The Best Pillowcases for Breakouts

Updated April 17, 2017

While pillowcases are available in different fabrics, only one type of pillowcase is best to prevent breakouts--a clean pillowcase. Buy seven pillowcases (fewer if you do laundry frequently) and put a new one on your pillow every night. A little extra laundry to keep your face clean can save a lot of trouble and embarrassment from a breakout. Replacing an old pillow is also a sensible investment. Over time, pillows absorb bacteria and oils that can seep through the pillowcase and contribute to breakouts.

Thread Count

Packages of pillowcases and sheets always list a thread count. A higher thread count (650, for example) feels smoother and softer and is reportedly longer-lasting than a low thread count, but will also be more expensive. A higher thread-count material can also absorb more of the oils and bacteria you are trying to avoid, so investing in pillowcases with a high thread count can help prevent breakouts.

Type of Cotton

A fine cotton can make even a 300-thread-count pillowcase feel soft and smooth. American-grown Pima cotton and cotton grown in Egypt are among the finest for linens. Polyester or polyester-blend pillowcases are usually the least expensive, but they may pill over time and feel scratchy. A material made from bamboo is said to be helpful for acne-prone skin because it is antibacterial.

Proper Care

Wash new pillowcases before using them. New linens have a coating called sizing to make the fabric crisp. Sizing can irritate sensitive skin as can certain laundry detergents and dryer sheets. Wash with less detergent and rinse twice. High-thread-count cotton pillowcases can get wrinkly, so remove them from the dryer as soon as the cycle is done.

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About the Author

Theresa Kwiatkowski started her career in 1973 and has been a newspaper reporter, copy editor and managing editor. She was a copy editor at the "Chicago Tribune" and taught at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Marquette University.