18 Jul What really happens when you sleep in makeup?
You don’t need a degree in dermatology to realize that sleeping with your makeup on is a horrible idea. It’s not good for your skin or your sheets. You might think, It’s late. I’m tired. What’s the harm of crashing out without washing my face just this once? Well, it causes more harm than you might think. Going to be bed without washing your face is bad news and can have a cumulative harmful effect. Here’s the icky stuff that happens to your skin, your lashes, and beneath the surface when you nix removing your makeup before bedtime.
Pores get clogged
Sleeping with makeup on is murder on your pores. “Going to bed with makeup on will leave you with clogged pores, since so many makeup [products] have[products]ts li[products]es that block the pores,” Debra Jalman, a New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From A Top New York Dermatologist, tells me. “When the pores are blocked, your skin gets bumpy. If you are acne-prone, it can even lead to breakouts.” You are effectively damaging skin by neglecting to remove makeup at the end of the day.
You get acne
Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer points to the fact that our skin never stops working, just like our hearts never stop beating. He tells me, “Just like our internal organs, our skin is always at work. Skin is made up of water, protein, lipids, and different minerals and chemicals. Skin is also covered in pores, which allow us to sweat and secrete sebum, a natural lubricant that moisturizes skin and removes dead skin cells and other irritants from our pores. When you apply makeup, you block your pores from releasing sebum, which may lead to visibly larger pores and acne overtime.”
Dr. J. Matthew Knight of FAAD Knight Dermatology Institute also notes that “the mechanical pressure of your face on a pillow can grind makeup into hair follicles, leading to clogged pores acne.” Losing a few minutes of shut eye in favor making use of some cold cream and face wash doesn’t seem like such a hassle when you think of it from that perspective, does it?
You damage skin cells
Skin cells are also damaged by the practice of sleeping in makeup. Dr. Knight sums it up best, saying, “Makeup can trap environmental pollutants and free-radicals that can damage skin cells, including collagen, leading to premature skin aging.” So not only does crashing out with your concealer on ultimately clog pores and lead to zits, but it can also speed up the aging process. Ack.
Your skin becomes dull
Dewy, glowing, soft, and smooth skin is usually a desired trait. Dull, sallow, or parched skin is not. If you use a makeup product, like a highlighter, to impart some peachy pink glow, that’s great. But sleeping in it can cause the opposite effect. “Our skin is the largest organ of our body and it performs vital functions for our body, like secreting sweat, excreting lipids, healing wounds and heat regulation,” New York-licensed esthetician and makeup artist Liz Donat tells me.
“So it is imperative that we cleanse and exfoliate it regularly and we especially do not sleep in our makeup! Clogged pores and blackheads, aka comedones, are formed when dead skin cells, oil and makeup get trapped in the pores and suffocate the skin,” she continued. “These clogged pores are the pre-cursor to acne-like breakouts and make the skin look dull and lifeless.” That’s reason enough to reach for a makeup remover wipe or a washcloth, no matter how late it is or no matter how tired you are.
You interfere with the reparatory process
Our bodies regenerate while we are at rest. The same holds true for our skin. Lancer says, “Skin repairs itself while we sleep, so taking off your makeup at night is important because it allows your pores to release sebum that rehydrates and protects your skin from free radicals in the air.” If you leave makeup on, it disrupts these critical processes.