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The Unexpected Thing I Always Travel With

It's got double beauty benefits.
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Makeup does a great job of covering it, but I have always had extremely sensitive skin that used to break out into dry patches and Sloan-like (but not as cute) red cheeks. A few years ago, I saw an esthetician about it and she recommended that I start sleeping with a silk pillowcase. She explained to me then that because silk is all-natural (it comes from the silkworm) it's hypoallergenic and contains amino acids that are frequently added to skincare products for their ability to regulate moisture. On top of that, because silk is smoother than even high-quality cotton, it's non-abrasive. She said that even when I slept face-down on it—which is admittedly my go-to—the smooth strands wouldn't irritate my skin. Since that appointment, using a silk pillowcase has become a crucial part of my beauty routine that I barely think about until I'm changing our bed covers (it's also machine-washable, which is a huge bonus).

A few months ago, I was reminded of its benefits while polling my stylist for her hair tips. She stopped short before asking, "You're using a silk pillowcase, right?" It might sound naive, but up until that point, I was so excited about its skin benefits that I had never considered how the silk might be helping my hair. She told me that the non-abrasive surface that had kept my skin from being irritated, had also been keeping my hair smooth and soft, which explained why my blowouts always lasted so much longer at home than on trips. Since I was leaving for Palm Springs later that afternoon, I packed a silk pillowcase to test my theory. As I expected, my blowout lasted the entire trip and by Sunday, it looked noticeably smoother than a friend's, who had used the hotel's pillowcase.

Since then, I've made it my policy to pack a silk pillowcase whenever I travel. It takes up almost no room in my suitcase, and when I can't guarantee how nice my hotel or Airbnb sheets are going to be, it gives me peace of mind to have just a tiny bit of luxury and elevation (even if I'm at a Motel6). Not to mention the knowledge that my hair and skin will be looking their best when I'm far from my own bed and routine.

What to Look for When Buying a Silk Pillowcase NEWNEW.png

Shop my favorite at-home silk pillowcase: 'Slipsilk' Pure Silk Pillowcase ($79)
Shop my favorite silk pillowcase for travel: DryBar 'Slumber Party' Silk Pillowcase ($45)

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.