Sleeping! A splendid activity. Great after-effects. Requires no special skills. And so easy, you can do it with your, erm… eyes closed (sorry). But—could your nightly shut-eye be breaking you out? The short answer is: maybe.
As reported by The Huffington Post, Dr. David E. Bank, director and founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, "Acne mechanica is any type of acne that is the result of material or objects touching your face. When your pillowcase isn't laundered or changed regularly, a build-up of dirt and oil from the environment as well as your skin and hair touching the pillow is transferred back to your skin. This can clog pores and cause blemishes." Yikes.
We know some other experts in the realm of sleep: the team behind antibacterial pillowcase brand, Silvon. We asked them for the facts on sleeping's impact on breakouts...
Does sleep affect our skin quality? Is there a particular type of acne that arises from sleeping on unclean pillowcases?
Yes, and while its name—acne mechanica—sounds like the title of a bad sci-fi flick about a contagion of breakouts, it is actually a very common type of acne that is usually associated with athletes and headbands or jockstraps (you're welcome), but is also linked to...*drum roll*...an unclean pillowcase.
What's a great sleep hygiene ritual for both sleeping well and combatting acne?
The thing most people will understand about a skincare ritual is that it is unique to everyone. I, for example, happen to go against everything anyone has ever told me about skincare and only wash my face with hot water—like literally, only hot water...no cleanser or anything—and my breakouts are rare as someone with a complex regimen. Is this going to work for everyone? Obviously not. Find what works for you, and make sure that whatever you are using rests upon a clean sleeping surface at night. As for sleeping well, I cannot tell you how important it is to make sure you are sleeping on the right pillow for your sleeping position.
How does bacteria form on our pillowcases and live there?! How do SILVON pillowcases work to combat this?
Silvon pillowcases are woven with natural silver, which eliminates 99% of acne-causing bacteria. Keep in mind this is not a treatment—the silver does not penetrate your pores like microscopic knights of armor (hello KILLA patch). It kills the bacteria you put and leave on your pillowcase. One question we get a lot is "why not just wash your pillowcase?" and the short answer is: Bacteria doesn't start breeding after you get up in the morning. By fusing our fibers with silver, you can rest assured that bacteria doesn't breed WHILE you are sleeping—allowing the products in your nighttime routine to work their best.
Of course, the opposite of prevention is resolution. When you have a zit, a KILLA patch will not only work super hard to resolve it while you sleep (or while you live your life, awake), it will also block your zit from fraternizing with your pillow :)