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Acne Products Stain Sheets

Before You Stain Another Set of 800 Thread Count Sheets...

The problem: You have a pimple. You dab some spot treatment on it, go to bed, and wake up with two problems: the pimple's still there and your beloved designer sheets have streaks of telltale orange from your acne product. Blast! Resolved to never have this happen to me again, I consulted New York City dermatologist Dr. Doris J. Day for some answers.

"At any concentration, even 2.5%, benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabric," she says. "Even if you use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser and don't rinse well enough, it'll bleach your towel and sheets (but it doesn't bleach your skin). Retin-A can also stain because it has a preservative in it, but generally, if you're getting stains from using a retinol product, chances are you're using too much." To find out what Dr. Day thinks is more effective for spots than benzoyl peroxide anyway,


What's the alternative to using benzoyl peroxide?
I actually like salicylic acid better for a spot treatment because it's more of an exfoliant. I actually even like it better than glycolic acid. By the time a pimple has formed, your body has already reacted to it. It's figured out there's something going on there and done it's own attack. Benzoyl peroxide will help control or kill bacteria that causes acne, so it can be useful for prevention.

Do all-natural products stain?
Just because something is a plant extract doesn't mean something won't stain. Grass stains! And many dyes are made from natural materials. It's a good idea to test any product on a piece of fabric if you are worried about stains.

P.S. Dr. Day works with GoodSkin, and she promises their spot treatment won't ruin your bedding.

justanerd1975 justanerd1975 9 years
wow BP or SDYC. neverworked for me, so I will have to remember that they DO work or some people... the only thing that ever got rid of pimples for me was rubbing alchohol, spot treating of course ;)
dani-v dani-v 9 years
I've tried salicylic acid before and it didnt help my acne at all only BP has ever worked, so i would rather sacrifice a few pillow covers than have a pizza face
AbigailSwPeaLily AbigailSwPeaLily 9 years
Salicylic acid a slick (slip and slide on skin) product. I prefer some mild peroxide for that fresh grease removal quicker.
plasticine1 plasticine1 9 years
benzoyl peroxide has never stained my sheets before and i think it does actually bleach skin
ChristinaMUFE ChristinaMUFE 9 years
BP is bad. Salicylic is the way to go. Sulfur smells like all get out but it's beter than BP!
ckeller825 ckeller825 9 years
that's so weird, b/c i always sleep w/BP on my face and i've never stained my sheets or pillowcases. And they're most definitely colorful.
kitaloclef kitaloclef 9 years
Yup, been there. I've had this problem off and on over the years, before I started reading beauty blogs and became an educated consumer. I always just thought it was something weird with the laundry. We recently bought new towels (in part because of how horrible they looked due to the BP!), and I noticed it right away. I use a BP cleanser at night so now I have one towel that's just specifically used for when I wash my face. Then I don't ruin the others!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Salicylic acid is better for me too but I learned the hard way BP can stain things. I've stained many towels and couldn't figure out how.
superjules superjules 9 years
Neither my Doc nor my Pharmacist warned me about the hazards of BP and my very beautiful 1000 thread count sheets were ruined. A little heads up would have been nice. And yes sldc, I know the difference between single thread and double thread sheets etc. I prefer the heaviness of the higher thread count, it's almost like an extra blanket. Needless to say, I don't use BP anymore.
cmill38 cmill38 9 years
i'm going with the doc on this one. i much prefer to use products with salicylic acid.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
When I spot treat--I know this is weird. I place a small piece of scotch tape over the spot and the cream I use. Weird I know but it doesn't slip off and stays concentrated on the spot. Side note: I remember when Clean and Clear use to make those dots for pimples - you place it on the blemish for spot treatment ---they discontinued them. I miss them.
sofi sofi 9 years
I've learned this the hard way with a set of my favorite sheets. My cheaper sheets don't stain/bleach though. :shrug: I use a Rx BP cream but only in the morning. Some of my wash cloths have discolored, but they were cheap and meant to be used for such stuff.
sldc sldc 9 years
I cannot help but mention... any thread count in the 400s and above tend to basically be a farce. There is a lot more to bedding quality than inflated thread counts. A quality one ply extra long staple cotton with a tight weave and a nice smooth finish is softest. Some people like thick, heavy crisp sheets, but I think soft sheets with a nice sheen is far more luxurious. Over-simplified marketing stats are for novices. /off soapbox
Beauty Beauty 9 years
There's a "Pillow Talk" joke in here to be made, but maybe it would only be funny to those of us who love '50s madcap romantic comedies starring Rock Hudson. ;)
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Yes, psyche - I thought it was funny that the good doctor is Doris Day! :-p
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Benzoyl peroxide kills my skin anyway - redness, peeling, flaking, and many other attractive effects - so I don't use it anymore. I did ruin my fair share of pajama tops, sheets, and pillowcases back in the day though. Salicylic acid, sulfur, and tea tree oil seem to produce better results for me these days...
psyche2 psyche2 9 years
Did no one notice the Dr.'s name? So cute.
psychobabble psychobabble 9 years
I used a facial cleansing system that used BP and I ruined our brand new towels that we got as a wedding present! My husband won't let me live it down!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I don't actually use BP. It'll just end up making my face red.
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 9 years
Received two lovely sets of 800-count linens as a wedding present.:) Now I can use them with a clear conscience, not worried about staining them with my facial stuff. They have been stored away to keep them nice. Now they are going on the bed! :)
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