Pick up a copy of June’s ‘The Beauty Issue’ or download it here.
While we all look to our skincare products to help keep our skin glowing and radiant, there’s another major aspect a lot of us are forgetting…
Did you ever consider that the materials you choose in your bed spread can affect your skin? It’s an easy thing to overlook, but if you take a minute to think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. Hence the massive rise in popularity of silk pillowcases – and other silk products in general – as the benefits of using silk products speak for themselves. This is something Olivia Carr knows all too well, having used them herself for over 15 years, she now owns one of the most popular silk pillowcase companies, Shhh Silk, across the globe. So much so, a whole host of A-listers a huge fans including the Kardashian-Jenners, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, Selma Blair and more.
Having used silk products for years, it was only after a trip to the US where she lost her beloved silk pillowcase that prompted Carr to launch her own brand – “only better”, she tells Emirates Woman. “It was upon returning home I was searching the online globe for a replacement with a simple feature a zip to keep my pillowcase on the pillow all night. I couldn’t find one, so I decided to start my own silk pillowcase brand.”
However, from the beginning it was an uphill battle. With only her own savings under belt, there was no budget for marketing or any other reserve cash for any promotion whatsoever. So, what did she do? Found out the address for Jenner communications, booked a plane ticket to LA and delivered her products to Kris Jenner and “the rest they say is history,” Carr explains. The whole family are now huge lovers of the brand, but the Shhh Silk founder admits it’s hard to pin-point who’s the biggest fan. “I can say two of the sisters have personally had their assistants contact us for silk pillowcases on more than one occasion,” she admits.
Of course, it takes more than just celebrity support to build a successful brand – the products have to work and the proof is in the pudding with silk pillowcases. The benefits of using them are endless, as world-renowned dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman explains. It helps your skin, keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay and keeps the skin hydrated.
So, how exactly can silk products benefit our skin? According to Dr. Jaliman, “Silk pillowcases keep our skin happy and hydrated due to the smoothness of the fibre. Silk fibres absorb less moisture than a cotton pillowcase, and the smoothness of silk prevents moisture from being sucked out of our skin.” In terms of ageing, when using a regular pillowcase, it causes our skin to crease against the fabric.
“When this happens repeatedly you start to break down collagen and elastic tissue,” she says. “Over time this will cause fine lines which eventually will turn into wrinkles.” However, silk pillowcases combat “the creasing and crunching” that causes wrinkles. The benefits for your skin don’t stop there – the New York-based dermatologist explains silk pillowcases can even prevent acne. “A pillowcase made of natural fibres such as silk can help someone with acne because they are hypoallergenic and can lessen inflammation and irritation,” she says. “A regular pillowcase may be rough and this can aggravate acne – a silk pillowcase is smooth not rough.” They can even work wonders on the hair, as it prevents frizz and breakage, and the overall smooth texture of the pillowcase means you’ll get a better night’s sleep.
However, silk doesn’t just work wonders for the skin on your face, it’s also highly beneficial for the skin on the rest of your body, an aspect designer Olivia von Halle has been an expert in for the better part of a decade, launching her namesake luxury silk nightwear in 2011. “As well as feeling butter soft against your skin, silk helps to regulate your body temperature and controls moisture levels, making it the perfect material to sleep in,” she says. “They will keep you warm in the winter and perfectly cool in the summer, practically guaranteeing you the best night’s sleep.”
There’s also no denying that silk is the epitome of luxury, as von Halle says. “To me, silk represents true luxury – for its unmatched quality, feel appeal and versatility as a natural fibre,” she explains. “We produce the majority of our collections in China, which is of course the home of the silk road. Chinese sericulture goes back thousands of years and the silk produced in Hangzhou province, where our factory is, is the best in the world. The women who work there are experts at their craft, which has been honed over generations – the process is something to behold and I love nothing more than watching our pieces come to life there.”
And while she’s clearly found a niche for herself, leading the way in the production of silk goods, it’s a career path von Halle only stumbled upon. “I didn’t grow up wanting to be a fashion designer – I founded the brand after spotting a gap in the market,” she explains. “In 2010 I was living in Shanghai and working as a trend forecaster. I had an incredible tailor there who made me the most heavenly pair of silk pyjamas to my design. I literally lived in them – I would change into them after nights out partying with friends for G&Ts and afterparties, and even walked the dog in them.” Before she knew it, von Halle had friends on a waiting list for her creations, which she eventually realised could lead her to extraordinary success. “I set up Olivia von Halle and moved back to London in 2011 to launch the brand. I love a challenge and the fact that no one else was making luxury silk pyjamas at the time was the most motivating factor. I wanted to be the first, the best and the biggest!”
With Shhh Silk and Olivia von Halle both garnering impressive global client bases, the appetite for silk products is nothing short of spectacular, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. It’s a product that looks beautiful, feels beautiful to the touch and helps you feel beautiful on the inside and out.
For more on all things beauty, pick up a copy of June’s ‘The Beauty Issue’ or download it here.
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Images: Supplied / Olivia Von Halle