The Scary Effect Not Washing Your Sheets Has on Your Skin

This could be the reason behind your allergies, breakouts, and infections.

Image via iStock

You could be doing everything right: washing your face, moisturizing your skin, applying sunscreen, and drinking plenty of water, but if your face is still breaking out, there could be a very simple reason why.

As part of its What Would Happen If series, Digg explored an often overlooked question: What Would Happen If You Never Washed Your Sheets?, and it turns out that it’s a very scary reality.

Think about it: you crawl into your bed after a long day. You’ve washed your face and gone through your entire skincare routine. But then you lay your head on the sheets and pillowcases that haven’t seen a washing machine in a solid two weeks. We’re all cringing together at the thought.

There are many reasons why the thought of not replacing or cleaning your sheets should send shivers down your spine. As Digg points out, the outer layer of your skin sheds every two to four weeks (and stays in your bed). On top of that, billions of bacteria and viruses inhabit your body at any given time. And, no matter how clean you are getting into bed, it’s inevitable that you sweat throughout the night, even in the colder months.

Don’t forget that you spend about eight hours—nearly a third of your life—sleeping, and you have a skin disaster waiting to happen.

When all of the bacteria, fungi, sweat, and more, congregate upon your pillow and stay there for long periods of time, the chances that your skin continues to absorb them—especially through cuts or scrapes—rises. Bring a bed partner into the mix and the number of unwanted bacteria doubles.

But, brace yourself, because that’s not all. As the article also reveals, the skin cells that are left on your sheets and pillows are ideal snacks for dust mites—it’s no wonder why you develop allergies, break out in zits or develop infections on your skin.

Time to set that alarm for a regular bed washing reminder. We’re officially spooked.