While some of his peers might be enjoying a carefree summer before heading off to college, Ludovico Rollo, a graduating Boston Latin senior, plans to spend this time launching his latest invention, MoonPillow, which he describes as “an anti-wrinkle and acne-preventing pillow that revolutionizes the sleep game.”
Rollo, who turns 18 on June 13 and is attending Harvard University as an incoming freshman this fall, was recently named one of the Bay State’s 25 Under 25 rising innovators by BostInno, an online news outlet that covers innovation in tech and startups in Boston. Described by the Boston Business Journal as “already a serial entrepreneur,” he co-founded Keep Up! Trivia, a company that manufactured a current event board game, and Filtair USA, which produced an air filter that attaches to the handlebars of a bicycle. Rollo is also the assignee and inventor of four patents, including two provisional patents that he wrote himself.
But the impetus for MoonPillow, said Rollo, who currently lives with his family on Exeter Street, was “genetics,” since he and others in his family suffer from “bad acne.” With this in mind, Rollo’s brother once advised him to “watch for your pillow,” he said, “because it’s not great for your acne.”
“So the wheels started turning, and I thought, ‘why is the pillow bad for my acne?’” Rollo said.
As he began to research the subject, Rollo said he learned that putting excessive pressure on one side of your face contributes to “permanent wrinkle formation, acne breakouts and hair breakage.”
Rollo also said he soon came to the realization “that when you sleep on regular pillow, you put 11 pounds of pressure on one side of your face for an extended period of time.” His first thought, he added, was this would inevitably cause “friction and irritation.”
Subsequently, Rollo came to the conclusion that he’s not the only one whose skin condition has been exasperated by what he calls a “bad pillow.”
“Everyone needs a good pillow that’s healthy for your skin,” he said.
Rollo said he then “set out to create a pillow that eliminates the irritation and pressure induced by regular pillows on skin, all while providing a comfortable night’s sleep.”
He crafted his first MoonPillow prototype from an old wooden box he found in his basement, which, he said, he made into the shape of the letter ‘F’ and rolled two T-shirts over “the perpendiculars.” When Rollo tried sleeping on it, he said his Facial U-Zone (cheeks and upper jaw loner) was free from the pressure that an ordinary pillow would cause.
“Clearly, sleeping on wood and a T-shirt isn’t too comfortable,” added Rollo, “so I started experimenting with memory foam and satin pillow cases, and that’s how I got the final product.”
The final product, he said, ensures that your Facial U-Zone and Facial T-Zone (i.e. forehead, nose and chin) don’t contact the pillow to avoid the likelihood of “pillow-induced acne.”
MoonPillow also has a satin pillowcase, which as opposed to standard cotton pillowcases, said Rollo, doesn’t absorb moisture (or facial creams), and feels smoother against your skin.
“It also means that common pillow-induced problems like split ends, hair dryness, and ‘bed head’ are problems of the past,” he added.
About two months ago, Rollo launched the MoonPillow website (www.moonpillow.shop) and began distributing the product to friends and family members to give it “initial public exposure,” as well as to get their feedback.
“I’m hearing it’s freeing up their ears when someone has a habit of listening to podcasts every night and can’t use regular headphones on the pillow because the pressure kills their ear,” he said.
Others have told him how much they like the silky feel of the satin pillow cover, or how it frees up their nose to help them breathe at night (as well as it freeing up their Facial T- and U-Zones.)
“It’s very interesting to see because everyone has something different to gain from the MoonPillow,” Rollo said.
While MoonPillow typically retails for $34.95, an additional $5 savings is now being offered for a limited time as part of an ongoing spring promotion.
Visit www.moonpillow.shop to learn more, or follow MoonPillow on Instagram and Facebook at Moonpillow.shop.