Silk’s power to enhance beauty, protect the body, and envelop the senses in comfort has been well known for more than 5000 years. The ancient Chinese aristocracy first discovered this exquisite material and guarded its secrets. Enjoyed primarily by the upper classes around the world for centuries, we now enjoy the luxurious feel, beautiful lustre, and healthful benefits of silk in our everyday life *1. By Dariia Day uses the finest, softest, and highest grade 100% pure Mulberry silk available on the market today *2.
While silk’s shimmery luminosity, fluidity, and softness are easy to appreciate, do we understand why silk is so nourishing for the skin and hair and why it possesses so many wonderful characteristics? Let’s explore the composition and structure of this remarkable material and discover its beauty secrets together.
The silk worm produces a single, continuous silk thread that it uses to build a cocoon to protect itself from the environment while it matures into an adult moth. The cocoon must be resistant to bacteria, microbes, fungus, mildew, mould, dust mites, and anything else that might be dangerous to the survival of the defenceless larva inside. Fabric woven from silk thread consequently protects people from the same irritants, making it the perfect hypoallergenic choice for bedding and clothing, especially for those who suffer from allergies *3. Silk’s anti-bacterial property is also excellent for acne. A cleaner pillowcase means less breakouts. *4
Silk is composed almost entirely of two kinds of protein, fibroin and seracin. Fibroin is the twin core of the thread and seracin is the external coating (Fig. 1). These proteins are responsible for many of silk’s remarkable properties. They are similar to collagen, keratin, and elastin, the building blocks of human skin and hair *5. The shape of the silk fibre is also important. Silk is completely smooth and uniform when seen under a microscope (Fig. 2). As a result, its friction coefficient to the human body is only 7.4%, the lowest compared to all other fibres (Fig, 3) *6. This smoothness allows your hair and skin to glide easily across the surface of a silk pillowcase while you sleep. Cotton fibre, on the other hand, is rough and causes friction (Fig. 4). As you move during the night on a cotton pillowcase, hair strands rub against one another and the protective cuticle layer lifts up *7. In the morning, you wake up with annoying bedhead: dry, tangled, knotted, and frizzy hair with split-ends and breakage. Hair loss is especially aggravated in men.
The same is true for the delicate skin of your face when you sleep on cotton. Skin is pulled, stretched, and irritated over the course of the night, especially if you sleep on your side or stomach. This leads to more fine-lines and wrinkles as well as waking up with the dreaded facial side-crease. Sleeping on silk is essential to guarding against the signs of ageing. Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea can become aggravated by the rough texture of cotton fibres. Our founder, Dariia Day, saw great improvement in her rosacea when she switched to a silk pillowcase. Her skin was less red and irritated when she woke up each morning. In addition, those with sensitive skin can react to chemical residues often present in cotton fabric. By Dariia Day uses only environmentally friendly dyes and the silk used for all products is OEKO-TEX Certified Standard 100) to be free of chemicals *8. Wearing silk clothing and sleeping on silk is therefore essential for those with conditions such as dermatitis.
Cotton pillowcases are also so absorbent that they actually draw moisture out of the skin and hair, causing a dull appearance the next day. There is a reason why most towels are made from cotton. Protein-based silk offers the opposite effect, it doesn’t wick water out of the skin and hair, instead it preserves moisture. Your skin can then maintain a healthy barrier and lock in its own natural hydration. Another unique benefit of silk is that it won’t absorb your valuable serums and creams. During the night, they stay on your face where they belong and aren't absorbed by your pillow, as would be the case with cotton.
The skin rebuilds new cells at night and silk is a great assistant in this process *9. When you sleep on a By Dariia Day silk pillowcase, you wake up each morning refreshed, with healthy, firm, hydrated, and glowing skin. For those with especially sensitive, delicate, or problematic skin and fragile, thinning, or frizzy hair, a silk pillowcase can make an even bigger difference. And since we spend one-third of our lives in bed, we need to choose our bedding wisely.
Another benefit of silk is its soothing, comfortable quality. Silk feels amazing against the body, almost like a second skin, because of its smoothness, of course, but also because it regulates temperature and keeps the skin dry and protected. This performance is due to its porous structure. More than 38% of the seemingly solid silk fibre is actually hollow, like a tube. The air inside this empty space makes silk a good insulator and therefore ensures that corporeal temperature is never too hot or too cold. It also means that silk can wick sweat away from the body much better than any other fabric *10. Everyone can benefit from a silk pillowcase, but the ultimate luxury - a beauty secret Marilyn Monroe knew very well- is to sleep naked in By Dariia Day custom silk bedsheets as well *11.
Now you, too, know the beauty secret and understand why experts, dermatologists, and hair stylists recommend sleeping on silk as an addition to your beauty routine. Silk soothes and heals problematic skin, boosts hydration, and helps your skin look younger. Silk keeps hair healthy, conditioned, shiny, tangle-free, and maintains hair styles longer *12. So check out our full range of By Dariia Day silk products, in particular our silk pillowcases, to improve the condition of your skin and hair, get a comfortable night’s sleep, and wake up your natural beauty.
*2 By Dariia Day uses 6A grade pure Mulberry silk which is the highest grade available on the market. The weight is 25 momme. Momme is the unit of measurement employed in grading the thickness of silk, somewhat like thread count in cotton.
*6 By Dariia Day’s silk supplier’s website
*8 The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 was developed by European textile institutes who were committed to finding a way to reduce our environmental footprint. The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is a global testing and accreditation program that successfully sets the standards for the screening of harmful substances in consumer textiles. Textiles can only be certified if all components meet the requirements submitted.
Written by Kassandra Frua De Angeli