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Can You Get Acne From a Pillow?

by Mary Gray ; Updated July 18, 2017

Waking up with unexpected breakouts or single bumps is never a good way to start the day. No matter how religiously you cleanse your face and wash off the day's impurities, your pillowcase can still reverse the benefits of your nighttime routine, particularly if you already have acne-prone skin. Pillowcases don't directly affect everyone's skin, but they can exacerbate acne and cause micro-irritation. Take some simple preventive steps to ensure that you get your beauty sleep -- without creating a breeding ground for breakouts.

Pillow Protocol

Sleep on pillowcases made of natural fabrics, which transfer less oil. More important than your pillowcase material, however, is making sure that you change it regularly. Huff Post Style recommends laundering pillowcases once every two to three days, steering clear of fabric softeners that can aggravate acne-prone skin. Failing to change them out frequently will allow grime, dirt, sweat and makeup to accumulate on the fabric, which can cause acne mechanica (any type of acne caused by objects or materials touching your face). To minimize the potential for dirt and product buildup, follow conventional wisdom and wash your face before bed -- but don't forget that sleeping with clean hair can also help.

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