Posted by Bridget Reed

How To Prevent Acne From Pillowcases

5 min read

Acne is a pretty universal skincare concern. Whether you found yourself riding waves of hormonal breakouts in your teen years, or you’re prone to hormonal breakouts around your cycle as an adult, or you’re just breakout-prone in general, we can all agree that acne is the worst.

Did you know that sometimes, your pillowcase can be the culprit? If you haven’t considered the impact your bedding can have on your skin before, it’s worth exploring. This is especially true if your breakouts are stubborn and you can’t find the cause.

Let’s talk about how pillowcases can cause acne and what to do about it if you think it’s causing yours.

How Do Pillowcases Cause Acne?

It’s one of those things we may not have considered, but as soon as somebody points it out, it feels so obvious. The bare skin of your face comes into contact with your pillowcase on a nightly basis, so it stands to reason that things transfer between your skin and the pillowcase. 

This can be makeup, sunscreen, dirt, or dead skin cells that have built up on your face and are left behind on your pillowcase… but it also goes the other way. Your pillowcase can retain these impurities, leading to bacterial growth or irritation to your skin which can result in breakouts.

Your pillowcase absorbs your skin’s natural oils, called sebum, throughout the night. Your skin’s oil is totally natural and — when balanced — helps keep your skin hydrated and remove breakout-causing impurities. However, when you end up with too much sebum, it can clog your pores, leading to breakouts: This is another way your pillowcase can cause breakouts.

What Can You Do About It?

Luckily, you don’t have to accept acne as a permanent part of your life. Generally, your first port of call when resolving breakouts is a doctor or dermatologist. Beyond that, keeping your bedding clean and practicing the best skincare possible helps ensure that your pillowcases aren’t contributing to your breakouts.

Let’s talk about some simple ways to prevent acne from pillowcases.

1. Wash Your Pillowcase Regularly

This is one of the most important things! All kinds of things, from bacteria to fungus to body oils and dead skin cells, can build up on your bedding over time. So you should be washing not just your pillowcases but all of your bedding at least once a week.

If you’re short on time or energy and have to pass on washing everything for one week, prioritize your pillowcases. This bedding essential comes into contact most regularly with the sensitive skin of your face.

2. Choose the Right Pillowcase

In addition to regularly washing your pillowcases, put some thought into the material your pillowcases are made from. While some fabrics may be trendy, or you may be drawn to a particular option because you like the look of it, the fabric and make of your pillowcase can make a big difference as far as your breakouts go.

For example:

Our Miracle Sheet Set includes sheets and pillowcases, all of which are infused with natural silver. Silver has antimicrobial properties, which makes it super effective in fighting off bacteria and other irritants that may be causing your acne. Antimicrobial silver prevents 99.9% of bacteria growth for healthier skin (and 3x fewer loads of laundry on your to-do list). 

They’re made from Supima cotton, which has a wide range of benefits over other types of cotton. Supima cotton is especially strong, soft, and good at retaining color. If you’re looking for a pillowcase that is durable, comfortable, and looks great in your bedroom, Supima is the cotton you’re looking for.

Plus, if you often wake up in the night because you’re too hot or because your feet get cold at night, these sheets are super breathable. Supima cotton sheets are temperature regulating, making them optimal for helping maintain the ideal body temperature at rest. 

3. Wash Your Face Before You Sleep

This is more about skincare than it is about your bedding, but it’s related!

If you’re too tired to wash off your makeup or sunscreen at the end of the day, any products on your face are likely to seep into your pillowcase. This can result in stains or breakout-causing bacteria.

Not only that but sleeping in makeup can clog your pores, exacerbating the issue even further. You should be washing your face every single night before you go to bed. 

Actually, it’s not a bad idea to move your morning showers to the evening if you’re breakout prone. This can help clear away any sweat, bacteria, or other impurities before you get into bed and transfer them to your bedding and pillowcase. There’s also some research that shows that taking a hot shower before bed can improve your sleep quality — so it’s a win-win!

4. Consider Your Detergent

It may not be your sleep hygiene or the type of pillowcases you’re using that’s causing your breakouts. It could also be a negative reaction your skin is having to your laundry detergent. Look for a detergent that doesn’t have a strong scent, made with gentle, natural ingredients that are meant to be gentle on your skin.

Miracle Made Laundry Detergent Sheets are a great option because they’re eco-friendly, and made with only four natural ingredients, so you know they’ll be gentle on your skin. Try swapping out your usual laundry detergent for a natural, scent-free alternative, and see if it makes a difference to your skin and breakouts.

5. Remember, Pillows Don’t Last Forever

Perhaps you have a pillow that you think is absolutely perfect; it’s easy to want to keep it forever. And while properly washing your pillow and occasionally airing it out can extend its life, it’s important to realize that most, if not all, pillows aren’t designed to last for many years.

In fact, you should really be replacing old pillows every one to two years, depending on the quality and make of your pillow. This can help with breakouts because it means you’re eliminating what may be a significant source of bacteria and other acne causes. Now, you’re starting fresh on a regular basis.

And if you’re heartbroken at the thought of parting with your favorite pillow even though it’s a few years old, don’t worry. You’ve probably forgotten how good it was when you first got it anyway; a new pillow might just give you and your skin a whole new lease on life!

In Conclusion

Breakouts are a frustrating but often inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them! In addition to your skincare routine and overall self-care priorities to help minimize breakouts, pay attention to how often you’re cleaning your bedding. This practice can go a long way toward soothing your skin.

You may not think of your pillowcase immediately when trying to find the source of your acne, but if you’re not taking care of your pillows and pillowcase properly, it can lead to a lot of problems for your skin. With these helpful tips, hopefully, you can say goodbye to acne and hello to restful, relaxing sleep.


10 Skincare Habits That Can Worsen Acne | American Academy of Dermatology

Showering Before Bed | Sleep Foundation

Sebum | DermNet

6 Awful Things That Happen When You Sleep in Your Makeup | Good Housekeeping

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