In the area of women’s health, new Italian research shows that silk underwear may reduce itching and redness associated with recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Half of study participants wore briefs made from Dermasilk, and the other half wore cotton. After six months, 90 percent of the silk group had fewer symptoms, and recurrences were decreased by 50 percent. “DermaSilk’s antimicrobial properties and unique fiber weaving prevent it from accumulating too much moisture, one of the risk factors for recurrent vaginal yeast infections,” Peterson says.
“People are very rarely allergic to silk,” says Neal B. Schultz, MD, a New York City dermatologist. This is because silk is free of any potentially irritating added chemicals and contains natural substances that ward off various environmental allergens (and resulting skin conditions), including dust mites, mold, and fungus, he explains.
Healthy, Shiny Hair
“Silky smooth” isn’t just an expression. Beauty experts claim that the luxurious fabric can help keep your hair soft, moisturized, and free of pesky tangles. “Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase will cause hair to bunch, knot, and get staticky,” says New York City salon owner John Corbett, who recently founded the nonprofit Hair2Help for cancer patients and their caregivers. “On a soft silk pillowcase, however, hair will slide, which is much less damaging.”
Silk may also help preserve your style while you sleep, he adds. Decades ago, women slept on satin pillowcases or wrapped their heads in toilet paper to preserve their teased and tortured hairstyles. The modern-day equivalent is to sleep on — or in — silk. “One of my favorite beauty tips for women is to wrap a silk scarf around your head when you sleep,” Corbett says. “The oils won’t increase as much in your hair, and you’ll be able to hold on to your blowout for an extra day or two.”
A Good Night's Sleep
According to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health, 30 to 40 percent of Americans have problems sleeping. And experts say that bedding may be at least partly to blame in some of these cases. Sheets that irritate your skin, bunch up, or invite dust mites in will interfere with a good night’s rest. Silk, with all its aforementioned benefits, is the fabric that will dress your bed for the sweetest possible slumber.
“There are also pretty good studies showing that what we call ‘sleep wrinkles’ form on the side of your face on which you sleep,” says Jeffrey Spiegel, MD, a facial plastic surgeon and professor at Boston University. One way to prevent them? Use a silk pillowcase, which is gentler and less likely than cotton to resist the face and cause wrinkles. Talk about beauty sleep!