Is it bad to sleep with makeup on?
April 6, 2023
We’ve all done it. After a long day at work or a long night on the town—or both—exhaustion leads us to skip our nightly skin care routines and head straight to bed for that sweet, sweet sleep.
That means falling asleep with a full face of makeup–foundation, eye shadow, mascara, the works! But is it bad to sleep with makeup on? While it seems like the only option at the time, our skin could be paying a price.
From dark circles to breakouts to dullness, most experts agree that sleeping with makeup on is the furthest thing from beauty sleep. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) recommends that everyone cleanse their faces and remove makeup before going to bed, but especially those who have oily or acne-prone skin.
Artistry™ Creative Director of Makeup Design Rick DiCecca also advises against it. But if you just can’t help yourself now and then, he said, you shouldn’t stress.
“It’s true you shouldn’t wear makeup to bed, but I’ve had more than a few clients – young and old – that sleep in their makeup and they still have absolutely beautiful skin,” he said. “I don’t condone it, but it does happen.”
What are the potential problems? Let’s take a look!
If you need some specific reasons why sleeping with makeup is bad, we can help. Here are five reasons why sleeping with makeup on should be avoided.
Throughout the day our makeup acts like a magnet, holding onto harmful things like pollution or oil and residue from our hands and phones. Leaving that on your face overnight is like an open invitation for bacteria, clogged pores and breakouts.
While sleeping in eye makeup may sound very rock n’ roll, it’s far from glam. It can irritate the delicate skin around the eye area leading to dark circles and puffiness. And, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, if mini-particles make their way into your eyes it can cause redness and even infection.
If you want lush lashes, leaving them coated in mascara and liner 24/7 is a major no-no. In addition to causing them to become dry and brittle, if eye makeup clogs one of the tiny follicles at the base of your lashes it can lead to pain and inflammation.
At night, your skin goes through a natural recovery process, working to repair itself from any stressors or damage experienced throughout the day. Leaving your makeup on while you sleep can age your skin more quickly, according to the AADA.
Last but not least, while sleeping with makeup on may not immediately cause enlarged pores, it can certainly look that way as dirt left in the pores makes them more noticeable and appear instantly larger, even after sleeping with makeup on for one night.
Having said all that, there are various makeup products out there that are being marketed as okay to be slept in. They combine their color or shading qualities with other functions like fighting acne, hydrating, moisturizing, plumping, lifting or delivering antioxidants.
You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth it to look like a literal sleeping beauty, but in general the AADA advises that even makeup specifically formulated not to cause blocked pores can still trigger acne if you sleep in it.
For those who opt for removal and are wondering how to remove makeup quickly on those nights when washing your face is the absolute last thing in the world you want to do, there are fast and easy ways to get it done. One of the best options is micellar water.
It’s the ultimate multitasker: It can unclog pores, improve the skin’s appearance and provide gentle hydration. It can be cleanser, toner or makeup remover. And it can be used on the go with little to no rinsing required.
You can get it in a bottle or ready-to-use wipes that you can keep in your bedside stand for convenience. For the bottle, soak a cotton pad in micellar cleansing water and wipe the pad across any part of your skin with makeup or sunscreen. Gently press and hold the cotton pad on your eyelids to help loosen eye makeup before rubbing.
If you pulled out all the stops on your eye makeup that day, you can boost the effectiveness of the wipes on longwearing and waterproof makeup formulas by adding a few drops of micellar water to them. That will make it super easy to remove every last bit of makeup and set you up for some true beauty sleep!
If you stayed out super late, however, even removing makeup won’t be able to eliminate the chance you’ll have puffy eyes in the morning from lack of sleep. Check out these tips to reduce eye puffiness so you’ll be ready to start your day with confidence!
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