How can silk help your skin?

There’s a reason the term ‘beauty sleep’ was coined, and that’s because getting quality sleep and enough of it is a huge factor in your overall appearance, and of course not only that but also how you feel through the day. While sleep is of course primarily important for physical health reasons, why not maximise it to reap some beauty benefits too. 

It’s no secret that using a silk pillowcase has risen in popularity of late, with cult-beauty fans deeming it their new favourite ‘skincare product’. There’s a reason for this, as not only does silk fabric have many benefits for sleep, but for your skin too. 

In this blog post, we explore the various ways that using a silk pillowcase can benefit your skin.

Reduced fine lines and prevention of wrinkles

Due to the naturally smooth texture of silk, our skin is able to glide over the fabric throughout the night. Typically, a cotton pillowcase can ‘drag’ the skin and imprint creases and lines into it. Over time, these creases and lines can become permanent, particularly because as the skin ages it lacks in collagen, which is the ‘bounce-back’ hormone that elasticises the skin. 

By using a silk pillowcase over a long-term basis, you can prevent these lines from forming and ensure that your skin isn’t damaged by tough materials throughout the night, as silk is proven to cause less friction. 

Reduced oil production

When using a cotton pillowcase, a fabric that has a high absorption rate, through the night oils can be transferred from the skin and into the pillow. Because of this, the skin naturally tries to replenish the oil lost through the night, resulting in a much oilier complexion that can cause clogged pores and breakouts. 

Silk has a very low absorption rate, and so ensures that the natural oils are kept on the face, which helps to maintain the correct levels of oil needed for the skin for hydration purposes. This prevents an increase in oil production and therefore prevents further skin complaints caused by excess oil. 

Keeps skincare products in place

Again, because of the low absorption rate of silk, any serums, treatments and moisturisers that have been applied to the skin will be kept in place throughout the night so that they can work to their full potential. 

When using an absorbent material such as cotton, a lot of our skincare products can be transferred throughout the night and absorbed by the pillow. This means they have not been fully absorbed by the skin and so a lot of the benefit of the product is lost (as well as the money spent on these products!). 

Cooling and non-allergenic properties 

Silk fabric is naturally temperature regulating, meaning that it doesn’t become too warm during sleep. The benefits of this are two-fold; as the skin is kept cool, it is less likely to flare up with redness and rashes that are caused by flushes of heat during the night. And, because your skin is kept cool, this reduces the likelihood of experiencing a hot flush, meaning sleep disturbance is prevented, resulting in better quality sleep and better cell renewal for your skin. 

Silk is also a non-allergenic fabric, which means that sleep disturbance caused by allergies through the night is also somewhat prevented, again resulting in better quality sleep which is a definite plus point for your skin. 

Improved acne 

As silk is a smoother textured material, there is less rubbing and friction caused, as mentioned previously. Combined with silk being far less absorbent, non-allergenic and dust-mite free, this is a powerful blend to prevent the formation of bacteria that you might find on a typical cotton pillowcase. In turn, this means less bacteria being exposed to the skin and so works to prevent breakouts caused by bacteria. 

While the scientific evidence surrounding silk can’t absolutely guarantee you’ll be free from breakouts forevermore, it certainly can help to reduce the appearance of acne and prevent new blemishes from forming. 

All of these great skin benefits work together while you sleep, without you having to so much as lift a finger! Not only can you receive a luxurious beauty treatment night after night when using a silk pillowcase, but the natural proteins of the material also help to ensure that you stay asleep, doubling each and every benefit – as improved sleep means improved appearance! 

Ready to invest in your new favourite beauty tool? Take a look at the Gingerlily Beauty Box Silk Pillowcase. Delicately crafted from 100% Mulberry silk, this silk pillowcase has been designed specifically to support your skincare regime and comes recommended by leading dermatologists. 

Bedroom interior design trends for 2020/21

For a few years now, we’ve seen muted, subtle and minimal aesthetics and colourways dominating interior design, not just in bedrooms but right throughout the home. This year however, bold is back and taking over to fill your home with plenty of colour and character. 

Similar low-maintenance aesthetics remain, with less clutter and Scandi influences, but darker and bolder hues come into play to create a new take on the long-standing trend. 

In this post, we detail the trends that are set to be big in bedroom design over the course of 2020 and right into the year 2021 too. 

Monochromatics

The mind goes straight to black and white when we think of monochromatics, but this trend can be explored with various hues of any colour palette. In fact, the very definition of monochrome is either black and white or varying tones of only one colour. The in-look this year however is bolder colours, like cobalt blue, deep greens and peachy orange – not together of course. 

Simply pick a favourable colour for your bedroom scheme, then find similar tones to layer together to create an eye-catching, clean display. To ensure your bedroom doesn’t get too ‘loud’ with too much of one colour, choose block-colour soft furnishings as opposed to patterns and prints and blend some neutrals in too. 

With blue a solid colour-favourite in 2020, we particularly like the Gingerlily Teal Silk Bed Linen for this look. 

Earth tones & soft tropics

Nature has long been incorporated into bedrooms to create a tranquil, sanctuary feel and this year’s adaptation of environmental decor comes from earth tone colour schemes combined with soft tropic prints and patterns. 

Think khaki, beige, browns and ivory all blended together in different areas of the room to create a layered, calming aesthetic. Blend in some prints to smaller items such as cushions, throws and rugs and you’ll achieve a minimal, earthy look that makes a statement. 

A natural blend of these themes can be found in the Tropical Sand Silk Bed Linen collection by Gingerlily, which combines a rich sand colour with a delicate sweeping leaf design that exudes luxury.

Wicker-style furniture

Jute rugs, rattan chairs, wicker plant baskets and storage, all of these styles are set to be big this year. Incorporate different hues with this woody trend, mixing dark and light together to create a complimentary look. 

This look works seamlessly with the on-trend earthy colour palette and will make a big comeback over the next couple of years. While a full room of wicker furniture isn’t practical, incorporating small details adds a simple, yet impactful touch. 

Comfortable aesthetics

A bedroom has always been, and should remain, a very comfortable place to be – but there is no reason why comfort can’t play a big role in the overall look of the decor, that’s why we love this trend so much at Gingerlily. Lots of plush, luxurious pillows stacked up with cushions of varying sizes, full duvets, layered throws and soft-fabric headboards work together to create an indulgent lounge space that will send you to dreamland in mere minutes. A plus point, this thick and full decadent look is pleasing on the eye too. 

Transform your bed into a haven with lightweight and ever-so luxurious silk-filled duvet, pillows and cushions at Gingerlily, encased in 300-thread count cotton and filled with the finest Mulberry silk floss. 

1920’s glamour

Geometric prints, metal furniture and rich, royal blues and golds make this trend the perfect modern movement with older styling elements. This is a natural move from the retro revival theme we saw throughout 2019, bringing a classier version of the trend to fore. 

As silk specialists, we’re thrilled that this key style is emerging into the popular realm as this fabric works so well, from the varied colours to the natural sheen of the fabric. To get it right, opt for the Fraser Stripe Sand Silk Duvet Cover – a luxurious, gold bed linen with a delicate stripe effect.

Blush Pink

This soft pink often associated with millennial styles has been  at the forefront of interior design for over two years now, and it is showing no signs of going away any time soon. What was once a colour that was only fit for a child’s bedroom is now one of the most popular colours not just in bedrooms but throughout every single room in a house, even kitchens and bathrooms. 

Of course, as with any statement colour, there are some key ‘rules’ to adhere to and these lie mostly in getting the hue correct. Avoid candy-colours, and stick to a more muted tone, with matte finishes on any furnishing in this colour. 

We love this style so much that we created the Vintage Pink Silk collection at Gingerlily, featuring a full bed linen set, as well as an eye mask for good measure. With a beautiful, delicate sheen that glows without being ‘shiny’, this bed linen is a great way to bring pink into an adult’s bedroom. 

Mixed textures

One thing you might have noticed throughout this post is that a lot of different textures have been mentioned, and the great news is that mixing these together comes highly advised this year. Varying textures can add character to a room, and create definition without thinking too hard about the styling of the space.

Textures on the cards to be big this year include velvet, wicker, chunky knits, plants and of course, silk. 

Layering various textures is a great way to add further decoration to a room without having to introduce too many colours. 

Ready to revamp your space to be fitting for the year 2020 and beyond? Shop the latest silk bed linen styles from Gingerlily

What you should wear to bed for the best night’s sleep

The average person will spend around 26 years in their life asleep, yet sleeping can still very much be an unspoken topic and an area that the majority of us really don’t know a great deal about. 

But given the importance of sleep it is useful to understand what can affect the quality of your sleep to improve your everyday life and overall health. 

According to the NHS, one in every three adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and this is due to a number of factors including blue light from tech, stress and diet. 

Although how you sleep is dependent on many things, we’re here to explore what you should and shouldn’t wear to bed, why different seasons call for different nightwear, and how what you wear to bed can directly affect the quality of your sleep. 

Naturally, we’re also going to explore the different fabrics that can be worn to bed to determine which material will aid your sleep best. From silk to cotton, robes and pyjamas to nightgowns and much more, we discover which materials are best to help support your well-need shut eye. 

What material is best for sleeping?

Focusing on what material to sleep in is an important element to consider to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. 

Each material used for pyjamas has a set of pros and cons but ultimately it’s about choosing the fabric that feels most comfortable for you against your skin while you sleep. This can depend on your skin type, whether you have any skin conditions, how your temperature tends to fluctuate throughout the night and even your age. 

So, let’s take a look at the different fabrics typically on offer to us for nightwear:

Cotton: Cotton fabric is naturally lightweight, breathable and soft to touch, meaning it doesn’t tend to irritate the skin. However, cotton does a poor job of insulating which may make you feel cold during the winter months without a thick blanket. Its breathable qualities can be great to keep you cool in warmer months, however, cotton can often be inefficient at wicking away moisture, so if you are prone to night sweats, this likely won’t be the most comfortable material for you. 

Linen: Linen is a lightweight yet durable choice for pyjamas which is why it’s known for being a staple material for summer. Linen allows for optimum breathability and it has been said that you perspire up to 1.5 times less than when wearing cotton. However, over on the cons side is that linen has a tendency to crease and crinkle, and it can also stain very easily. 

Silk: Gentle to the skin, dry skin and hair won’t be snagged or irritated by this sleek, smooth material. Silk is also a thermoregulating fabric, meaning it can keep you cool when you’re hot and warm when you’re cold. Whether you choose to wear silk pyjamas, a silk nightdress or a silk dressing gown, paired with silk or cotton bed sheets, this material provides great health benefits and the ideal sleeping environment. Many people often find that silk is the fabric that is ‘just right’ for them. 

Are silk pyjamas comfortable?

Silk is a very versatile fabric and can be perfect for a range of nightwear due to its temperature regulating qualities that make it ideal for year-round use. The natural protein fibres of the material makes it ‘silky’ smooth to the touch. These natural properties hardly make it surprising that silk pyjamas are a popular choice to wear to bed.

If you are the type of sleeper that tends to move around a lot, you may feel a little ‘slippery’ in silk pyjamas at first, but you soon get used to the texture and by no means will this make you uncomfortable. However, it’s important to note everyone’s notion of comfort varies and whichever material you choose for your pyjamas should be the one that you think is the most comfortable. 

Wearing a silk eye mask could also contribute to a great night’s sleep. The natural cooling effect of silk against the eyes ensures your face doesn’t become too warm in your sleep while blocking out light. This can be essential for some people, particularly lighter sleepers, as the body is naturally roused from sleep when light begins to seep in.  

What is the coolest fabric to sleep in?

Temperature is an important factor to consider to ensure you have the best night’s sleep. Being too hot or too cold can not only affect the quality of your sleep, but can also prevent you from sleeping at all. To control this you can choose the right pyjamas with the best fabric to maintain the desired night time temperature of 16-18°C.

