How to stop your pillowcase from sabotaging your beauty sleep

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Anyone who has ever dealt with acne probably has a hefty hit list of the culprits that could be the cause. From hormones and certain topicals to diet and pollution, there are a tonne of factors that could be to blame for your breakouts. But if you’re yet to suspect what you’re sleeping on, well, you should.

Acne mechanica (a specific type of acne that results from material or objects touching your face) is all too real, and the pillowcase you lay your head on at night is actually one of the very worst offenders.

Basically, if your pillow cover isn’t washed or switched out on the regular, even the strongest skin care regimen won’t be able to save you from the buildup of dirt, oil and bacteria calling your pillow home.

So, to keep your case from sabotaging your precious beauty sleep, we’ve come up with five skin-saving strategies to ensure your bed stays a safe place for snoozing instead of a bacteria breeding ground.


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1: Opt for a page-turning pillowcase

Yep, these exist, and they’re genius. If you’re lazy with laundry, or you know, just a human being who doesn’t have time to wash their pillowcase after every nap, pick up a page-turner quick smart. The amount of time they can go unwashed all comes down to the material you opt for

If you want to go a full week, the cotton option gives you eight night’s worth of sleep-ready sheets. Or, if you’re partial to a pillowcase of the silk variety, the satin case gives you three nights of silky-soft sleep with each wash. Either way, you’ll be able to spend less time washing and cleansing, and more time sleeping and enjoying your clear complexion. Ideal.



bh loves: déjà Cotton Pillowcase (approx. $66 getdeja.com), déjà Silk Pillowcase (approx. $131, getdeja.com)

2: Try a tea tree oil rinse

When you do wash your case, you’ll want to make sure you’re banishing as much bacteria as possible. Add a few drops of tea tree oil into the wash to freshen the fabric, nix any unpleasant odours and remove any lurking mould or mildew (because, um, gross). Rinsing your pillowcase with tea tree oil will also work to kill microbial buildup thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal status.

3: Limit hair to skin product transfer

Your skin isn’t the only thing commonly in contact with your pillow. If you’re a back or side sleeper, your case is absorbing all of the delightful grime, oil and product from your hair too. Yep, every pump of volumising mousse or smoothing serum you’ve applied is now transferring straight to your face via your pillow. 

So, if you wouldn’t spritz salt spray directly onto your skin, try a silk wrap on your hair at night to protect your precious complexion. It’ll also help to keep hair silky soft and smooth, as well as away from your face through the night. Perk city.

bh loves: Silke London Hair Wrap ($96, sephora.com.au)

4: Steer clear of fabric softeners

They may make your clothes feel like butter, but they’re not so great for the fabric you lay your head on. Not only do they generally contain a concoction of chemicals and fragrances that you probably don’t want so close to your face, but the softener agents within these formulas can also cause congestion, as they often coat fabric fibres with layers of residue that can clog your pores – best to steer clear (pun most certainly intended).

5: Go disposable (but biodegradable)

Big fan of your current case? No worries; there’s no need to swap it out entirely. Just throw on one of these pillow slipcovers before bed. They’re super soft and comfy to sleep on, plus they won’t absorb your expensive night creams like a lot of other pillowcases do. They’re also infused with eucalyptus, tea tree and lemon to calm your mind (and your skin) as you rest. Keep each cover on for up to four nights, then simply swap it out. No need to worry about environmental guilt either; these bad boys are biodegradable. Win win.



bh loves: Clean Kovr 1 month pack ($45, kovrdpillowslips.com)

Main image credit: @bellahadid

Have you put any of these skin strategies into play?

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