Switch Out Pillows & Towels For Your Skin

By Minji 

  • Pillows collect all of your dead skin cells, body oil and hair follicles and it's recommended that you switch them out every two years 
  • After two years,10% of the weight of your pillow can be from dead dust mites and their droppings!  
  • Same goes for towels - to prevent skin issues, mold and mildew, refresh every 2-3 years

Have any of you out there developed weird “allergies” later in life?  I had never experienced any allergic symptoms until I turned 40.  Then, mysteriously, I started feeling this subtle urge to clear my throat more often.  As if a tiny fur ball or dust clump were lodged in my throat and I needed to get it out.  I asked my doctor and based on a few quick tests and questions, he concluded it was likely that I was mildly allergic to something in my immediate environment.  

I was baffled since I’ve never struggled with allergies ever in my life.  But then he proceeded to tell me it could be as simple as dust at home or pollen in the air… this made me take a closer look at my all too familiar surroundings.  I became suspicious of everything – the couch, the bed, my towels…all of my dependable and comfy material possessions were now suspects in my allergy witch hunt. 

I wish I could tell you that I found the cause and no longer have the urge to clear my throat.  Alas, unfortunately, I never got to the bottom of it and I still have the throat issue – although it’s not as pronounced and feels a bit better.  However, this incident was a catalyst for bringing upon related positive developments.  Mainly, I got clear on the importance of switching out my pillows and towels regularly for my skin and overall health. 

With the doctor’s advice, I started thinking about the elements in my home closest to my face.  The focus came down to my pillows and towels.  I had already been washing my pillow cases and sheets at least once a week but realized that I’d probably owned my pillows themselves forever.  Unlike mattresses that can last up to 10 years or so, experts recommend you change out pillows every other year.  Pillows are right in your face and collect all of your dead skin cells, body oil and hair follicles.  This generates the ideal environment for dust mites, which are well-known common allergens.  So in addition to regularly washing the covers, you should totally switch them out once in a while too. 

 The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also recommends that you replace your pillows every two years. On their website they point out that after two years,10% of the weight of your pillow can be from dead dust mites and their droppings. You can’t see them, but they are there.  How gross is that?  

Same goes for the towels in your bathroom.  Towels also directly come into contact with your face and body daily.  Different experts have slightly varying guidelines, but it seems similar to pillows, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to refresh every 2-3 years.  Both pillows and towels aren’t horribly expensive so if the benefit is avoiding skin issues, dust mites, mold, mildew and protecting yourself from other allergens, I think it’s worth it. 

As part of my annual spring cleaning ritual this year, I switched out every pillow and towel in my house.  Afterwards, it felt great just thinking about how this would benefit my skin and overall health.  As an added benefit, through new towels, I was able to color coordinate by bathroom and make it feel more like a beautiful skincare sanctuary.  On top of that, I made sure my new pillows were super low to protect my neck from unnecessary wrinkles - all in a days work!