 🙂
I bought silk pillowcases a few years ago and I will never go back, they are fantastic. Also consider what your eye mask is made out of for the same reason, satin is a great choice for that delicate eye skin. My problem is that when it’s really cold I can’t stop myself from wearing a hoodie to bed with the hood up which kind of eliminates the benefit of the pillowcase lol. But the rest of the year it’s great!
I just ordered a mulberry silk one a few weeks ago and I have to attest to the greatness! Worth it!
Oh no, I had no idea cotton would create wrinkles! I know it’s not scientifically proven but like, I don’t wanna take my chances lol! Thanks for this! I’m going to invest in a satin or silk pillowcase now! 🙂
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog