How Your Pillow Case Might Be Causing Acne

Have you ever had an acne breakout and could not figure out why? You might have washed your face each day and night, used every acne medication you could find, or tried dozens of face masks and still wake up with another breakout. The answer could  be right in front of your face–literally.

Pillow cases, unfortunately, house dozens of irritants that affect your skin while you sleep. It’s hard to imagine that the one object that brings you the most comfort can be your greatest enemy when it comes to acne, but your pillow case is not as clean as you might think.

Pillow cases hold onto most things that are still on your face when you lay down at the end of the day. Whether it’s makeup, dirt, oil, or sweat, it all rubs off on your pillow case as you toss and turn at night. In addition to all this filth, your pillow case harbors tons of bacteria over time and will eventually make its way to your face.

Try a Different Material

A commonly known solution to this acne issue is to change the material of your pillow case. You might have heard that silk or satin is less likely to transfer grime from your face, but this is a myth. The material of the pillow case does not really affect whether or not your pillow case will cause irritation or inflammation to your skin, but personal habits and cleaniness are the biggest factors in getting rid of overnight acne.

It might seem obvious, but you should always wash your face before bedtime. Any residue left on your face before you hit the sack will transfer onto your pillow. The buildup of bacteria, dirt, and oil causes breakouts that you’ll be disappointed to see in the mirror when you wake up. Washing your face thoroughly at night can help prevent this.

Change Your Pillowcase

Another remedy is to regularly change your pillow case. Washing your pillow case often will help drive out anything living rent-free on your pillow. Giving them a good wash every few days should do the trick, just make sure you’re using natural or skin-friendly soaps when washing your pillow case. Using fabric softener as well is not recommended as it contains chemicals that can be harmful to your skin.If your pillow case isn’t laundered regularly, then this is probably a good indicator of what’s been causing overnight acne.

Using the right pillow case is also essential to making sure you don’t wake up with another surprise breakout. Purchasing a pillow case made with natural fabrics allows the material to breathe more and pick up less residue while you’re sleeping. If you’re having trouble finding a good pillow case, a cotton one should work just fine as long as you launder it well.

Try Acne Creams

If you’re using a prescribed acne cream or topical medication, make sure you’re pillowcase is light in color. Usually, these treatments will transfer onto the fabric and bleach your pillowcase so be conscious of this possibility when searching for a new pillow case.

Do More Frequent Washing

If you’re short on funds for a new pillow case or good facial cleanser, then washing your pillow case every few days should do the trick. The pillow case theory does not apply to everybody, so if you’ve tried some tips and tricks to fix your acne via pillow case, then it might not be the problem.

It’s wise to visit a dermatologist or consult a doctor if you’re still having problems or can’t figure out what’s causing your acne breakouts. You should also talk to your dermatologist about your pillow case and ask them for any recommendations before changing up your nighttime routine.

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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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