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Pillows don’t get much thought when it comes to skin care. Think about it: We can spend $100 a superb skin care serums, $500 on the latest and greatest moisturizer, and thousands on laser treatments and microdermabrasion. But the pillows? We might get those from IKEA or Bed Bath and Beyond, and the pillowcases get zero afterthought.
And that’s a huge mistake. If you’re not in the habit of changing your pillowcase regularly, a lot of harmful residue piles up. Not just acne, but also clogged pores, blackheads, and even increased hyperpigmentation. And even if you are in the habit of changing your pillowcase regularly, the act of sleeping itself may contribute to the formation of wrinkles.
For more reasons why pillows case wrinkles and acne, as well as my chosen alternative, read on!
Why Regular Pillows Cause Acne
Let’s say you’re seeing a dermatologist. Taking antibiotics. Applying salicylic acid wash twice daily. Using a solid regimen of retinoids, silica, and on-the-spot benzoyl peroxide. And still have acne.
This is acne mechanica. According to Dr. David E. Bank, director and founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery (source), “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.”
Contrary to popular belief, acne mechanica can happen regardless of whether your pillowcase is cotton, silk or satin. (I personally have a satin pillowcase, and this made me sad). While washing your pillowcase regularly may also help, I don’t know anyone who washes their pillowcase nightly. And creams, moisturizers, and serums rub off onto your pillow within microseconds of contact — leaving your skin susceptible to exposure from the build-up from the next night onward. Gross.
Why Regular Pillows Cause Wrinkles
Believe it or not, according to aesthetician Renee Rouleau, sleeping is the second-most wrinkle-causing agent out there, right behind UV exposure.
Like acne, wrinkles are also caused by the mechanical action of your face against a pillow. Except in this case, it’s less about the build-up of product, dirt, and debris, and more about the mechanical “squishing” action of your face against the pillow. According to Rouleau, normal sleeping exacerbates the nasolabial fold wrinkles, or the deep creases also known as the “parentheses” or “marionette” lines that run from the nostril to the corner of the mouth on both sides of the face.
So What’s a Gal (or Guy) to Do?
The idea here is to reduce the level of compression and deformation between your facial skin and the pillow. The Pil-ookie® is the pillow that I now use, which has a patented design to decrease the amount of contact between your facial skin and the pillow. Your face rests over one of the pillow’s unique curved openings, protecting it from being creased and wrinkled during sleep. With openings on both sides of the pillow, your face will lie comfortably regardless of which side you sleep on. It greatly reduces the surface of your face that is “squished” at night.
The Pil-ookie® is also surprisingly comfortable. I’m a gal who likes to sleep on 2-3 pillows, but adjusting to The Pil-ookie® wasn’t as hard as I thought. It has a built-in slope that puts your head at a slight elevation. This facilitates lymphatic return and decreases swelling and puffiness, especially under the eyes.
I also like the fact that my facial creams, serums, and moisturizers don’t rub off as much when I use The Pil-ookie®. More of my face is left out in the open, so I know that I’m spending my hard-earned money on skin care products that will absorb into my face, not rub into my pillow.
When I found out that wrinkles were caused by the sun first and foremost, and pillows secondarily, I started to research them more. I was pretty excited to find this pillow. Personally, I think The Pil-ookie® is pretty genius. I honestly wish I had thought of it myself!
And I’m pretty excited that there is a pillow out there that will take facial wrinkling at night out of the equation, and I highly recommend it to all skin care fanatics!