Cotton is lightweight and great to keep you cool when you’re warm but it’s not a great insulator so would only be best to use during the warmer months, meaning you may have to invest in more pyjamas in a different fabric for other seasons. 

As mentioned above, silk works in tandem with your body, regulating with your own temperature. So whether you want to cool down or warm up, silk is the fabric that will adapt with your needs so you can rest peacefully. 

So, what is the best fabric for pyjamas?

The important things to remember are: 

If you wish to remain comfortable and have the option of a set of pyjamas that are great for all seasons, choose silk. 

If you need a set of pyjamas that will keep you cooler during the slightly warmer months, choose cotton. 

If you require pyjamas to wear in hotter climates, opt for linen as this is the most breathable fabric. 

To ensure you have a good night’s sleep, temperature and comfort are two of the most important factors to control, which can be attained with the right fabric in bed. 

By sleeping in silk pyjamas, dressing your bed in silk sheets and even investing in a silk eye mask for complete darkness, you can create the ultimate environment to keep your temperature where it should be, while also providing a gentle touch to the skin with ultimate ‘silky’ smooth comfort. 

Ready to make the switch to silk pyjamas? Shop the full Gingerlily nightwear range today. 

What are the different types of silk

Not all silks are equal. The most well-known and popular type of silk is Mulberry Silk – while it is an esteemed silk steeped in history as well as our preferred silk here at Gingerlily, it is not the only type of silk. There are actually several different types of silk, made from different sources and produced in different ways. In our latest blog post, we explain more about each of the different types of silk as well as why we think Mulberry silk is the finest silk to use in bedding and linens. 

Mulberry Silk

Mulberry Silk is the world’s favourite silk and accounts for around 90% of silk produced globally. It is so popular because it is thought to be the highest quality silk and is produced by the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori.

Although Mulberry Silk is the most highly regarded, you can even find different qualities of Mulberry Silk. The good news for those interested in buying products made with Mulberry Silk is that it’s easy to sort the wheat from the chaff by taking note of the ‘momme’ of the silk. Momme is the measure of the density of silk. If your silk garment contains one ‘momme’ of silk, then you can expect to find 4.340 grams of silk per square meter of that fabric. Here at Gingerlily, all of our silk bed linen is made from 19 momme silk, which means you can expect to find 82 grams (or almost 3 ounces) of silk in each square meter of bedding. This is among the highest quality of Mulberry Silk that you can find. 

If you’re looking for Mulberry Silk bedding, then pay attention to this momme count – you may think that you have found a bargain if you have sourced cheap Mulberry Silk bedding, when in fact the momme count of that bedding is probably between six and ten momme – which is far below the standard that you should expect. 

Spider Silk

It’s fairly common knowledge that many species of spider produce silk in order to spin their webs and wrap up their prey. As well as being a very practical material for the spiders’ themselves, the properties of Spider Silk could actually be very useful for us humans too. For example, Spider Silk is so strong that it’s tensile strength is actually comparable to high-grade alloy steel, and it is about half the strength of kevlar (which is often used to produce bulletproof vests because of its strength!). Better still, it is also 1/6th of the weight of steel, so it’s easy to see why this silk is of interest to researchers around the world. 

So why isn’t this silk used more widely? At the moment, the simple reason is because it is difficult to extract and process substantial amounts of Spider Silk. 

Sea Silk

Sea Silk is an extremely fine, rare and therefore expensive type of silk. The history of most silks stems from the east, in countries such as China, India, Thailand and Bangladesh. However Sea Silk was first produced in the Mediterranean region. Of course being named ‘Sea Silk’, it is not produced by land species such as spiders and worms, it is produced by a specific type of ‘bivalve’ mollusc, known as the ‘Pinna nobilis’.

Unfortunately, this specific type of mollusc that produces Sea Silk has been threatened with extinction and it is only still harvested and manufactured by a handful of people in Sardinia. If you’re on the lookout for garments made of Sea Silk, then take a trip to Sardinia to search for Chiara Vigo, who is thought to be ‘the last surviving sea silk seamstress’. To give you an idea of price for Sea Silk pieces, a Sea Silk hat was put up for auction in New York in 2019 with a guide price of $5,000 – $8,000. 

