Skincare

What Sleeping in Your Makeup Does to Your Skin

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Beautiful girl sleeps in the bedroom

Image: Shutterstock/lenetstan

We’ve all done this before. You spent the night dancing with your friends (and flirting with that cute guy at the bar) and now you’re exhausted. After spending hours on your feet, the only thing on your mind is face planting onto your warm and comfy bed. But when you wake up the next morning, last night’s mascara turns into today’s smoky eye. Not the good kind.

The number one makeup mistake that many people make is sleeping with their makeup on. We get it. When you get home, the last thing you want to do is wash your face. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve come home feeling so exhausted that I fell asleep with my full face on in the past month alone. That is, until I got a brutal wakeup call and woke up with my skin feeling like it was burning. Even though it’s a hard habit to break, constantly sleeping with your makeup on has negative effects on your skin.

1. You’ll get more wrinkles.
Sleeping in your makeup speeds up your skin’s aging process. All of the bacteria your skin collects from the day clogs your pores, which breaks down your collagen. This also prevents your skin from creating new cells while you sleep. This causes hyperpigmentation, loose skin and wrinkles. To combat this, make sure you use a facial cleanser and moisturizer before going to bed.

2. You’ll experience breakouts more often.
You may not notice anything at first, but leaving your pores clogged with old makeup is never pretty. The trapped oil causes your skin to breakout and become irritated. This is especially true if you use primer and wear foundation. If you’re prone to skin flare ups, it’s crucial that you wash your face before you sleep.

3. Your eyelashes will eventually break off.
Mascara is the greatest gift we’ve ever received from the makeup gods, and yet forgetting to take it off can have serious effects. For instance, leaving on old and dry mascara can force your lashes to split or break off completely. Yikes!

4. Your chances of getting a stye or an infection increase twofold.
There is no greater hell than waking up with your eyes feeling dry and swollen. When you sleep, any eye makeup residue will end up caked beneath your eyelids, making it easier for the bacteria to build up and cause your eyes to become infected.

5. Your lips will crack more easily.
When it comes to wearing lipstick, you’re really good about keeping your lips hydrated. But sleeping in your lipstick, even once, will cause your lips to feel dry and cracked in the morning. Matte lipstick lovers, beware: the wax/drying formula in your lipstick dries out your lip’s natural moisture even faster. Protect your pucker by applying chapstick or gently brushing your lips with water or petroleum jelly!

6. Your skin will become dry and irritated.

Your old makeup combined with any outside pollutants will stop your skin from getting the moisture it needs. Make sure you thoroughly exfoliate your skin before you go to bed and when you wake up.

Cassandra is a beauty and women's health writer. She spends most of her time treating herself to dinner and movie dates, pretending her life is a Marvel comic and figuring out how to keep her makeup on her face. Not necessarily in that order. She blogs about affordable outfits from her favorite movies and TV shows at Onscreencloset.com.