What Sleeping In Your Makeup Really Does To Your Skin

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Guilty or not guilty? – that is the question. How many times do we hear the cardinal rule of never sleeping with your makeup on? It’s ingrained in our minds from the moment we discover the true meaning of mascara, but how many of us actually adhere to the rule?

I’ve been guilty of it in the past (many many times over). Late nights, one too many strawberry daiquiris and just plain laziness all get in the way of self motivation. The last thing that I want to do after a heavy night out is spend precious snoozing time wiping off the slap. So much so that I actually justify leaving it on – ‘if I sleep really really still then maybe, just maybe my lipstick won’t end up half way up my forehead’. Of course, that never works out for me and I awake from my deep slumber looking like something that’s been run over (twice).

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So running a makeup wipe over your face before bed is a good thing right? – wrong! I spent many of my youthful years believing that a simple makeup wipe would suffice for my night time skincare routine. That, of course, was when I was young, dumb and full of…fun, but now that I’m old(er) my skin needs so much more! Makeup wipes do wonders in taking off the initial layer of makeup (the Neutrogena All In One Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are by far my favourite wipes ever), but in order to get the real nitty gritty out from your skin you need a proper cleansing routine (check out my nighttime skin care routine here).

Sounds like a lot of work? It is! I can’t tell you how jealous it makes me feel when my husband flops straight onto the bed after a late evening leaving me to perform nothing short of a mini surgery on my face before I can even think about going to bed. Perhaps jealous is a harsh word to use, but I’m definitely envious – some of us aren’t born naturally as beautiful as others (I’ll take my cheque in the post husband). However, what if I were to tell you what happens to your skin when you don’t take your makeup off at night? Would it change your perception on things? Well let’s take a look shall we?…

Enlarged pores and blackheads – The most obvious result of not cleansing your face at night. Makeup, along with daily dirt and grime can cause excessive build up of your skin’s natural oil glands. Excess oil, mixed with other substances cause your pores to clog making it difficult for the natural oil to flow freely. This, in turn, causes the pore itself to enlarge to allow for the additional oil, but with great difficulty. Barriers such as makeup cause the oil to become trapped (particularly around the nose) and therefore leads to issues such as blackheads.

Sensitive skin – Sleeping in your makeup causes a lock-down on your skin. Foundations, concealers and practically any form of makeup that you put on your face creates a barrier against natural elements. Sounds like a good thing, but in actual fact, you’re reducing the amount of oxygen and moisture that your skin would otherwise receive if you had no makeup on. Irritants are essentially ‘locked’ into the skin, exacerbating allergic reactions. Feed your skin, like you would with any other part of your body when you’re ill and your skin will love you for it.

Dryness – Much like my previous point, lack of moisture and oxygen leaves you with parched skin obviously. However, not taking your makeup off at night reduces your cell renewal process therefore creating a backlog of ‘dead’ skin. This dead skin is further exaggerated by foundations and other base makeup. It’s a vicious cycle, but it can all be avoided by cleansing your face in the correct manner before you go to bed.

Eyelash reduction – Read what you will of the latest mascara to take the makeup world by storm, but the bottom line is – it’s a chemical that you’re applying to your natural lashes. Weighty chemicals worn for a prolonged period of time on your lashes can cause a breakdown of the hair follicles and therefore reduce the amount of lashes that we naturally reproduce. Treating your lashes to a growth serum or even a natural oil will encourage growth and ensure that your lashes stay in place.

Eye irritation – We naturally rub our eyes without thought. Now imagine rubbing mascara, eyeliner, shadow, glitter and all that in between into your eyeball therefore aggravating irritation. Allergens in mascara have been associated with contact dermatitis as well as conjunctivitis. You may not see it straight away, but continuously sleeping in your eye makeup can cause serious infections that can put a damper on your next night out.

Premature ageing – I once heard that sleeping with your makeup on for just one night can cause your skin to age by three days! Times this by 365 and you could like several years older by the end of the year! Sounds scary, but premature ageing is massively exaggerated by lack of makeup removal at night. Pollutants stick to makeup, causing what is known as Oxidative stress where skin is attacked by harmful free radicals. These molecular compounds cause damage to various cellular structures in the skin therefore decreasing the production of collagen. Collagen is needed to provide a little plumpness to the skin and if your skin is lacking it then things start to turn south, leaving you with folds and creases that you’ve never seen before.

Dry lips – I’m a firm believer in applying copious amounts of lip salve/balm to my lips before bed time. Not only is it a treat for the lips, but the feeling of soft lips in the morning is wonderful. Chemicals in lipsticks, particularly liquid lipsticks reduce the amount of moisture in your lips leaving them parched. Not forgetting that left-over lipstick smeared across your face in the morning is never a good look.

Lacklustre skin – Dull skin is caused by ‘dead’ skin build up on the surface area of your face. Anything that deprives your skin of much needed oxygen and nutrients will result in a dull skin tone that can only be relieved through cell renewal. Regular exfoliation and the right nutrients can encourage cell renewal providing free blood flow throughout your skin and therefore allowing you to shine from within. Don’t forget that no matter how much highlighter you may wear, if your skin’s texture is not on point, it will never look good.

It’s fair to say that removing your makeup at night is essential for clean, beautiful and healthy skin. Someone pass me the soap!