If you or a loved one suffers from acne, you’ll know how miserable life can be. Teens and young adults - and in particular males - are more prone to acne breakouts as their hormone levels jump around during this transformational stage of life.
In fact, more than 80 percent of young people experience acne breakouts before turning 30 according to the National Institute of Skin Diseases.
There are many acne-prevention remedies available, ranging from prescribed medication to healthy hygiene practices.
But more recently, there’s been a growing appreciation and support for the role a humble pillowcase can make in the fight against acne.
1. Silk dehydrates less than cotton and polyester
Silk has a much lower absorption rate than other fabrics (11 percent compared with cotton’s 30 percent). To be blunt, dribble and sweat simply cannot be absorbed by a silk pillowcase in the same way that cotton, linen or polyester does. So instead of sleeping on a bacteria-ridden, damp pillowcase, a silk pillowcase remains much drier, and dehydrates the skin’s epidermis much less than other fabrics.
2. Silk is hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial
Silk, and particularly Mulberry silk, retains very few germs due to the super-fine structure of its fibres and its natural-occuring proteins.
Dust mites, bacteria, dribble, mildew and mould are unable to survive on silk the same they do on other fabrics. Which means less nasties to get under the skin and cause pimples.
3. Silk is ultra-smooth
Silk pillowcases are gentler, smoother and calmer on the skin than cotton. In particular, Mulberry silk is made up of very long silk fibres - a single, unbroken thread can stretch up to a thousand metres - which results in a more refined and smoother fabric.
Cotton, whilst also a natural product, has much shorter, bumpier threads, and is known to cause friction - and therefore inflammation - on the face, adding to acne woes.
4. Silk is 100% natural product
Dermatologists advise against toxins or harsh chemicals, and recommend the natural goodness of silk, as it is made from natural proteins that bind the tiny silk fibres together. As Associate Professor Rangram Rajkhowa of Victorian-based Deakin University states, “It doesn’t have anything that irritates or excites the immune response … it’s comfortable and so skin-friendly.”
Silk is also thermo-regulating, which means skin is kept cool in the summer, and warmer in the winter, to suit the body's natural body temperature.
5. Silk is easy to wash and keep clean
In the past, very thin and delicate silk was not suitable for machine-washing. However, the discovery of Mulberry silk - which is made from the cocoons of silkworms that munch exclusively on the Mulberry tree - is strong and durable. It can be machine-washed many, many times (providing the silk is at least 22 Momme, and the wash cycle is no higher than 30 degrees centigrade). Furthermore, Mulberry silk does not require a fabric softener - as it’s already supersoft - removing the risk of unnecessary exposure to fabric conditioner chemicals.
In summary, a Mulberry silk pillowcase - with all its natural goodness and anti-bacterial qualities - could provide some welcome relief for acne-prone skin types.
A little silk. A lot of good.
P.S. Did you know, besides genetics, dermatologists believe there are four main causes of acne? They are
- Overactive oil glands: These sebaceous glands are stimulated when hormones become active during puberty, and explains why teens are the most acne-afflicted.
- Blocked hair follicles: These can become clogged with dead skin cells, trapping natural oils under the skin’s surface. No surprises that these can then lead to inflammation and infection.
- Bacteria: This nasty lurks everywhere - on towels, face flannels, and absorbent pillowcases (such as cotton and polyester). If bacteria comes into close contact with skin, it can cause aggravation and pimple flare-ups.
- Surface friction: When skin is rubbed or scrubbed too hard, this can provoke even more oil production, and cause further irritation.