What Happens When You Don't Remove Your Makeup

by Lindsey Rose Black

Sleeping with your makeup on once or twice isn't exactly the worst thing ever, and you can guarantee I won't judge you for the occasional slip. But what happens when you don't remove your makeup at night regularly might legitimately make your skin crawl. From unwanted pimples to way, way worse things, this list will make you always reach for that makeup wipe before hitting the sheets.

I'm pretty hardcore about taking all my makeup off before bed, but wasn't always that way. My senior year of college, I would schedule classes in the afternoon so I could go out on weeknights and still not miss any classes the next day. Heaven knows that I'd often end up back at my apartment in the wee hours of the morning and find myself crawling into bed without a single thought about wiping off my waterproof mascara or lip gloss. Let's just say this was a mistake.

My genetics have been kind when it comes to pimple struggles, but I noticed I started breaking out way more consistently after leaving blush on overnight (shocker). Additionally, my eyes would always be super irritated after having hours for eyeliner and mascara bits to sink into my actual eyes.

I try to wash my face every night but, at the very least, always use a makeup removal wipe. If you're not as committed to removing your makeup at night, this list might convince you that you should be. Here are 9 that can happen when you leave your makeup on overnight.

1. Eye Irritation

Dermalogica‘s Education Manager of the Dermal Insititue, Emma Hobson told the Glow "Removing your makeup is such an important step in your daily skin care regimen" and skipping it can cause "possible eye irritations and infections." This is because tiny particles of eye makeup, mascara, and eye liner can slip into your eye and cause redness, itchiness and, yes, even infections.

2. Blackheads

Dermatologist Dr. Ted Lane told Seventeen, "Waxes in many lip products can lead to clogged pores in the skin around your pucker, which could turn into small blackheads." No thank you!

3. Thin Lashes

As explained on EyeCare2020, "Leaving mascara on your lashes overnight will dry out your lashes and make them brittle. If done too many times, your lashes could end up thinning and falling out." Gulp.

4. Pimples

Perhaps the most obvious, sleeping in makeup means your skin can't properly shed dead cells and can result in clogged pores and, ultimately, outbreaks.

5. Premature Aging

"Sleeping in your makeup can increase your exposure to free radicals (which makeup attracts during the day), leading to collagen breakdown and skin that ages faster," shared Dr. James C. Marotta with GoodHouseKeeping. Yikes.

6. Dry Lips

The chemicals in lipsticks can cause them to leach the moisture from your lips overnight, leaving them chapped and dry.

7. Dry Skin

Dr. Dennis Gross, MD, shared on Refinery29, "Leftover makeup residue ... can inhibit the absorption of skin-care products by creating a barrier that prevents beneficial ingredients from penetrating the skin's surface." This essentially means that leftover makeup could prevent your moisturizer from being effective the next day.

8. Clogged Hair Follicles

Regularly falling asleep in mascara and liner "may result in the clogging of the tiny hair follicles and oil glands on your eyelids," dermatologist Dr. Schweiger told Huffington Post. "When these areas become clogged ... small bumps called styes or hordeolums can form."

9. Possible Cysts

Beyond small styes, sleeping mascara can even straight up cause eyelid cysts. If that isn't motivation to wake up enough to wash your face, I don't know what is.

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Images: Heredia Reyes, Eli DeFaria, Anna Boeva, Kyle Broad, Neill Kumar(2), Jamie Brown, Gabriel Nunes, Felipe Benoit Photography, Tomohiko Nogi/Unsplash