Tussar Silk

Tussar Silk is naturally gold in colour produced by several species of silkworm belonging to the moth family. These silkworms often live within trees in wild forests and it is mainly harvested in countries including China, India, Japan and Sri Lanka. 

Tussar Silk is generally considered to be more textured than Mulberry Silk, which means the overall feel is less soft, but the main reason that we do not choose to use this silk for our bedding here at Gingerlily, is that Tussar Silk is not as durable as Mulberry Silk. That said, you can still find it used in garments and linens around the world. It is particularly common to find it used in the production of womens’ sarees. 

Eri Silk

Eri Silk comes from a specific species of caterpillar found in North East India as well as certain parts of China and Japan. This silk’s thermal properties mean that it can keep you warm in winter and cool during summer, however it’s not commonly the silk-of-choice for fabric production, simply because it is elastic and is also heavier than other silks.

Eri Silk feels more ‘wool-like’ and also blends well with wool and cotton, so you can expect to find it mixed with these more common materials in silk-blend items such as curtains, bed covers and quilts. 

Muga Silk (An Assam Silk)

Muga Silk is known for its natural golden colour and is specifically from the Indian state of Assam. Steeped in its own history, this blend of silk was typically preferred by Indian royalty.

Like Mulberry Silk, Muga Silk is also made by silkworms, but these silkworms are unique because of their location in Assam and they are also a specific species of silkmoth fed on a strict diet of aromatic som and sualu leaves. 

Because of this silk’s origins, it is commonly used to make products like sarees and other traditional Indian garments. 

Art Silk (Bamboo Silk)

Art silk, also known as bamboo silk, is artificial silk and refers to any synthetic fibre which resembles silk, but is not actually real silk. Typically, you will be able to tell by looking at the label of a product to find out whether it is real silk or not, but if there is no label, then there are a number of ways that you can identify ‘Art Silk’.

How to identify artificial silk:

  • Cost – typically, artificial silk items will cost less. If the item is cheaply priced, then as a general rule the chances are that it is not genuine silk.

  • Colour – silk usually reflects some light and will be coated, meaning the colour will not look ‘flat’ and will shimmer. If the colouring of the silk looks like a flat, block colour, then chances are it is not real silk.

  • Smell – if you want to test whether silk is real, take a few strands of the material and set it on fire. When burning, it will smell like burnt hair – which is a very strong, unmistakable smell.

  • Invisible flame – when burnt, silk will also burn with an invisible flame, and the burning will stop as soon as the flame source is removed.

  • Touch – if you rub a piece of silk between your fingers for a while then the material will become warm. If it stays the same temperature, then it is not genuine silk.

  • It’s labelled as satin – satin does not mean silk. Some may get the two confused, but satin products are often far cheaper than silk products.

  • The ring test – pulling silk through a ring is a traditional way of checking its authenticity. The ring will slide smoothly over real silk, while fake silk will often bunch or get caught on the ring. 

If you love silk products and want to find out more, then browse our range of premium 19 momme silk bedding today.

Why getting 8 hours of sleep a night simply isn’t enough

When it comes to sleep, we’ve been told for many years that the optimal amount of sleep that we need to feel rested is around eight hours, depending on your age, gender, lifestyle and various other factors. However, what we’re not told is that eight hours of sleep may be enough to feel rested, but is it enough to look rested? 

Even when we sleep for a solid eight hours or more, this doesn’t always mean that during this time we have had the best quality of sleep and we can often still wake up looking a little, let’s say, disheveled. What we’re here to discuss, is how to maximise your sleep quantity AND quality so that when you awake you look as fresh as you feel, every single morning. 

A recent article by Stylist.co.uk found that 32.7% of women get just 6.5 hours of sleep per night due to the constraints of modern life – and this just isn’t good for your health. The article also cites the latest best-practice advice published by the NHS when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. This advice lists a number of recommendations that we can all take on board, including ensuring that your mattress, pillows and covers are comfortable.

