Could Your Bed Sheets be the Cause of Your Breakouts?

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There was a time when I couldn’t have cared less about my skin.  However, when cystic acne decided to attack my face I had no choice but to start caring.    My journey to obtain clear skin was a rocky one.  I had to learn what foods were causing my acne, I had to figure out the perfect regimen for my skin and I had to figure out the things in my environment that were effecting my skin.

The holistic dermatologist I use told me that I needed to start paying attention to my environment and gave me some key tips for keeping my skin clear.  For me, one of the main reasons I was experiencing breakouts was my bed sheets!

It’s important to change your bedding frequently, and here is why:

The Dirt
Throughout the day, your skin comes into contact with various pollutants, forms of dirt, and oils.  Nightly when you go to wash your face and/or shower the dirt is washed away.  But think about how the body sweats, especially at night.  Also, if you eat in your bed or allow your pets to sleep with you there are a ton of irritants that will be left in your bed.  If you have skin conditions like psoriasis; eczema; atopic dermatitis; and other ailments, not changing your sheets frequently can lead to outbreaks because of the irritants left on the sheets from the dirt, oil, food and pet dander.

Another dirt factor is saliva, many people drool when they are asleep,  I am definitely guilty of this!  At night your mouth is filled with bacteria so imagine the amount of bacteria that is passed to your pillow throughout the night.

Your Hair
If you’re like me, you don’t wash your hair every day. So that means that there is a build up of oils, gels, creams, dirt and more.  Even if you sleep with a bonnet or satin scarf on your head, the products and dirt on your hair seep through and end up on your pillowcase.  I dye my hair midnight black which gives it a blue tint.  When I look at my sheets I see how the blue dye has seeped through my satin scarf and ends up on my pillow.

So What Happens If You Don’t Change Them?
Not changing your sheets often can lead to breakouts and inflamed skin.  The build up of oil that transfers from your pillowcase to your skin can lead to blackheads, white heads and other rashes.  The dust mites and dander that build up over time on bedding can flare up eczema and other allergies. 

So How Often Should You Change Them?
The frequency of changing your sheets really depends on the time of year.

During the summer months, its recommended that bedding be changed every four to five days because of the amount of sweat and oil the body produces.   In the winter, it is recommended that bedding be changed once a week.

If you don’t feel like changing all of your bedding, then at least swap out your pillow cases weekly.   If you have environmental allergies (dust mites or pet dander) then you should change your sheets more often.

Take minute to think about how often you are changing your sheets?  Is it weekly? Or is it less than that?  If you’re changing your sheets less often than weekly you may want to change your habits ASAP!


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