Sometimes it can be hard to remember (or take the time to) wash your face before bed, as it's tempting to just slide under the covers after a long, busy day. However, making this habit a priority can save you from a full on pizza face. By not removing your makeup before bed and forgoing that nightly cleanse, you're putting yourself at risk of a slew of unhygienic consequences that can wreak havoc on your skin and mess with your confidence.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on taking care of themselves better and prioritizing personal hygiene, healthy habits, and self-care rituals. When you're looking great on the outside, you're bound to feel awesome on the inside, as well. Personally, whenever I break out, I feel as though the whole world is staring at my pimples. It totally doesn't feel good. Sleeping in your makeup definitely ups this tendency, and it can spur flareups, especially on acne-prone skin or people with sensitivities to certain environments and materials. Why make your skin even worse? Here are 11 gross things that can happen if you're lazy and ditch a wash before going to bed. Trust me, you'll probably regret it.
1. Infected Eye Lash Roots
"One thing I see a lot of as a makeup artist, is swollen, infected eyelash roots, linked directly to models not removing their mascara and eyeliner at night," says Katey Denno, celebrity makeup artist, over email with Bustle. "If you're simply feeling too exhausted to make it to the bathroom sink for a thorough face washing, keep a stash of wipes in your nightstand. My go-to are the super hydrating, softest cloths from Biossance, which will ensure a quick and easy removal of any bacteria-trapping makeup, pronto," recommends Denno.
It should seem as no surprise that sleeping in makeup can lead to breakouts, as the makeup will increase exposure to dirt, bacteria, and other environmental factors that can settle into your pores and skin late at night. Denno advises that acne definitely can be triggered by not washing your face and recommends a soft, gentle cleanser, as opposed to harsh substances.
3. Faster-Than-Normal Aging
According to Dr. James C. Marotta, Facial Plastic Surgeon & Skincare Expert, over interview with Good Housekeeping, sleeping with makeup on can lead to wrinkles. As if you needed to speed the inevitable aging process, right? Take makeup off before bed for a brighter, more youthful complexion and a slower, visible aging process.
4. Chapped Lips
No one likes to kiss with dry, chapped lips. Plus, in the wintertime, it's hard enough keeping lips moist and smooth. Over interview with Style Caster, dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY, explained that sleeping with makeup on can lead to chapped, rough lips. Wash nightly, and your partner will appreciate it.
5. Irritated Eyes
When you forget to wash your face at night, you run the chances of letting bacteria and particles from your makeup (think mascara and eyeliner, especially) seep into your eyes, which can lead to irritation, discomfort, and potential eye infections. These infections can cause itchiness and redness, and they should be treated right away.
When you sleep in makeup, small hair follicles and oil can get clogged around your eyelids, and this can lead to styes or hordeolums, as explained by Dr. Eric Schweiger, founder of the Clear Clinic, over interview with Huffington Post. These need to be eliminated by a doctor, unless they go away naturally. They can be seen as small bumps on the skin.
7. Interference With Product Absorption
According to Dennis Gross, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, over interview with Refinery 29, sleeping in your makeup one night can block the body's ability to absorb moisturizers and other cleansing products the following evening. For better skin, allow products to work effectively and keep a nightly wash as a ritual.
If you're not removing your makeup properly, you're putting yourself at risk of getting acne in the form of cysts, which should be removed by a doctor, as they can get bigger and spread. Plus, choosing the right makeup and facial washes is also important, as too harsh of chemicals can lead to breakouts in pimples and cysts on the skin.
9. Larger Pores
Over interview with Shape, Rachel Nazarian, M.D., New York-based dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group explained that sleeping in your makeup can lead to larger, deeper, and more clogged pores, which can result in more acne and a worsened complexion. This will block the skin's ability to refresh and strengthen cells, as noted.
According to dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain, over interview with Seventeen, sleeping without washing your makeup off can lead to blackheads on your face, which are hard to remove without some form of treatment or an appointment with a dermatologist or facialist. Lain also said that these blackheads are especially prevalent around the mouth and lips (yuck).
11. Dry Skin
According to Melanie Palm, MD, MBA, over interview with Instyle, forgetting to wipe your makeup off before hitting the sheets can lead to inflammation in the skin. When there's increased inflammation, skin is more likely to become dry, red, and flaky, Palm expressed. It's best to keep inflammation at bay for moistened, smoother skin.
If you're known to be forgetful come bed time and often find your pillowcase sporting a tan and black glow, you'll not only regret those makeup stains, but also what all that dirt and bacteria can do to your skin come morning. Set an alarm, keep wipes by your bed, whatever helps you remember, works.