We believe silk is the solution and in this post we explain why using silk bedding and bed linen is the best way to sleek hair, smooth skin and most important of all, a better night’s rest.

Get your beauty sleep

Getting true beauty sleep takes more than just eight hours of rest, as we all know too well, it’s a process of a good bedtime cleansing and grooming regime. But often this grooming routine is far too time consuming for most of us. So what if rather than relying on winding down by taking long baths and using face masks, you could supplement your sleep further with your bedding, taking all of the hard work out of your hands so you can slumber peacefully while the silk gets to work? 

While an effective, consistent skincare regime is very important, you can make your efforts go further by caring for your skin throughout the night. Using silk bed linen helps to smooth out the skin, instead of creasing or crumpling it as typical cotton bed linen often does. This means that when you wake, there aren’t any extra unwanted lines in your skin and redness from friction is also completely prevented. 

Silk pillowcases and silk eye masks don’t just have fantastic anti aging benefits for the skin though, they also have many general skincare effects for all kinds of conditions, from acne and congestion to dry skin problems, redness and soreness. This is because silk isn’t an absorbent fabric, meaning one of two things:

Firstly, harmful bacteria isn’t able to thrive in silk and so your sheets and pillowcases remain hygienic for much longer periods and in turn, this bacteria can’t spread to the skin as it might with more absorbent fabrics like cotton. 

The second is that because silk doesn’t take in moisture, your skincare products such as serums, moisturisers and overnight masks or treatments remain firmly on your face, absorbing into your skin as they should, instead of into your bed sheets. This means that any effort you do make with your beauty regime before bed doesn’t go to waste.

So, in essence, your usual skincare routine and our silk bed linen and eye masks can make a strong team, ensuring that when you wake up in the morning you look and feel your very best, having experienced the most restful and restorative night’s beauty sleep. 

Get quality sleep 

While we understand it can be important to many to look good, it’s really important to also feel good and so the benefits of our luxury silk products don’t stop at the aesthetics. Our silk bedding can also work to make the quality of your sleep a lot better, because silk has many natural properties that help you to both get to sleep and to stay asleep. 

Perfect temperature regulation

Silk is naturally temperature regulating. It doesn’t trap heat underneath the covers so it prevents you from overheating. This ensures you don’t struggle to get to sleep and also stops you from waking up unnecessarily during the night to cool off. 

But it isn’t all about preventing you from getting too hot. Because of its ability to control temperature, silk is also able to insulate to ensure that you don’t get too cold, which can make it just as difficult to drift off and stay comfortably asleep. 

Hypoallergenic properties

Silk is also naturally hypoallergenic, due to its moisture-wicking quality. Excess moisture can often be a breeding ground for allergens and so by using silk bedding, you eradicate the possibility for allergens and bacteria to grow in your sheets. This ensures you have a more restful night’s sleep as you aren’t awakened by any itching, sneezing or coughing that is brought on by allergies. 

Gentle on skin

Silk is a very gentle material and so it can help to soothe dry or sore skin, gliding delicately over the skin as opposed to heavier, cotton materials that often catch on sores. If you suffer from a dry skin condition, silk bed linen can help you to sleep comfortably all through the night with reduced irritation. 

A lot of typical bedding material such as cotton, is exposed to harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process to make it fire resistant and ‘easy-iron’. These chemicals can make your bed sheets feel ‘starchy’ and also cause irritation to your skin. Silk is naturally fire-resistant and by ironing it, keeps its smooth texture and sheen. Sleep better in an all natural material, peaceful in the knowledge that you aren’t exposed to any unwanted chemicals and allergens. 

Investing in silk bed sheets and bedding can maximise an 8-hour sleep to its full potential, ensuring you get the quality sleep that your body needs while reaping all of the beauty benefits too. Take a look at our luxurious range of silk bedding and with 10% off your first order when you sign-up to our email list, treat yourself to better sleep today.