I once attempted to explain to a friend my very detailed method (recommended to me by a dermatologist!) for making sure my head never touched the same side of the pillow twice before I washed it. The steps: Sleep on one side only once; turn it over that morning when you wake up to make sure when that night comes around, your head hits the untouched side; and have plenty of new cases in your linen closet for an always-clean rotation.
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My realization from her response: I either run around with a very judgmental crowd or I am downright crazy.
But in all seriousness, once I started doing this tiny thing, I realized a major reduction in my breakouts—especially the ones on the side of my face where I tend to sleep. It makes sense: Why put your face back on something that just absorbed a ton of oil, dirt, germs and dead skin cells?
Skin Laundry SleepCycle Clean Sleep Pillowcase ($30) has the same idea. The brand’s ingenious invention: A pillowcase that’s charged with silver ions that create a natural antimicrobial effect to reduce bacteria (i.e. less of the stuff that causes breakouts and irritation). The 100-percent cotton, 300 thread count case feels pretty much like your standard, yet has the bonus of also being hypoallergenic and non-irritating. The best part? You only have to wash it every seven to 10 days to keep the freshness—and it involves a lot less detergent, diligent steps and sideways glances from anyone you share your skin-care secret with.