With a million things to do in a day, from making it to the gym before work to squeezing in some wine and Netflix before bed, who has time to make the bed every day, let alone wash their sheets every week?
If you're guilty of letting too much time pass before washing your bedding, you might want to reconsider skipping that chore. Because if you don't, and you find yourself sleeping on dirty sheets night after night, you're going to have to deal with some seriously icky side effects.
Pass out with your makeup on too many nights in a row? You're doing a disservice to your face (think dry skin, early signs of aging, inflammation, and —fun! — infections) and your bed. "Not only will you get stains everywhere, but bacteria can start to build up in the fibers, which can cause annoying whiteheads and patchy pimples, or exacerbate already existing acne — even if you have cleaned your skin," says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, director of Capital Laser and Skin Care. Tanzi suggests washing your face and body with a good cleanser before bed in addition to washing your sheets every seven to 10 days.
2. Skin Irritation or Eczema
"In addition to attracting bacteria, dirty sheets rub against your skin while you sleep — and that friction can lead to skin irritation," says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a NYC-based dermatologist. Self-treating with greasy ointments or heavy creams can actually add to the problem, because those products are harder to absorb and will transfer to your linens, where they'll stay even longer, putting you at risk for more bacteria. If you need to treat a skin condition like eczema, Zeichner advises speaking to your dermatologist about medications that won't rub off and can be quickly (and fully) absorbed, so as to not worsen the germy wasteland that is your bed.