Skin Care Blogs

5 Ways Your Pillow May Be Ruining Your Beauty Routine

Woman lying down on silk pillow

Have you ever woken up to a pimple that seemingly formed overnight? What about dry, frizzy, unmanageable hair (aka, bedhead)? Sleep lines? We hate to break it to you, but your pillow—more specifically, its case—may be to blame for these beauty woes.

If you fancy yourself a cotton pillowcase, you’re going to want to hear us out. Thanks to its absorbent capabilities, cotton pillowcases can reverse your beauty efforts and wreak havoc on both your hair and skin. Curious to know more? We share the scary truth about pillows, plus how to combat their anti-beauty efforts, up ahead.

Problem 1: Premature wrinkles

One way cotton pillows destroy your skin overtime? By creating the perfect environment for premature wrinkles to form. According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Debra Jaliman, “Cotton pillows crunch the collagen and make sleep lines on your face.”

Solution: As a solution, Dr. Jaliman suggests switching to a silk pillowcase, such as the slip Pure Silk Pillowcase, as it can allow your face to slide against the pillow and decrease your chances of pillow-induced wrinkles and sleep lines.

Problem 2: Dry skin and hair

Another problem with cotton pillowcases? “They suck moisture out of your skin,” says Dr. Jaliman. And, “When your skin is dry, wrinkles and fine lines tend to appear more exaggerated,” she adds. Not to mention: dry skin can be super uncomfortable and make it harder for your skin to absorb skin care products.

In addition to stealing moisture from your skin and hair, cotton pillows also absorb your beauty products, stealing whatever benefit you’re hoping to get from your serums and night creams. 

Solution: Another reason to switch out your cotton pillowcase for a pillowcase made from 100% pure silk. Unlike cotton, silk won’t suck moisture and product out of your hair or skin and leave you with silky soft skin and hair come morning.

Problem 3: Frizz and breakage

In addition to soaking up moisture and your hair care products, cotton pillowcases can also create friction between your hair while you sleep. Resulting in lots of frizz and sometimes even breakage—especially if you pull your strands back at night.

Solution: If you want to avoid pillow-induced frizz and breakage, one way to solve this is by using a silk pillowcase or wrapping your strands in a 100% silk scarf.

Problem 4: Under-eye bags

If you think the fluffiness of your pillow doesn’t matter, think again. Silk or not, flat pillows can result in puffier, more tired-looking eyes come morning, as fluid gathers around the eyes when you sleep.

Solution: In addition to adopting a silk sleeping mask into your routine, you may also want to elevate your pillow and start sleeping on your back. Sleeping on a flat pillow can cause fluid to build up around the under-eye area and create puffy bags. By elevating your pillow and sleeping on your back, you can promote better drainage.

Problem 5: Breakouts

Another way your pillow can wreak havoc on your beauty? It can cause breakouts. That’s right. Even if you wash your face every night, the dirt from your hair, sweat and other debris can take up residency on your pillowcase and cause your skin to break out.

Solution: The best way to reduce pillow-induced breakouts is to wash your pillowcase regularly—especially if you have oily, acne-prone skin, or oily hair. Washing your pillowcase at least one to two times a week can rid the fabric from pore-clogging dirt and debris that cause breakouts to form.

Beauty Reporter

Jessie Quinn

Jessie Quinn is a writer and editor with work published in NYLON Magazine,,,, and more. She is a graduate of Academy of Art University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Journalism. Originally from Los Angeles, she currently resides in Brooklyn—her home for the last five years. In Jessie’s free time, you can find her creating content for her beauty blog, Hair Skin Kale, testing out DIY beauty recipes, exploring her neighborhood, or binge-watching episodes of Friends. Her background in fashion has taught her that beautiful skin never goes out of style. Follow her on Instagram.