How do you Prevent Your Pillowcase from Causing Acne Breakouts?

young woman with curly locks and facial acne

Are you tired of waking up with frequent acne breakouts despite seemingly doing every other thing right? Your pillowcase could be the reason.

Whether you’re a teen or adult, acne breakouts may be a sign of sensitive skin especially if it happens frequently. Thus, it is important to not only get the right pillowcase but you should also observe the most stringent sanitation standards.

Remember, these breakouts do not occur by coincidence. Anytime they happen, it is a sign that something’s not right in the affected areas. This is why it is important to investigate the cause and find the right solutions as soon as possible.

Do Pillowcases Cause Acne?


If you wake up with severe acne regularly, it is only logical to wonder whether there’s any relationship between your sleeping surface (pillowcase) and the common skin infection.

Can pillowcases cause acne? The answer is yes. Dirty pillowcases can make your skin good breeding grounds for bacteria that cause acne breakouts. Failure to change your pillowcases regularly may expose the skin to a large buildup of dead cells and left-over body oils.

This can make your face, neck, and shoulders prone to suffering severe episodes of acne by the time you wake up in the morning.

This is why it is important to sleep on clean bedsheets and pillows especially if you’ve had problems with acne and other skin infections in the past.

How to Determine Whether Your Pillowcase is causing Acne Breakouts

There could be many reasons why you’re experiencing frequent acne. But how do you determine whether your pillowcase is to blame for the regular occurrences of the condition, especially if it is happening all of a sudden?

Here are a couple of steps you can follow to confirm whether there’s a relationship between your pillowcase and those unpleasant skin blemishes.

Change your Pillowcases Regularly

woman feeling her pillow case material

How often do you change your pillowcases? The truth is the majority of us change our pillowcases about once a week. However, this is a big no-no if you seriously desire to keep acne at bay because a lot of dead skin cells can build up on the pillowcase within the 7 days.

According to WebMD, the average human being sheds 500 million dead skin cells every single day. That’s a lot of dead cells to allow to accumulate for multiple days before getting a fresh pair of sheets, isn’t it?.

This is why we recommend changing your pillowcase daily. While it may not be the easiest thing to do, the results could be worth it.

If you notice good results after switching to this bedtime routine then that could be undeniable proof that your pillowcase had been responsible for the regular acne breakouts all long.

Change the Pillowcase Material

Are you still suffering breakouts even after switching to a daily changing of pillowcases? It could be a sign that the pillowcase fabric is too sensitive for your skin.

Remember, some materials are mild on the skin which can be suitable for those of us who are extremely sensitive.

Cotton, in particular, can be terrible for those who experience constant acne flare-ups. Sure, many of us love the natural feel of cotton especially during the summer when temperatures can be unforgiving. Cotton is also very breathable meaning they can minimize or even eliminate night sweats and hot flashes during those hot nights.

However, cotton is a good absorbent of sweat, body oils, and dead skin cells. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt, grime, and bacteria can build up on cotton sheets and pillowcases after a few days of sleeping.

Even lying down on a cotton pillowcase for 2 days in a row can cause a lot of problems for anyone with sensitive skin.

If you notice less frequent acne breakouts after switching to another pillowcase fabric then that can be a clear sign that the old fabric was responsible for the skin flareups in the past.

Best Pillowcase Fabrics for Acne

What is the best pillowcase fabrics for acne? We now know that some materials provide superior benefits for the skin, especially in acne prevention. Shall we take a look at the top fabrics for acne-prone people?

1. Rayon from Bamboo

Rayon from Bamboo can be a solid fabric for acne prevention. It feels smooth and produces minimal friction on the skin.

Derived from bamboo extracts, it is exceptionally hypoallergenic. This means a higher chance of repelling bacteria from the pillowcase which can be great for chronic acne sufferers.

2. Silk

soft fabric in a pink colorWe all love the feeling of silk on the skin but did you know that this fabric works well in preventing acne?

Silk is a natural protein fiber woven by cocoon larvae. First developed in China around 3630 BC, the fabric has achieved world-wide significance thanks to its unique natural weaves and durability.

Silk is an acne sufferer’s dream-come-true thanks to its soft, luxurious touch on the skin. It also repels grime and dirt of all kinds including sweat, molds, and dead skin cells.

