Do you sleep on your back, face aimed up at the ceiling? Or do you push your face into the pillow and wake up with lines embedded across your cheek come the morning? If you fall into the latter camp, you’re in good company; a study conducted by the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service found that a mere 13% of people slept face up, with the remaining 87% assuming positions that require some face to pillow action.
In gut terms, this is good news - sleeping on your back can have a detrimental effect to the digestive process and may lead to increased indigestion. It also could exacerbate snoring. But on the beauty front, things don’t look as rosy; pillowcases rob your skin of moisture and the weight of your head (around 5kg) repeatedly crushing your face into a pillow can lead to premature wrinkles.
The damage can be offset in myriad ways, and beauty brands have become increasingly aware of the connection between sleep and beauty - hence the number of sleeping masks from Korea and creams designed to work intensely during the night hitting the market (find our pick of the best face masks). The latest innovations tackle things from the other side; rather than cosset the face in a product, the new approach is to make pillows with beauty benefits. Here is your guide to navigating beauty pillowcases:
If anti-ageing is what you’re after, silk is a good bet - it doesn’t absorb as much moisture from your skin as cotton, and allows for better slippage and therefore won’t encourage lines to form as easily (and they’ll also stop your hair from becoming as knotted as you sleep). Try Holistic Silk (£55, cultbeauty.co.uk), Gingerlily (from £39, gingerlily.co.uk) and Nurse Jamie (£56, net-a-porter.com) for the best.
The newest craze is for pillows that go beyond anti-ageing and are made of materials that treat the skin. For acne, the Skin Laundry SleepCycle Pillowcase (£26, libertylondon.com) is great - it contains charged silver ions to act as an antimicrobial and will therefore reduce spot-forming bacteria.
Illuminage Skin Smoothing Pillowcase (£45, lookfantastic.com) is innovative thanks to the addition of copper oxide. Copper is increasingly being recognised for its function in promoting healthy skin, and thanks to the copper ions that are released when you sleep on this, you could be upping your glow and getting better skin as you snooze.