The Harms of Sleeping with Makeup On…Take it Off!

Oh no, you’ve done it again. After a late night out with the girls, you came home and went straight to bed – passed out with keys in hand, shoes, jacket, and makeup still intact. Now you’ve woken up with a cakey mess heavy on your face – mascara smeared, eyeliner a disaster, and the unsettling feeling of a breakout threatening and looming underneath all your concealer. Uh oh, you think. Mhm, your furious skin responds.

We get it, we’ve been there. Whether it was a night out that did you in, or perhaps an unexpected delay that left you stranded overnight at an airport, taking off your makeup was the least of your worries. Dr. Prystowsky is here to explain why it needs to be one of your top priorities.

The Skin That Never Sleeps

What exactly goes on with your skin while you sleep? It’s easy to imagine that as you lay sleeping through the long hours of the night your skin is equally dormant or perhaps even overly active, shedding, or renewing cells it didn’t get a chance to take care of during the day.

Not exactly. Nothing necessarily changes in your skin function during the night that differs from its regular daily function. You may then be asking, so if I wear makeup during the day, what’s the difference in wearing it overnight?

If makeup is left on for extended amounts of periods (i.e. through the day and then overnight), it will be more prone to clog your pores. Clogged pores can then lead to the appearance of blackheads. And that’s talking about any makeup – mineral-based products included. There’s no difference (or benefit!) says Dr. Prystowsky.

Whether a product is non-comedegenic or oil-free doesn’t matter either. Dr. P says,“Neither are OK to sleep in. For normal use, it will depend on your skin type. I generally recommend trying one product at a time for an extended period, e.g. 1 month. If you do not have good results, try another product. Alternating between products on a short timescale can be misleading if you develop an irritation.”

Mascara and eyeliner are a no-go, too. Sleeping in eye makeup increases the risk of eye irritation. Lipstick isn’t a safe bet either – good luck with washing your stained pillowcases if you choose to do so.

When it comes to sleeping with makeup on, repeat after me: DO NOT DO IT.

Nighty Night – Night Skincare

To avoid the negative effects of sleeping with makeup on, be sure to practice a regular nightly skin routine. You don’t need anything too fancy to make an impact – start with (and stick to!) the basic necessity: wash your face every night before bed.

And no, Miss Lazy – makeup wipes do not count. Makeup wipes do not replace traditional face washing. Dr. Prystowsky explains why:

“First, makeup wipes do not completely wash off all your makeup. Second, chemical preservatives will remain on your skin and potentially cause irritation. Makeup wipes are good in a pinch, like when you are travelling, but they shouldn’t replace traditional face washing.”

Be sure to pay attention to your pillow cases as well, as they can impact your skin health just as much. Dr. P suggests washing your pillowcases at least once a week. Opt for softer pillowcase material if your skin is sensitive to rough fabric.

All in all, do yourself a favor and wash your face before catching some Zzz’s – you’ll sleep better knowing you’re taking care of your skin.

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