Besides, silk is a great temperature regulator meaning you’re able to sleep well whether it is extremely hot or cold. Unlike cotton and other material, silk does not slide which means zero pressure on the most delicate areas of the skin. Thus, you can expect to wake up with absolutely no skin wrinkles.

Silk also protects the skin against acne scars and other severe abrasions due to its powerful natural anti-aging properties.

3. Satin

Satin can be a great choice if you’re looking for a fabric that feels cozy and allows the face to glide comfortably. This can make a huge difference as you slide your sensitive face up and down on the pillow throughout the night.

Unlike cotton, satin does not draw moisture away from the skin. Thus, it prevents natural oils and hair residue from clogging up the skin pores and inhibiting their ability to breathe.

Hence, switching to satin pillowcases can lead to a rapid decline in the risk of suffering acne breakouts.

Personally, I’ve had the best luck with the Bedsure Satin Pillowcase from Amazon. With over 20,000 positive reviews on Amazon alone, it can keep those acne breakouts at bay and improve your self-confidence.

4. Microfiber 

Microfiber pillowcases can be another solid option if you want to kick acne breakouts to the curb. Featuring nylon or polyester fibers, this fabric does not only feel smooth on the skin but protects it from excessive pressure too.

Microfiber pillowcases can clear up the skin by repelling bacteria and different kinds of allergens. They can also repel natural skin oils and residue from skin creams and other chemicals.

5. Silver Ions

Pillowcases featuring silver ions are typically great for acne sufferers thanks to their unbelievably smooth feel on the skin. This means even those with the most sensitive skin can enjoy blissful nights on such pillowcases and wake up spotless.

Also, silver ion pillowcases offer excellent anti-microbial properties that can inhibit bacteria and other potentially harmful microorganisms.

Besides, their natural hypoallergenic properties make them suitable for asthma patients and those who suffer from severe allergies.

Silver ion pillows are also child-friendly due to their non-toxic nature.

6. Copper Oxide Pillows

Copper oxide pillowcases can make life more pleasant for anyone who suffers from acne flare-ups regularly. These pillow covers contain a mineral that can boost the body’s production of elastin and collagen, 2 valuable nutrients can restore even the most damaged skin cells.

Additionally, they can moisturize the skin and offer powerful hypoallergenic benefits. This means acne-causing bacteria can stand no chance against copper pillows.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin infection that occurs when dead cells and oils clog hair follicles in the skin. This can lead to pimples and red spots in areas such as the face, neck, shoulders, and back.

The most popular forms of acne typically appear as soft bumps filled with white pus. These bumps can be so severe that they may end up in facial scars if left untreated over a long period.

What Causes Acne?

Few things can be more devastating than waking up with an Acne breakout on the morning of an important day. It can be a severe knock to your confidence and throw you off your game for the rest of the day.

As a teenager, every time I woke up to a swollen face and other signs of a break out on an important day, I couldn’t help but wonder the cause of the acne in the first place.

The truth is there can be several underlying reasons behind acne. Excess oil production is one of the main causes i.e. If your body produces more oil than you need, there’s a high chance of your skin pores getting clogged by the left-over oil leading to frequent flare-ups in the morning.

Other causes of the condition include:

  • Excess Androgen Production’
  • Bacteria
  • Heredity
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
  • Excessive Pillow Friction
  • Dust mites
  • Grease
  • Grime
  • Excessive Stress

Does Washing Your Face at Bedtime Prevent Acne?

‘Washing your face regularly is one of the best ways to keep it free from pimples and other blemishes. If you’re fond of going to bed without bathing then the probability of acne may increase significantly.

Fortunately, hot showers can remove lots of dirt, grime, bacteria, and excess oils from the skin’s pores. This allows those pores to breathe which enhances the probability of waking up with clear skin.

Even after your shower, you can always wash your face with warm water at bedtime especially during humid nights.


Your choice of pillowcase can make a huge difference in whether you suffer acne breakouts and how often. If you’re serious about keeping your skin healthy and pimple-free, it is important to make the right choices.

While cotton pillowcases may be one of the most popular options on the market, studies have shown that they can be the wrong choice for acne sufferers.

Instead, go with fabrics that are soft on the skin with the ability to repel bacteria and other organisms that promote acne growth.

Lastly, change your sheets daily even if it looks daunting. The rewards for your skin will be worth it.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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