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Beauty sleep: two little words you’re probably about as used to seeing paired up as Ben and Jerry, Dolce and Gabbana and, um, Madeleine and Gosling (okay, that last one’s wishful thinking, but I’m putting it out there, Ryan).
Why are the words often inextricably bound? Because beauty sleep actually is a thing - with enough zzzs your skin glows, your eyes shine, you’re more likely to have a zingy spring in your step and you’ll crave less skin-damaging, fat-making junk food.
How to make sure you're getting your beauty sleep? Basically, the accepted wisdom always falls into two dominant camps. The first is all about getting enough of the stuff, with eight hours commonly touted as the ideal. The second is skincare based: take off make-up and grime properly (that means a double cleanse, folks), and follow up with some sort of moisturising agent.
If you’re anything like me, you probably put in a major effort to try to do both nightly and don't much fancy doing more than diligently smearing on a layer of night cream before falling into bed, harbouring hopes of waking plump and clear of skin. But, alas, there’s a final step that I’ve only recently been acquainted with that makes all the difference: ‘anti-ageing’ pillowcases.
I kid you not - decadent though it may sound, these cases really have an impact on how your skin fares over time: ‘I wish I could tell everyone in their 20s “don’t sleep on your side!”, says Jamie Sherrill of Nurse Jamie. ‘Our head is the weight of a bowling ball (5kgs) and most pillowcases are made of cotton, which is very absorbent and will rob skin and hair of natural oils – and expensive beauty creams.’
As around 60% of us sleep on one side night after night there's another problem: the odds of prematurely ageing on one side of the face. This happens not only because the one side loses moisture to the cotton pillow case, but also because repeatedly crushing a cheek into a pillow without any slip affords creases a chance to really bed in, which will over time encourage wrinkle formation.
I’d imagine you’re desperate to get your hands on an anti-ageing pillow now, aren’t you? Here are the best:
Nurse Jamie Beauty Bear, £46. Not only is this made of satin but it also is the right shape to cradle the face and neck without strain, which results in a healthy blood flow and more radiant complexion come the morning.
Gingerlily Grace A Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, £65. Endorsed by the super Sarah Chapman, this pillowcase is the most aesthetically pleasing and a matching bed linen set is available. Now THAT is decadent…
Illuminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase, £50. Containing Copper Oxide to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, this pillowcase proved itself to be an effective anti-ageing product in four independent trials.
Holistic Silk Anti Aging Pillow Case, £47. Naturally dyed and hypoallergenic, this is a classic, beautifully made silk pillowcase that I’ve had my beady eye on for about a year now.