It puts the sleep in beauty sleep.
The only beauty advice my mom gave me growing up was this: Never go to bed with makeup on and sleep on a silk pillowcase for frizz-free hair.
I still follow both of these mantras many years later. No matter how exhausted I am, I always wash my face at night, before laying my head on my silk pillowcase. I’ve tried all sorts of brands over the years, but my current favorite is this $19 pillowcase from Amazon that has a cotton underside to prevent sliding—necessary if, like me, you move around at night. (I’m lusting after the Slip, the Rolls Royce of silk pillowcases.)
Silk pillowcases have a history in my family. My mom learned to sleep on one from my grandmother. My grandmother learned it from my great-grandmother, who swore by her silk pillowcase in the 50s and 60s when she lived in an oppressively hot Saudi Arabian desert, where my great-grandfather worked.
Not only do the women of my family espouse the silk pillowcase for how wonderfully crisp silk feels, especially in summer (you’re always sleeping on the cool side of the pillow), but also for how it tames frizz and makes styling and blowouts last. When I was a competitive Irish dancer and needed tight, perfect ringlets overnight, my mom would let me sleep with my soft curlers on her silk pillowcase. These days, my pillowcase extends the life of blowouts (Drybar sells its own silk pillowcase for a reason) or at-home straightening and curling between washes.
Silk pillowcase devotees claim they reduce wrinkles and redness and keep skin hydrated, too. Whether it reduces wrinkles as I age remains to be seen, but I can attest that I never wake up with lines and crinkles on my skin because my pillowcase doesn’t bunch up. And even if I didn’t notice a difference in my hair and skin, I would still sleep on a silk pillowcase—the comfort is supreme.