“The fabrics that touch our skin, whether it is in our clothing or our bed sheets, can impact our skin health,” says New York City-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. That’s why he recommends sticking to ultra soft, natural fibers, “like high thread count cotton sheets or silk sheets.” These comfy materials allow your face to slip and slide easily across their surface, reducing any friction your skin might experience as you toss and turn in the night. Makes sense, right? (Linens and flannels will have the same skin-soothing effect.)
You may be thinking, yikes, most of these materials come with an eyebrow-raising price tag. Agreed. That’s why both Dr. Zeichner and dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, offer a workaround. Rather than investing in sheets that could set you back a full paycheck, you can invest in one (or two!) 100 percent silk pillows. “I love silk pillow cases,” says Dr. Engelman. “They create less wrinkles and indentations on the skin as you sleep.”
On the other end, there are several materials you should avoid at all costs. “Synthetic fabrics, like polyester or rough wool, can cause skin irritation and inflammation and aggravate conditions like eczema or rosacea,” says Dr. Zeichner. You’ll also want to make sure you wash your bedding in dye-free, fragrance-free detergent.
Above all, follow the golden rule of sleep hygiene: wash your sheets well and often. “Your face spends a lot of time on your pillowcase and if it is not clean, it could impact your breakouts,” Dr. Engelman explains. “If you go to bed with a clean face, you can change your pillow case once a week. But I always recommend to wash your sheets the next day if you go to bed with a dirty face.”
Don’t crawl into bed with just any set of sheets. And you can’t do much better than the fabric of our lives.
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