Most of us have done it — gone to bed with makeup still on our face. It’s no big deal, right?
Or is it? What really happens to our skin when we sleep in makeup?
Makeup’s purpose is to make us look beautiful, but wearing it overnight could make us just the opposite.
“Sleep is a restorative time for the skin, and if oil glands and pores are blocked by the day’s makeup remains, the results can be disastrous,” Melanie Palm, MD, MBA told InStyle.
Those results are acne, clogged pores, irritated skin and potential eye problems.
Pores cover our skin. That allows us to sweat, but pores also secrete sebum. This waxy substance moisturizes and protects the skin. Another sebum job is removing dead skin cells and other irritants from pores.
Wearing makeup during sleep clogs pores, and sebum can’t do its job. Sebum builds up, making way for acne, according to HowStuffWorks.com.
Furthermore, most people touch their face all day long, leaving it very dirty. All that bacteria on your skin makes it susceptible to acne. Microcomedone — first stage of acne — can begin to form.
Washing your face before bed gets rid of bacteria and oil, preventing breakouts and clogged pores, said Sleep.org.
Another possible consequence of not washing your face before bed: premature aging and wrinkles. Each day, our skin is exposed to a high amount of oxidative stress, according to Dr. Erin Gilbert, a dermatologist based in New York City. Then the skin can’t fight off free radicals.
Free radicals from the environment, normally from pollution, stay on the skin. Free radicals can cause the breakdown of healthy collagen, which eventually leads to fine lines and wrinkles.
Not washing your face before sleep means your skin is fighting off free radicals all night. So your skin doesn’t recover as normal, which can lead to premature aging.
Sleeping in makeup doesn’t just lead to wrinkles. You could get a rash.
GoodHousekeeping.com wrote that makeup often contains irritants like dyes and perfumes that, when left on the skin for long periods of time, can cause inflammation.
Eye makeup comes with its own troubles, if left on overnight.