By Stephanie Saltzman, Allure
I've heard that sleeping on your face can contribute to wrinkles, but no matter how hard I try to fall asleep on my back, I always inevitably wake up in the morning facedown, all smooshed into my pillow with weird lines and creases all over. So when I first heard about the Dreamskin pillowcase, which is made from a fabric that's supposed to be gentle and even hydrating to skin, I had to try it out.
According to the company, its proprietary fabric has a special weave pattern and a blend of "natural cellulosic fibers and synthetic microfibers," so it's both supersoft and waterproof. They claim that this fabric doesn't suck moisture from skin in the way that a standard cotton pillowcase might, which prevents wrinkles from forming over time. And this pillowcase isn't the first of its kind; a company called Iluminage Beauty makes a moisturizing copper-infused pillowcase that's also supposed to have anti-aging effects.
All those claims obviously sound awesome, but how legit are they? I reached out to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, for answers. First, are wrinkles created while we're sleeping really something we need to be worrying about? "Anecdotally, I see patients with more wrinkles and general flattening on the side of their face that they sleep on," says Zeichner. "The best position to sleep in with respect to facial aging is on your back." Well, we've already established that's not really going to happen for me.
Nighttime is also an important period for skin health: "Our skin cells behave according to circadian rhythms," explains Zeichner. "Skin cells divide most at night, so it is considered a time of rest and repair. At the same time, skin hydration levels decrease at night, so moisturizing is especially important then." It's especially important to slather on moisturizers before you go to bed.
As for investing in a moisturizing pillowcase? It might be a good idea. "Pillowcases with specialized fabrics that minimize mechanical forces of the pillow against your skin may help reduce the development of wrinkles over time," says Zeichner. Though Zeichner says there hasn't been enough research on these types of pillowcases and their effect on wrinkles, he does think the technology shows promise. "There have been huge advances in textiles, in some cases allowing sweat to be wicked away from the skin and in others allowing hydration to stay on skin's surface," he says. And though the exact effects of these fabrics on skin haven't been proven, Zeichner is confident that they "certainly won't hurt."
I've been sleeping on the Dreamskin pillowcase and wearing the Dreamskin sleep mask for about a month, and while I can attest that both are crazy-soft and cozy, I can't say I've noticed any major differences in my skin. But I also can't remember the last time I woke up with pillow face. I'll take it.
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