So THAT'S What's Causing Bleach Spots On Your Towels

It's your acne medication, probably.
11/13/2015 10:10am ET | Updated November 13, 2015

You know those discolored splotches that appear on your towels? The ones that appear riiight where you wipe your face at night, perhaps?

You've always wondered what they are. You've tried to ignore them. You wash your towels and hope for the best. But there's a sneaky, sneaky cause:

Those discolored patches on your towels are most likely due to the benzoyl peroxide in your acne medication or face wash.

Lots of acne-targeting products, like Clearasil and Proactiv, contain benzoyl peroxide. The ingredient acts like a bleach on textiles, according to Missy Tannen, founder of luxury linen line Boll & Branch. Aha!

Howard Shooter via Getty Images

Benzoyl peroxide is found in many over-the-counter acne medications but not all of them, dermatologist Amy Wechsler told The Huffington Post. It's best to check your product to make sure it won't damage your towels, sheets or other textiles.

The spots could also be a result of bleach in your whitening toothpaste or residue from household cleaners that contain bleach. Experts agree that these causes are more unlikely, but they're still something to watch out for.

There ARE towels that tout themselves as benzoyl peroxide and bleach-resistant. You can find them in many home stores, though user reviews indicate that they don't work very well. Tannen says there's a very easy solution: "Choose white towels to avoid ruining them!"

Done and done.

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