We've all done it. Got home after a party and crashed into bed without removing our makeup. You're tired, and bothering to even wash your face is too much.
While doing this occasionally probably won't hurt, you shouldn't make a habit of going to bed with your makeup still on for a variety of reasons. Here are some things which should help you remember to at least wash your face:
Eye makeup can really mess you up. When you sleep, you rub your eyes against the pillow, which rubs that mascara into your eyes. You'll wake up with itchy eyes and, worst case, you might even get an eye infection. Long-term, you can damage your eyes and your vision. Leaving on mascara can also damage your eyelashes, meaning you might not have much to put that mascara on for a while. Finally, makeup can clog the spores around your eyelashes, resulting in the development of a stye, which might put you in the doctor's office.
So, it's vital to remove your eye makeup before going to bed. Nobody wants a case of pinkeye.
Adult women can, and do get acne, and if you're at all prone to it, leaving foundation on overnight is very likely to cause a flare-up. This is particularly true if you use oil-based foundation rather than powder.
Not removing foundation can also cause premature wrinkles and, of course, clog your pores. Then no amount of makeup is going to make you look good. Simply washing your face before you go to bed will get rid of that foundation.
Some people will get zits after even one night without makeup. You know who you are and you know to be extra careful. However, routinely sleeping with makeup can cause breakouts even in people who don't normally have any problems.
Keeping lipstick on is often a problem and you've almost certainly gone to lengths to help it survive the night, but it too needs to be washed off before you sleep.
Most glosses and lipsticks contain wax to make them last longer. That wax will dry out your lips and cause them to chap. In fact, if you wear a lot of lipstick, you should apply lip balm before sleeping to undo the damage.
Makeup residue can dry out your skin, and it can also make your moisturizer less effective. Dry skin leads to itching, cracking, and even bleeding. This, in turn, increases your risk of an infection. While this is more likely to happen on your hands and places prone to dryness like your elbows, you probably don't want to chance it.
If you get eczema, this can also cause a flareup. Your skin will also lose elasticity.
Your skin sheds some overnight; this is a normal process. Makeup inhibits this, which means that when you get up the morning, your skin will be dull. This will tell everyone at work you were partying last night...you'll look exhausted and stressed out. (And alcohol also makes your skin dull).
Then you'll be scrambling to fix your tired face; better reduce it in the first place by removing your makeup. If you are prone to dull skin, you may want to exfoliate regularly with alpha hydroxy acids.
Your skin doesn't like free radicals that float around in the air. Makeup tends to trap them next to your skin, which can cause inflammation and irritation. Over time, this leads to premature aging. It can even create age spots. Not wearing makeup for too long is the best way to avoid this, and sleeping in it definitely counts as "too long."
Of course, the consequences to your skin are the primary reason not to, but not leaving glittery eye shadow all over your pillow or sheets is another reason to wash your makeup off before you go to bed.
If you leave makeup residue on your pillow, that can be almost as bad for your skin as leaving it on your face; make sure to wash your pillowcase regularly, but try to avoid leaving residue in the first place.
So, how can you avoid getting into this situation in the first place? There are a few things you can do.
Ways to Avoid Sleeping in Makeup
Here are some ways to avoid sleeping in your makeup:
- Have a night skincare routine that has become second nature. Practice it until you don't even think about it, even if you are tired.
- Remove makeup when you get in from that dinner date rather than waiting until later. This might not help if you are out until 2am.
- Keep makeup remover wipes on your nightstand. Washing your face properly is better, but if you are really too tired, having wipes right there can make a huge difference. They're a lot better than nothing.
Mostly it's about making sure that removing your makeup at night becomes a habit you don't have to worry about.
What if You Did Sleep in your Makeup?
So you wake up with a smudge on your pillow. Oops. The good news is that one night every now and then is not going to result in skin armageddon unless you have very sensitive skin.
However, you should mitigate the damage right away, by thoroughly washing your face and applying skin care products. This should stem off any breakouts and other immediate result of having accidentally snoozed with your face still covered. Wash your hands before doing so, in case your skin is damaged.
Then change out your pillowcase. If you're traveling in a hotel and don't want housekeeping to do a full clean, switch to one of the extra pillows. The pillowcase is going to need to be washed.
But the best thing to do is not go to sleep with makeup on in the first place. Make sure to do your night skin routine no matter how tired you are or how late it is, and keep those makeup remover wipes on your nightstand as a backup.