How Beauty Pillows & Other Lifestyle Accessories Can Give You Better Skin
You may be unwittingly undermining all those creams and essences you’re applying. Find out how.
When we talk about skincare, we typically focus on the products we put on our skin. It makes sense: Generally, the lotions and potions and cleansers and creams that we apply to our faces will have the most visible impact to the appearance of our skin. But cosmetics aren’t the only products that can affect your skin’s health and beauty. If you’re looking to take your complexion game to the next level, consider these upgrades to your daily life.
Silk or satin pillowcases
According to the Sleep Cycle app, which intelligently tracks and analyzes users’ sleep patterns, the average daily sleep time for its over 1 million users is 7 hours and 35 minutes. That’s a lot of time spent each day with your head on a pillow, and if you’re a side or stomach sleeper, that’s a lot of time spent each day with your face on a pillow. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that the surface you sleep on may affect your skin.
Certain textiles tend to absorb more moisture. Cotton and microfiber fall into this category — that’s why towels are usually made out of these fabrics. That’s not great news for your skin, however. Personally, I’ve found that when I have to sleep on a cotton or microfiber pillowcase, my skin feels drier in the mornings, even if I’ve used plenty of hydrating layers and a heavy cream the night before. And I find plenty of product absorbed into the pillowcase itself.
Silk pillowcases (and satin pillowcases woven with silk) don’t wick as much moisture and therefore don’t have the same drying effect on skin. As an added benefit, the smoothness of silk and satin means less friction and pulling on skin, reducing irritation and morning sleep creases. (And they tend to be better for hair, too!)
As a side note, if you suffer with acne and suspect that an unclean pillowcase may be the problem, products like the Deja pillowcase are designed to give you a clean surface every night without having to change the pillowcase every day.
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I’ve been using silk and satin pillowcases for so long that at this point, I can hardly fall asleep on cotton or microfiber ones anymore. They feel too scratchy on my skin, and the drying effect is too obvious.
While we’re on the topic of sleep, your pillow itself can also affect your skin, both through the mechanical compression of your face if you’re a side sleeper, and more indirectly through its effect on your sleep quality, which can show in your face the next day.
Last fall, I was PR gifted the Sleep and Glow memory foam beauty pillow. At $159, it is a fabulously expensive pillow. Unfortunately, it also turns out to be one of the best things I’ve ever laid my head on, and I’m including people in that assessment. This particular beauty pillow features cutouts on each end, designed to cradle the side of your face without smooshing your cheek if you sleep on your side. As a side sleeper who used to wake up with deep sleep creases that were taking longer and longer to fade every day, to the point where they were more or less permanent, waking up without those creases has been a game changer.
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It’s comfortable and intuitive, too. I’d had my doubts about whether my face would even end up in the cutouts if I rolled over while asleep, but I haven’t had a single issue in the half year since I first started using the pillow. As a side benefit, the neck and shoulder support this pillow gives me have increased my sleep quality by a good 5%, according to my Sleep Cycle data.
There are other, more reasonably priced beauty pillows with the same basic concept, too. If you’re looking to upgrade your sleep experience and eliminate sleep wrinkles, these are worth checking out.
Finally, consider the ambient humidity in your home and/or workplace. Very dry air can suck the life out of your skin, leaving it dehydrated and dull. Using heavier occlusives over plentiful hydrating layers helps, but depending on your environment and the length of time you spend in super dry air, that may not be enough.
Desktop and room humidifiers have gotten really cute and very inexpensive in recent years. Having one handy to maintain a good moisture level in the air can keep your skin at its most plump and hydrated, even potentially saving you some money in the form of extra moisturizers that you won’t need to use anymore. Just use clean water and wash out the interior of the humidifier regularly to prevent mildew and mold growth, and enjoy your never-parched skin!
And while we’re on the subject of dry living conditions, let’s talk about the belief that using humectants like hyaluronic acid in a dry environment will sap the moisture from your skin.
It’s sometimes said in the skincare community that because humectants function by attracting and binding water to themselves, if you use them in a very dry environment, they’ll attract and bind the water from inside your skin, sucking it out and leaving you more dehydrated than before. That’s … not how that works. The humectants in hydrating toners and the like aren’t going to grab the water from your skin, because they’ve already attracted and latched on to the water that’s in the actual product. They will neither pull hydration from the air nor pull it from your skin. They’re already all set.
What can happen is that if you use a hydrating product in a dry environment without sealing it in with occlusive on top, the dry air will cause the hydrating product to evaporate more quickly and then will continue drying out your skin. That’s all.
In any case, keeping your environment moist will help keep your skin moist. Win-win!
Do you use beauty pillows or any other non-cosmetic lifestyle accessories for better skin? Tell us about them in the comments!