How often should you change your pillowcase?

How often should you change your pillowcase?


Changing your bed linens can be a huge chore. From removing your sheets to the tedious task of putting a duvet cover on your comforter, there's a reason this task is always on the to-do list. While it might not be a big deal to skip it every once in a while, sleeping on the same pillowcase for extended periods of time can take its toll, especially on your skin. “Most people don't realize how much oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells can build up on their pillowcases, all of which can contribute to acne breakouts and skin irritation,” says Dr. Sandra Lee, founder of SLMD Skincare and aka Dr. Pimple Popper.

So how often should you change your pillowcases? Here's what the experts say.

How often should you change your pillowcase?

Dr. Lee recommends changing your pillowcases (and sheets and towels) at least once a week to keep your skin healthy, “though if you have oily or acne-prone skin, or if you sweat a lot at night, you may need to change them more frequently, like every two to three days.”

Signs that you need to change your pillowcase

Even if you plan on washing your linens once a week or once every two weeks, you may need to change them more frequently. Here's what to look out for: “If you notice odors or visible discoloration/stains and they need cleaning before the seven-day deadline is up, that's a good sign it's time to change them,” says Mariana Salazar, certified esthetician and beauty specialist at Revive Med Spa.

If you're constantly waking up to a sticky pillowcase, it might be time to overhaul your skincare routine, says Jennifer Yen, skincare expert and founder of Pūrlisse. She recommends switching your moisturizer to a lighter one like Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer.

It's also good to remember that oily spots could be the result of your hair products: “What many people don't realize is that any leave-in styling products they apply to their hair can easily get onto their skin through their pillowcase. For people with sensitive skin, this can cause further irritation and clogged pores, which can be avoided by changing your pillowcases regularly,” explains Salazar.

Finally, if you're recovering from a cold or flu, don't hesitate to get a new pillowcase a few days in advance.

How to wash pillowcases

Whether your pillowcase is silk, bamboo, cotton, or another material, it's important to wash it properly. “Always follow the manufacturer's instructions, but in general, turn your pillowcase inside out and use a mild detergent that is free of dyes, perfumes, and fragrances. If you have a silk or bamboo pillowcase, use a mesh bag to prevent tearing. Always use warm water to effectively kill bacteria and avoid fabric softeners that can leave residue,” says Salazar. “We like to use the delicate cycle and air-dry our pillowcases to maintain fine threads. And lastly, don't forget to wash your pillow regularly, too!”



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