Are silk pillowcases good for acne-prone skin?

4 min readAug 31, 2021


Acne is defined as when hair follicles in the skin become blocked with sebum, which mixes with dead skin cells which form a plug in the follicle, which can create whiteheads and blackheads.

What actually causes acne?

Unfortunately, no one factor causes it, there are several triggers and it varies from person to person. Hormones, stress, medication, genetics and environmental factors are just some of the reasons people have acne flare-ups.

As this enlarges, it can rupture which can cause inflammation and a build-up of pus. If this occurs near the surface of the skin, it products a pustle, if it is in the deeper layers it can become a papule or a cyst in the more extreme cases.

So what’s the deal with silk pillowcases and acne?

Honestly saying, there’s no definitive scientific evidence that silk pillowcases can stop your acne breakouts forever, but it can make a difference if you suffer from regular flare-ups. It is certainly a better option than cotton. if you’re prone to breakouts, whether it’s because of hormones, genetics or stress or anything else.

Now, it’s important to note that not everyone will suffer from acne and breakouts due to their pillowcase. If your pillowcase isn’t washed or changed regularly, a build-up of this bacteria, oil and dirt can get transferred back to your skin. And that’s what adds to problem.

Picture your pillowcase as a sponge. Anything that you put onto your face, good and bad, will get absorbed by your cotton pillowcases, such as makeup residue, oils, creams, serums, and sweat. It’s also worth noting that anything you put on your hair will also get soaked into your pillowcase, many of which contain ingredients such as oil or silicone which can cause inflammation and breakouts.

How can a silk pillowcase help?

Think of your silk pillowcase as the cherry on top of your skincare routine. If you suffer from hormonal acne, a pillowcase isn’t going to stop breakouts, but it will minimise the problem by making for a healthier, cleaner sleeping environment, and is a much better option than cotton. Silk is a natural fibre that does not clog pores, it won’t absorb moisture or products — making it healthy for the skin in general.

As silk is also smoother, tightly woven fabric, it will be smoother on your skin and cause less friction and rubbing on your skin, which can help to reduce redness. If your skin is particularly sensitive, it will help to reduce puffiness and swelling. It’s not the end-all-be-all for acne-prevention but it can help in preventing it and relaxing facial skin altogether. Think of it as an extra step to your skincare routine.

Preventative steps you can take

  • Wash your face every night. It sounds obvious, but this will help to prevent dirt, grime or makeup from getting onto your bedding. Be sure to consult a dermatologist first for them to assess your skin and recommend the best cleaning treatment. Take off all your make up every night. Sleeping with makeup on is just asking for trouble.
  • Resist the temptation to squeeze. this can make symptoms worse as you are aggravating and puncturing your skin, which can spread bacteria. If you have cysts or nodules under the skin that are causing pain, see a dermatologist who, if necessary, can perform the extractions safely.
  • Launder your pillowcases every two to three days. Even if you are sleeping on silk, ensure it is laundered regularly in a PH-neutral detergent to keep it fresh and avoid sleeping on any pooled moisture. Avoid using fabric softener on your pillowcases. Fragrance-free fabric softeners aren’t any better — in this case, it’s the softening agents that are a problem for acne-prone skin.

Do I think a silk pillowcase has made a difference to my breakouts? I’m not going to sit here and tell you my skin is completely cured, however, the painful spots on my jawline are disappearing and becoming much less prominent, and the one spot I get every month without fail, well, it still pops up every month, but instead of lingering for 2 weeks, its gone in a few days. Prøv silkeputetrekk fra eller fra

At the end, getting back to my roots, Norwegian people love to use silk pillowcases “silkeputetrekk”. People use it both as it is cozy and help the skin and hair. Silkesengetøy or silk beddings has seen tremendous sale increase during covid outbreak in Norway in 2020.