How Sleeping in Makeup is Totally Sabotaging Your Skin

Woman professional visagist doing makeup with pink lipstick to model
We get it. After a long day at work, or a long night out at the bar, the hassle of washing your face (and prolonging the journey to your bed) can seem miserably unappealing. But no matter how much you try to comfort yourself with the thought that skipping a wash just this once is hardly going to do any harm, all it takes is a single night of face planting onto your pillow with the day’s foundation, mascara, and lipstick to start wreaking havoc on your skin. Skeptical? Take a look at some of the biggest consequences of passing on that late-night cleanse.

Your skin will dry out.

No matter what kind of magical moisturizing properties your foundation and concealer promise to have, no makeup can make it to the end of the day without starting to dry your face out. This is because a layer (or, worse, multiple layers) of makeup – including lipstick, which can cause chapping – start to get in the way of your skin’s ability to generate and lock in moisture naturally. And even if you slather on some night cream or moisturizer over your makeup, any leftover makeup residue is going to get in the way of your skin’s ability to properly absorb those skincare products.

You’ll have more wrinkles.

When you sleep in your makeup, you’re ultimately hiking up your skin’s collagen breakdown and causing skin damage by letting dirt and makeup residue get trapped on your face. The result is that your natural skin barrier starts to weaken and breakdown, which in turn leads to premature aging.

You can expect more breakouts.

Regular cleansing should always be a priority when you’ve got acne-prone skin, but this is especially true when it comes to washing off makeup at the end of the day. It’s simple: when you don’t wash off your makeup, that residue – along with the dirt of the day and dead skin cells – all start to clog up your pores. That in turn starts to take a toll on your complexion by causing acne flareups, redness, and facial inflammation.

Your skin will start looking super dull.

You can load up on all of the brightening serums and creams that you want, but if you’re not cleansing your skin and washing off your makeup at the end of the day, your efforts to conquer a dull complexion will probably be totally fruitless. This is because cleansing is a major part of skin cell renewal, and gives your skin a chance to naturally renew and repair itself. So when you let your makeup sit on your face overnight, that not only means that you skipped a vital cleanse, but you’re actually further inhibiting your skin’s ability to renew and brighten by keeping it blocked by oils and dead skin cells.

You could end up with a rash or an infection.

Thanks to ingredients like dyes and perfumes that irritate your skin, it can be easy for makeup left on overnight to cause inflammation and rashes. This is especially true if you’re particularly rash-prone, or have really sensitive skin. And since the outermost layer of skin acts as a kind of defensive barrier against infection that can be caused by environmental elements, day-old makeup’s tendency to breakdown that layer can leave your skin super vulnerable.

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