Is Nighttime Skin Care Rubbing Off On Your Pillow?

Is our nighttime skincare absorbing into the pillowcase overnight?

Want to know what is really happening to your skincare while you sleep?

We spend money (sometimes a lot of $$) on quality skincare products, and we take the time to carefully apply our selected routines both morning and night. The last thing we want is for our investment to end up in the wash.

Whether or not your skincare products are rubbing off on your pillowcase is determined by -

  1. how well your skincare product absorbs into the skin
  2. the order in which you apply nighttime skincare
  3. your pillowcase fabric
1. Skincare product absorption

The more your nighttime skincare products are absorbed into the skin, the less likely they are to smear on the pillowcase overnight. Topical product absorption is affected by many factors, including particle size, how well hydrated your skin is, and how often you exfoliate.

  • Particle size: smaller is better when it comes to the active ingredients in your skincare product, because these particles can permeate the stratum corneum, or the outer layer of skin, also called the epidermis. If the particle size is too large, it won't get past the top layer of dead skin cells of the epidermis, and therefore won't be absorbed by the living skin cells in the next layer. Products that remain on the surface of the skin, such as thick creams and ointments, have a high tendency to rub off onto your pillowcase during the night.
  • Skin hydration: according to Nursing 411, product ingredients are better absorbed if the skin is well-hydrated and moist. There is just one caution- applying certain products when your face is not fully dry can lead to excessive absorption. This explains why there's a strong warning to wait at least 10 minutes after cleansing for your skin to fully dry before applying topical retinoids, especially if you have very sensitive skin.
  • Exfoliation: The top layer of skin consists mostly of corneocytes (dead skin cells) which do not absorb skincare products. Hence the importance of regular exfoliation! Once through the stratum corneum, skincare product ingredients can be absorbed by keratinocytes, or living skin cells, and get to work.
2. Order of application

Applying nighttime skincare in the wrong order can cause decreased absorption and excess product left on the surface of the skin. This leads to a greater likelihood of the product rubbing off onto the pillowcase overnight.

The experts at Healthline give some guidance here on the best order of application for both nighttime and daytime skincare routines.

3. Pillowcase fabric

If you are able to navigate the science of skincare products only to place your face on a fabric that will quickly absorb all the precious moisturizing and restorative ingredients, you are fighting a losing battle.

Pillowcases are made from many different types of fabric including cotton, silk, and microfiber. While many people choose their bedding textiles based on comfort, it’s important to realize how fabric type can affect your skin health.

Cotton pillowcases are not ideal for skin because cotton is a highly absorptive fabric. While you're sleeping, moisture from your skin (and your expensive skincare products!) can get trapped in your pillowcase, causing skin to stick instead of sliding. This increased friction can lead to unwanted sleep lines and wrinkles.

Silk pillowcases are often considered to be the best for your skin, however silk is a very delicate and high maintenance fabric. Silk is less absorbent than cotton, which can aid in keeping nighttime skincare in your skin instead of in the fabric, but to maintain it's smooth properties, silk needs to be hand washed, air dried and ironed.

Microfiber pillowcases don't absorb moisture (or your skincare products), but they do wick moisture which can leave skin and hair dry. And when skin is dehydrated, fine lines and wrinkles become more pronounced.

The optimal fabric for your skin combines the benefits of cotton, silk, and microfiber, and Nollapelli is the answer.

Our patent-pending fabric balances moisture, regulates temperature, and reduces friction between your facial skin and your pillowcase, so you can wake up ready to face your day.

Smiling blonde woman waking up happy


Sign up to receive 15% off your first bedding order and test our better-for-you-bedding paired with your skincare for better sleep, skin, and hair.

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Free Shipping Thank Amazon ;0