Sunday Self-care, Episode 1: The First Year into Quarantine: Embracing Silk

Time Traveler: What year is this?
Me: 2020
Time Traveler: Oh, the first year of quarantine…
Me: … The … WHAT?

 

For a while, I tried to come up with a title for this first post of the (hopefully) new series to be a variation on the phrase “sleepy bliss” or “blissful sleep” constructed from the names of the two rival brands of silk goods. But I gave up having realized that “Blissy Slip” or “Slippy Bliss” would be probably even less transparent for my English-speaking readers than my last year’s exercise with “lilac” and “luck.” So, instead, I decided to play on the joke/meme that resonated with me when I saw it the first time last year and many times since.

* * *

With everything that was happening in the last 12 months, I’m a lucky one: my work kept me so busy all that time that I barely noticed most of the negative sides of the situation we all are more or less in. I did miss my Hawaii vacation and some gatherings with friends, and for a while it was scary… to watch dwindling supplies of TP and, joking aside, just getting out to get groceries for the next couple of weeks. But in general, I didn’t get the anxiety many others experienced. On the other hand, I didn’t get the “free time” that many people weren’t sure how to occupy while staying at home.

But as time goes by, and probably mostly because of a couple of big time-measuring life milestones that have occurred within these last 12 months, more and more I started thinking about getting that free time to take care of myself. This series is the result of my attempts to follow through with these thoughts.

* * *

For some time I was noticing that in the morning my face would have some creases from the contact with a pillow. While telling myself that, probably, it attested to how soundly I slept without turning or changing my position, I didn’t appreciate what I saw in the mirror, especially since I started having video meetings in the morning – often before those signs of agi healthy sleeping would disappear from my cheeks.

I don’t remember how the idea of a silk pillowcase came into my orbit, but once it formed, I, in my usual manner, being skeptical about most miracle cures and hacks, spent probably months reading reviews and trying to figure out whether to buy myself one and, if yes, which one. I could have easily kept doing it until now, but one day a friend of mine decided to show me her new favorite pillow (I was in the process of looking for a replacement pillow). I didn’t like the pillow at all (it was one of those new creations stuffed with shredded foam-like material), but I noticed that it had a silk pillowcase. When I asked my friend about it, she, completely casually, mentioned that she switched to those a while ago and now wouldn’t even consider sleeping on anything else. That did it for me.

I still wasn’t sure which brand to go with: if you try looking for any comparison reviews, you’d end up with very similar affiliated-links-ridden articles equally praising both “luxury” and “budget” buys (all claiming that though they will get a commission from you shopping through those, opinions, surely, are their “editors’”).

When in doubt, I tend to pay rather more than less (which is not necessarily a winning strategy but it has its merits). So, I went for the “luxury” side, but out of the two more expensive brands, Blissy and Slip, I’ve chosen Blissy because it was offering a better deal.

Rusty and Blissy Silk Pillowcase

If you happen to come across ads for silk pillowcases recently, you are probably familiar with all the claims they make (some of those ads are just outrageous, but I won’t dignify them even with negative publicity). Regardless of whether you have tried them yourself, you might be curious what I think about those claims.

After sleeping on silk pillowcases for three months, I can tell that I didn’t notice any changes with my hair, I do not have enough evidence yet to say that it feels cooler (I’ll see how it performs in summer), and I can’t say that it had any effect on acne outbreaks I still have from time to time. But I’m not going back to my old(er) cotton pillowcases, though, I have to clarify that those were of a very high quality, which might explain my hair not being overly impressed by the change. Then why?

Because not a single morning after switching to Blissy silk pillowcases had I seen any signs of my pillow on my cheeks.

Rusty and Blissy Silk Pillowcase

If you are considering this experiment, read multiple “infomercials” to understand in principle the difference between a “silk pillowcase” and a “silk pillowcase” and choose what you feel comfortable with quality-, price- and reviews-wise. If the description doesn’t mention something, assume that whatever that something is, it is not present in the particular item.

I have several suggestions in addition to those that you’ll read everywhere:

  • Resist buying golden, pink, plum, etc. colors: “marbled” or “tie-dye” colors will hide spots in-between washes better than solid colors (and there will be spots – from your skincare, tears, etc.). Mine are white and silver, and I regret my choice.
  • Disregard the “hand wash” instructions: put it into a mesh bag and wash it in a washing machine in cold water on a gentle cycle. Notice: I’m not saying that you could do it; I mean that you should: the manual washing itself is fine, but short of just hanging a pillowcase straight after rinsing and letting it drip, there is no way to remove any water from it without causing wrinkles that are much harder to iron out. And a washing machine’s centrifuge does it with much less wrinkled results.
  • Speaking of ironing, the way you see all those smooth and shiny silk pillowcases in the ads, you will never see them on your bed (unless you steam a new pillowcase from the box to remove folds and put it on your pillow “as is” without washing first, which I wouldn’t recommend): the picture on the left is a pillowcase freshly laundered and ironed while still damp – and I love ironing and do it very attentively. But whatever the result of the ironing was, the next morning (or a couple of days later) your pillowcase will look like the picture on the right. Which doesn’t seem to matter in how it affects your skin, but it doesn’t look pretty.
  • Since you will probably iron those pillowcases at least in the beginning, to make it easier, take them out of the washer, turn inside out and iron on the setting that feels right to you: on my Rowenta iron I would have been ironing on the recommended “Silk” or “the lowest” setting ’til the cows come home.
  • If you decide to buy anything from Slip, don’t spend time looking for coupons for the brand’s site: I don’t remember seeing any in a long-long time. Your best bet would be to get 15% off for your first purchase by subscribing on their site or wait for a general beauty sale at Nordstrom, Sephora or other similar stores that carry Slip brand.
  • If you decide to buy anything from Blissy, if you don’t have an account with them yet, use this link to subscribe and get a coupon for $20 off your purchase (if you use it, I’ll also get a $20 off coupon). But if you were to buy anything this week, don’t use that coupon because they have the best sale I’ve seen so far – 35% off with the coupon BLISSYMOM35. The Nordstromrack site also carries Blissy pillowcases, but always check which of the two has a better price (including S&H, since both have a minimum for free shipping).

