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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You'll Never Want To Sleep With Makeup Again

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You'll Never Want To Sleep With Makeup Again

I have a confession to make.

When I wear makeup, I nearly always end up going to bed with it still on (or by then, basically melting off of) my face.

But aside from lipstick, I probably wear makeup fewer than 10 times a year. I figured that sleeping with it on every once in a while probably isn’t a big deal. Right?

The other day I texted my own personal beauty guru (AKA one of my best friends whose obsessions are her dog, skincare, and coffee, in that order) about one of my worst habits.

“What happens to my face if I’m still sleeping in Saturday night‘s makeup?” I asked.

Her reply was nearly instantaneous, “You’ll find out in ten years.”

Cue grimacing face emoji.

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I’ve heard my entire life that sleeping with makeup is bad, including from my mom, whose grandmother told her she would age five years for every night she didn’t take her makeup off. But even all these warnings haven’t been enough to stop me from doing it. So how bad is it really?

Buckle in—because what I found out has totally changed the way I wash my face after a night out!

Woman removing her makeup

4 reasons that sleeping with makeup is bad

1. Acne

For those among us who live on the wild side by regularly not taking our makeup off, the worst thing we think can probably happen is a dreaded pimple or two. After all, acne is caused when pores are clogged and since makeup can cover or migrate into pores, not washing makeup away can equal acne. Some ingredients in cosmetics, even clean, vegan make-up, can trigger breakouts, too.

But it’s not just the makeup itself that’s causing clogs. By not washing my face, I was also leaving on the day’s worth of sweat and dirt. And even when I wash the rest of my face, if I’m not removing eyeshadow, eyeliner, or mascara for the night, or, ahem, several days, that gunk is migrating around my face and trying to have a party in my pores.

And acne is just the start.

2. Pollutants

But the long-term consequence is also something to be aware of: premature aging, due to reactive particles known as free radicals.

There are still unknowns about just how much damage free radicals can cause. Though some of these particles are created naturally by our body’s metabolic processes, external pollutants and ultra violet rays are free radicals that have the ability to change DNA and speed the aging process.

Pollutants also break down collagen, which leads to skin looking less plump and augmenting the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Though the science of what happens when you sleep in makeup is still forming, this inspired me to start playing it safe and not sleeping with makeup any longer!

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3. Exfoliation

Our skin is constantly shedding old skin cells and generating new ones. We help this process along both when we wash our skin and when we use exfoliating products. And, yes, when we remove makeup, too.

I noticed that my skin is often flakier on the days after I’ve slept with makeup on. This could be dry skin caused by not washing and moisturizing, or it could be that I’m dulling my skin’s exfoliation process. Or both! (It’s probably both.)

4. Puffy and peeved eyes

I always have a little bit of eye bags going on, but when I sleep in my makeup I notice that my bags have bags. My eyes are often red. I also will develop a blocked oil gland or two along my lashline. And, um, I usually shed a lot more eyelashes than usual—as it turns out, sleeping with makeup on can cause lashes to become brittle and thin. Yikes.

My eye doctor and future me would probably both like it if I never slept in mascara again.

Can vegan and cruelty-free makeup help?

vegan and cruelty-free makeup is less likely to irritate, can be non-comedogenic (AKA not clog pores), and won’t contain environmental pollutants or toxins.

Though I’m not yet 100% on the clean beauty train, I’ve switched to vegan mascara to give my eyes a break and better condition my lashes. I also prefer vegan lipsticks, too. (Do you know how much lipstick you accidentally consume? DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT GOOGLE THIS.)

Closeup of makeup product

How to take care of your skin

If you’re ready to level up and develop a new routine but aren’t sure where to start, may I direct you to our fantastic skincare for beginners primer? That lovely guide help you pick and choose the type and number of products that work for you.

As for me, I’m a less-is-more girl, so in an effort to stop sleeping in makeup I’ve been trying out new items that can do double or triple duty.

One product from a recent Kinder Beauty Box that I stumbled on is the Dirty Lamb Apricot Cleansing Oil. I squirt a few pumps of this into my hands and massage it onto unwashed, unwetted skin and my concealer and lipstick just melt away. Because it’s oil-based, it adds moisture to my skin just before bed (which is right when I need it).

I’ve also started using another Kinder Beauty Box discovery: The mermaid-approved Earth Harbor Aqua Aura Reparative Eye Creme, which can be used day or night—I’m fond of daytime, when I also put it on the red skin under and around my nose, too, and sometimes add a dab or two to the crepe-thin skin I have where my neck meets my chest.

Final thoughts

When the evidence stacks up like it does in this case, it’s abundantly clear that everyone from my bestie to Granny Fortson were right: I need to be taking better care of myself. And if you’re prone to sleep in your makeup, I know you deserve that self-care too! Let’s make a pact here and now that from now on we’re going to get that makeup off as quickly as possible.

Clean skincare products can be part of our solution, friends; we can do this!

Leah M. Charney (she/her) is sassy yet classy and is always seeking a beauty routine to match. She delights in both the science and aesthetics of the clean beauty movement.

Sources: Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging | National Library of Medicine, Can Poor Sleep Affect Skin Integrity? | National Library of Medicine

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