I rarely wear makeup. Why? Well for starters I’m too lazy to make the effort on a daily basis and I actually kind of like my face just the way it is.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who do wear makeup. I actually think it’s really fun for special occasions. It’s just the every day make-upping i’m not into. Anyway, being too lazy to put makeup ON most days means I’m really bad about taking it OFF when I do wear it.
Now everyone from my mom to Tyra Banks (yeah, I watched America’s Next Top Model back in the day) has told me that sleeping in makeup is a terrible idea, but when I get home from a party at 1 in the morning with a good buzz on, the last thing I want to do is spend 30 minutes in the bathroom. I just want to shove a burrito in my face and call it a night.
I always wash it off the next morning, but I know that doesn’t reverse the damage. So, in an effort to really and truly commit to always washing off my makeup, I decided to research the actual effects of sleeping in face paint. They’re worse that I suspected.
Every skin type sees negative effects of sleeping in makeup. EVERYONE.
So if you’ve ever justified it by saying “oh that’s only for people with oily/dry skin” I’m here to burst your bubble. According to dermatologist Dennis Gross, sleeping in makeup is “one of the biggest mistakes” ANY woman can make where her skin is concerned.
Cheap makeup makes things even worse.
As someone who rarely wears makeup it’s hard for my to justify $40 foundation and $18 eyeliner. I’ll take the $5 stuff from Target, thank you very much. That decision may be kinder to my wallet but it’s horrible for my face. “In general, department store–quality cosmetics use better-quality base ingredients, which cause the products to glide on more smoothly, last longer, crease or crack less often, and be gentler on skin,” reports Divine Caroline.
Sleeping in makeup will age you prematurely.
“The large particles and pigments break down over the day and have been exposed and metabolized by natural processes as well as exposure to environmental pollutants and bacteria, molds, and mites from the outside. The metabolic byproducts, as well as the breakdown of the makeup itself, prevent the important role of microcirculation, which helps renew skin,” dermatologist Jeannette Graf told Daily Makeover. This speeds the breakdown of collagen, resulting in wrinkles. Not cute.
Your pores will get ginormous.
Every single article I read about the effects of sleeping in makeup mentioned enlarged pores. ALL OF THEM. “Doing so can block pores, leaving oil trapped inside,” Dr. Gross said. “This leads to bacteria build up, breakouts, and enlarged pores — which are many of the reasons women wear makeup in the first place.”
It can give you EYE CYSTS.
In 2013, Daily Mail reporter Anna Pursglove documented her 30-day experiment of going to bed in her makeup EVERY NIGHT. By day three she had “developed a series of tiny white cysts around my eyelashes.” DAY THREE. Here’s the full article if you want to know what she was dealing with on Day 30.
Your eyelashes might fall out.
“Wearing eye makeup overnight can also be hard on your eyelashes,” Dr. Schlessinger told Bustle. “Left-on mascara can cause eyelashes to become brittle, break easily and even shed faster.” That proved to be true in poor Anna Pursglove’s case: “My eyelashes, meanwhile, seemed to have stuck together into two giant mono-lashes, meaning applying further mascara was getting difficult. On several occasions I caught myself pulling eyelashes out in clumps and became genuinely concerned that they might all come out,” she wrote. YIKES.
You might get a straight up eye infection.
Ever noticed that your eyelids are kind of puffy after sleeping in your makeup? I have. Well, according to skin experts that’s probably the start of an infection! “Mascara particles clog the follicles and irritates them as it would on the skin,” says Dr. Graf. “If irritation occurs, the swelling can cause blepharitis and the bacteria can cause conjunctivitis the longer it stays.”
It makes soft, plump lips practically impossible.
“Sleeping with any type of lipstick will result in dryness and chapping,” said Dr. Graf. This was definitely true in Anna Pursglove’s experiment: “As weeks progressed, my lips became dry and my skin cracked painfully at the corners of my mouth. With the end of the month approaching, I felt truly grubby and fed up.”
It’s so easy to take makeup off, why NOT do it?
Taking off makeup is a five minute commitment that can literally take years off your face. So why do so many of us skip it? It all boils down to sheer laziness and/or a lack of sobriety, as I’ve already admitted. Which means the only way to truly break this gross and dangerous habit is to PLAN AHEAD.
One thing that’s helped me is always keeping a pack of makeup-removing wipes on hand. For some reason, just wiping my face down with a pre-moistened cloth seems easier than actually washing with soap and water. It doesn’t get my face perfectly clean, but it’s much better than going to bed fully made up.
Dermatologist Rachel Nazarian also recommends opting for lightweight, non-comedogenic products that are less likely to trigger pimples (although an eye irritation or infection is still a risk). “Mineral makeup, or loose powders, are slightly better for the skin because they allow the skin to naturally interact with the environment, rather than fully covering it with heavy oil-based creams or ointments,” she says. And at the very least, wash your pillowcase often, “so that you’re not recycling bacteria night after night.”makeup
P.S. Protect yourself from the coming data-powered panopticon by getting a VPN.