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How You Can Get Acne From Your Pillow

Updated on January 28, 2016
Your pillow might be the cause of your acne.
Your pillow might be the cause of your acne.

Do you know that you can get acne from your pillow? While this might come to you as a big shock, it is totally true. The pillow that you sleep on every night can either give you acne or worsen your acne.

It’s interesting how we spend so much time on cleansing our face and doing everything possible to fight acne forgetting that those soft and comfortable pillows of ours can also contribute massively towards our acne problem.

So how does pillow cause acne?

It really isn’t your pillow that causes you the acne, but the pillowcase. We all know by now that dirt and oil are the main things responsible for causing acne. The more dirt and oil that you have on your face, the higher your chances are of developing acne. This therefore means that anything that is capable of transferring dirt and oil to your face can easily increase your risk of developing acne. That is the reason why your dermatologist will advise you to stop touching your face with your hands. Your hands transfer a lot of dirt to your face, which is bad news when it comes to acne.

Unfortunately, pillowcases also do the same. The average person’s pillowcase contains a lot of dirt and oil. This is even worse for people who don’t frequently wash their pillowcases. Are you wondering where the dirt and oil on your pillowcase come from? The dirt comes from your skin and the environment whereas the oil mainly comes from your hair and skin whenever they make contact with the pillow.

Now, when you sleep on a pillow whose case contains lots of dirt and oil, obviously the pillowcase makes contact with your face, thereby transferring the dirt and oil to your face and other acne-prone parts of your upper body such as your neck and shoulders. The more your face makes contact with your pillowcase loaded with dirt and oil, the more these things get transferred to your skin. Once on your skin, the dirt and oil mix with the oil on your face and some dead skin cells. The mixture can easily make its way into your pores and clog them. Once in your pores, bacteria can easily grow there and cause an infection which automatically leads to the formation of acne.

Not everyone gets acne from their pillows

There are two types of people who don’t get acne from their pillows. The first group is made up of people who don’t have acne-prone skins. The second group is made up of people who frequently wash their pillowcases.

If you have an acne-prone skin but you often wash your pillowcase, you are going to drastically reduce your likelihood of getting acne from your pillow. But if you are prone to suffering from acne and on top of that you do not frequently wash your pillowcases, then you massively increase your likelihood of suffering from breakouts.

The material of your pillowcase matters

According to experts, sometimes the fabric that your pillowcase is made of can make a difference. Pillowcases that are made of natural fabrics are better than those that are not since natural fabrics do not transfer much oil.

What you can do to prevent acne from pillow

The best things you can do to avoid developing acne from your pillowcase are as follow:

  • Make sure that your pillowcases are made of natural fabrics since these fabrics will reduce the transfer of oil
  • Wash your pillowcase at least twice every week to reduce the buildup of dirt, sweat, and oil on it
  • Wash your face every night before you go to sleep since this will reduce the amount of dirt and oil that will be transferred from your skin to the pillowcase
  • If you are female, who often wears makeup, please never go to bed wearing makeup

Doing the simple things mentioned above can drastically reduce your likelihood of developing acne from your pillow.

If you have very sensitive skin or are prone to developing acne, then I recommend washing your pillowcases or changing them after every two days. While doing this, please remember to change the bedding too.

Prior to reading this article, did you know your pillow could give you acne?

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    • DanieN profile image

      Danielle Nash 8 weeks ago from North America

      Great article! It was very helpful and informative.