Rusty and Blissy Silk PillowcaseEvery time I look at the picture above, I start yawning. I should probably go and check how my Blissy is doing…

 

Disclosure: Just to be clear, this post is not sponsored or compensated in any way by any of the mentioned brands or stores.

Images: my own

16 thoughts on “Sunday Self-care, Episode 1: The First Year into Quarantine: Embracing Silk

  1. LOL. I love this. I wonder if choosing pillowcases also reflects how one chooses perfumes 🤔?

    I have been using a private label (which I consider no brand) silk pillowcase in silver which I am pretty sure I got at Bed Bath & Beyond using a coupon. I throw it in the wash every week, sometimes with towels which take the highest temperature at the maximum spin cycle. I then dry it in the highest heat. After it’s dry, I put it back on the pillow and then the cycle starts all over again. It is crinkly in the corner but eh. I have to admit that there are 3 more layers of pillowcases underneath, all with varying levels of smoothness, only one of which is a smooth as silk cotton pillowcase which serves as a back-up. So far, no pillowcase-induced wrinkles 👍.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting… I should try adding one more layer between my Tempurpedic cover and a silk pillowcase – thanks for the idea!

      I think you’re onto something with the parallels: I pounced for a while, but once I decided on it, I went for a couple of sets for both my vSO and me. And now I’m thinking about getting a couple more: I want a different color (not a solid one!), and I’m curious to compare the other brand and probably a cheaper alternative – just to see how it fares compared to those more expensive ones.

      Like

    • He really liked it: I wanted to take some pictures before doing the first washing, and I had to get it from him since he was trying to nap on my new pillowcase and to eat the paper wrapping it.

      I hope you’ll find a pillowcase that works for you.

      Like

  2. Now you had me looking for one of those. Although I am less wrinkly in the morning, if I do lots of hyaluronic acid plus misting in between and an occlusive cream before going to bed

    Like

  3. I have a cream silk one and agree that it was a mistake to get that colour! My head seems to turn all pillows orange at the best of times, and unfortunately this one has had its fair share of unguent seepage – coconut oil being the worst offender. Washing and ironing are also a challenge, especially now there are odd spots on it. I basically don’t use my pillow anymore, though I love the concept – it is so much softer to rest your cheek on, and no creasing as you say. Well, not imprints of fabric-type creases – the ones on my face are just the same, hehe. Currently my silk number is under another pillow on the other side of the bed, so it cannot sustain any more splodge casualties.

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    • Not adding to those “naturally occurring” creases is all I expect from a pillowcase at this point :)

      I think that stained silk pillowcase is better than no silk, so I would suggest throwing caution to the wind, following hajusuuri’s approach to washing it – and checking what will happen ;)

      Like

  4. I had been wondering about a silk pillowcase. Ill probably buy one now. Thanks for the recommendation. I use very high thread count cotton sheets and pillowcases which I bought with various coupons and sales so my hair is fine, but no pillow wrinkles would be good!

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    • I love my bedding otherwise, but regardless of the highest quality, I did have those extra wrinkles oftentimes. So, now I use my older favorites on additional pillows that we use to help other parts of the body to feel better – shoulder, arm, leg…
      Good like with finding “your” pillowcase. I hope you’ll like it.

      Like

    • If it weren’t for the smoothness of the silk pillowcase, I would have stayed with my cotton ones: I think they look better, even after nights of me sleeping on them. But the idea itself does seem luxurious, I agree :)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Naah, I’ll take the wrinkly face on this one Undina. Silk pillowcases feel icky to me for some reason. Weird because I love it in garments.
    How cute is Rusty? I’m tired mama, let’s go use these pillowcases!
    Portia xx

    Like

    • I’m sure he would have been sleeping on it had I left it unattended ;)

      I used to like silk clothes but I don’t think they look fluttering on me – so, I stopped buying those.

      Like

  6. Thank you! This has been very informative, I did always wonder if they are as good as advertised. The only part I would be interested in is the one that you went with (no lines on my face). :)

    Like

    • I was amazed that nobody discussed either real care for these or how they look in use. But since they work for what I wanted them for, I decided to share with others :)

      Like

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