Why Sleeping In Your Makeup Is Bad For Your Skin

by Emily McClure

Even though we hate to admit it, most of us are guilty of sleeping in our makeup every now and then. Whether it's due to a late night at work or just a late night in general, sleeping in our makeup can happen to the best of us. However, our skin is really what suffers from these choices. In fact, there are plenty of gross things that can happen to your skin if you don't take off your makeup before bed. It's kind of disgusting how quickly your makeup can turn on you.

In an interview with, dermatologist Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, stated that, "Our skin, like the rest of our body, functions on the circadian rhythm. At night the skin’s most important function is to renew itself. Wearing makeup and foundation at night prevents the renewal process, causing damage to the skin.”

While one night of sleeping in your makeup isn't likely to cause major damage, a continuous lack of cleansing the skin can. In fact, continual clogged pores and bacteria buildup can actually age the appearance of your skin, according to the Huffington Post.

Fight off unnecessary damage by making sure to cleanse your skin each and every night. If you can't stand the idea of washing your face, simply keep a pack of makeup removing wipes next to your bed for quick and easy removal. If not, the side effects could be pretty brutal. Here are 11 gross things that can happen to your skin if you don't remove your makeup.

1. Clogged Pores

A night of sleeping in your makeup can really take a toll on your pores. According to Refinery29, if not washed off, heavier makeup like oil-based foundations and primers can clog and expand the pores and leave your skin looking and feeling congested.

2. Wrinkles

While just one night of sleeping in your makeup won't cause premature aging, consistently clogged pores and trapped environmental toxins can. In fact, in a study conducted by the Daily Mail, one woman stopped cleansing her skin for an entire month, and would simply reapply her makeup each morning. According to the study, dermatologists concluded that after a month of not washing her face, the woman's skin literally appeared to age 10 years.

3. Pollution Gets Trapped In Your Pores

Throughout the day, your skin comes in contact with a variety of damaging environmental factors. This type of pollution can get absorbed into the skin, and trapped beneath your makeup. If you don't wash your face, this pollution can linger in the pores, and damage your skin, according to Good Housekeeping.

4. Chapped Lips

Sleeping in your favorite lipstick can have nasty consequences. Besides ingesting all the wax and particles in the lip color, reported that sleeping in your lipstick also dries out the skin on your lips.

5. Pink Eye

While eyeliner and mascara can do wonders for the look of your eyes, sleeping in these beauty products can actually damage your delicate peepers. As you sleep, your eye makeup smudges and transfers. This fallout can end up in your eyes, and create a bacteria infection like conjunctivitis or pink eye, according to

6. Styes

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Besides pink eye, another type of eye irritation that can occur from sleeping in your makeup is a stye. According to the Huffington Post, these small bumps form when the hair follicles around your eyelids becomes clogged and inflamed. Not only are these bumps unsightly, but they are also extremely painful.

7. Broken Eyelashes

JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images reported that overtime mascara buildup can lead to brittle, delicate lashes. This means higher risks of broken hair follicles and a sparser lash line.

8. Acne

It's a no-brainer that sleeping in your makeup can lead to breakouts. If you don't wash your face, makeup, dead skin cells, and bacteria get trapped in your pores and cause inflammation (AKA acne), according Good Housekeeping.

9. Dull Complexion

When you sleep, your skin cells turnover and reveal fresher, glowing skin. However, if you're still wearing your makeup at night, that buildup can prevent your cell's turnover rate, and leave you will duller looking skin.

10. Corneal Abrasions

Fulvio De Filippi/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In an interview with InStyle, dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm said, “Sleeping with eye makeup on puts a patient at risk for corneal abrasions (due to particles irritating the surface of the eye), and inflammation around the delicate tissue of the eye." This abrasion can cause serious longterm damage to the eye if not treated properly.

11. Blackheads

According to Seventeen, makeup has the ability to hold onto bacteria and dead skin cells. Once these nasty particles sink into the skin, they can clog the pores and produce blackheads.

Don't let your makeup ruin your beauty sleep. Instead, keep makeup wipes or micellar waters close by to scrub off any lingering traces of makeup, pollutants, or bacteria from your skin.

Images: Pixabay (9)