You Really Wanna Know Why You Shouldn’t Sleep In Your Makeup & Why It’s A Habit You Should Break?

We’ve all done it: come in from a really long day or a big night out and fallen asleep (perhaps fully clothed) without taking our makeup off. The introduction of face wipes was supposed to curb this trend and help women with their skincare routine in an easy and efficient way, but realistically they remove very little product and still leave our face covered in a day’s worth of build-up. However, is sleeping in your makeup really that bad? What problems can a little bit of makeup really cause if left on while we slumber? You’ll be surprised at how much damage (both short and long-term) that leaving your makeup on can do; even going to sleep without washing your face effectively on a non-makeup day can be detrimental and cause oodles of problems for your skin. I’ve broken down the main problems it can cause, in the hope that this weekend you’ll take two minutes out to slather your face in cleanser and slip between the sheets clean and fresh.

Leftover eye makeup can clog up glands and hair follicles, making you more prone to eye infections and irritations. This area of the face is incredibly sensitive and even the smallest amount of mascara goop or leftover liner can cause the tiny spaces to become blocked; blockages prevent your eyes from working effectively, which only leads to all kinds of problems such as styes, hordeolums (little bumps which may need treatment from a doctor,) or even conjunctivitis.

Leaving mascara on overnight can lead to individual hairs becoming stuck together, which in turn makes them more prone to falling or being pulled out. You need to cling on to every lash possible to ensure a full and healthy-looking lashline, so removing your mascara effectively (without excessive rubbing) is the best way forward. Rolling around with clumpy lashes on a cotton pillow can also cause them to be pulled out or damaged. Why waste all that money on volumising mascara and false lashes if you’re only going to do yourself more damage?

Oil and makeup mixed together can cause blocked pores, spots and skin irritation. Makeup also clings onto bacteria and nasties that you’ve picked up throughout the day which can cause inflammation and irritation – something you really don’t want to sleep in. If you cleanse your skin effectively you’ll see the amount of makeup, dirt and grime that’s removed onto a cotton pad or flannel… Do you really want that all sitting on your skin and causing breakouts for longer than absolutely necessary?

Free radicals cause the breakdown of healthy collagen, which results in fine lines on the skin. Makeup clings onto free radicals in the same way that it clings onto bacteria, having a negative effect on the skin and speeding up the ageing process – a recent study showed a woman sleeping in her makeup every day for a month caused significant ageing, dehydration and dullness to occur. Taking off your makeup effectively and investing in a great overnight treatment is the first step in the battle against ageing.

Our skin naturally renews itself as we sleep, as it doesn’t have to fight against free radicals and UV rays that are everywhere we turn during the day. During slumber our skin can renew, replenish and repair itself – but not if it’s still caked in makeup and grime from the previous day. If you suffer from breakouts, dull or dry skin, then ineffective makeup removal may be the source of your problems. 

There’s little point in investing in a fab night cream, face mask or serum if you don’t remove your makeup effectively and give it the best chance of working. Applying creams over a thick layer of foundation, dirt and grime will limit how much can actually penetrate down and start doing some good – it’s like putting butter on the outside of a sandwich! Take off your makeup effectively with a great cleansing balm and let the cream do its thing.

Are you guilty of sleeping in your makeup, or are you wise to the trouble it can cause? 

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  1. Lauren Powers
    September 2, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    I sometimes do this after a night out. I need to stop as I didn't realise how bad it is for you!! Lauren

  2. Ashly Rae
    September 2, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    Great post!!! I hear so often in my job about people using makeup wipes to remove their makeup… not ideal.. I love to cleanse, tone, serum moisturise and go to bed feeling like my face is happy and clean!

  3. Pam Scalfi
    September 2, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    I'm proud to say that I never sleep with make-up on. Always always have to remove it :DPam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  4. Jessica whittingham
    September 2, 2015 / 1:06 pm

    that makeup from no7 is beautiful btw!

  5. Ciara Rose
    September 2, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    Oh god the thought of sleeping with my makeup on makes me cringe so bad! I don't know how anybody can do it, it just doesn't feel right haha. Great post xCiara Rose | AllureImpassionedGoddess

    • Hayley Carr
      September 7, 2015 / 12:15 pm

      I once met a girl who proudly admitted she sleeps in her makeup every night. I wanted to vom. I just can't even…!

  6. Victoria - Florence and Mary
    September 2, 2015 / 2:26 pm

    Definitely guilty of this unfortunately (along with inability to remove my clothes also!). I try and keep micellar waters and/or wipes in my bedside drawer but it's usually a case of either not removing at all or doing the 'proper' full skincare regime. Victoria

  7. Kim Petersen
    September 2, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    I totally need to come back and read this so I can remind myself not to be so lazy. I am guilty of sleeping with my makeup on so I definitely need to be more aware of all the issues it can cause! Great post! XO -Kim

  8. Mikaela B
    September 3, 2015 / 12:22 pm

    I never knew the extent of what not removing your make-up could do! I always remove my make-up before I go to bed anyway but now I'll be extra careful with the removal and cleansing process. Thank you for such a great and informative post!

  9. Becca Allen
    September 3, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    I've been guilty of this for a long while, but made a real effort in the last couple of months to ALWAYS cleanse, tone and moisturise and it is definitely paying dividendsBecca

    • Hayley Carr
      September 7, 2015 / 12:15 pm

      Glad you're seeing a difference!

  10. Abigail Alice
    September 3, 2015 / 2:49 pm

    I hate sleeping in mascara because I always wake up wish lashes fallen out on my pillow! Thankfully I don't do it a lot anymore though! Great post <3

  11. tanya pasfield
    September 7, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    I'm guilty of this on occasion but I didn't realise that makeup wipes were so bad! I used them twice a day, I'll definitely be swapping them for a good cleanser and a soft cotton pad now!

  12. Anonymous
    September 9, 2015 / 12:48 pm

    Love this post!! I am guilty of doing this and every time I wake up my face feel horrible!! great job xx

  13. Jessica Martin
    September 9, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    Oh my god, this makes me feel horrendous! I literally cleanse, tone and moisturise daily and on Saturday night got too drunk and slept in my make-up, my skin is now horrendous! Great post, love it! xoJessica Ann ♥️

  14. Sheila Joy
    September 9, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Great post, very informative! I always make sure to take my makeup off, even after a wild night

  15. Anonymous
    September 10, 2015 / 9:25 am

    Great post! I sometimes get a bit lazy but this is my wake up call 🙂

  16. Elle And Mimi
    September 10, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    Great informative post Hayley. As a youngster I always went to bed in my make up after rolling in from a night out! However since I was in my mid 20's I have religiously removed my make up before bed no matter how tired, ill (drunk!) I may be! I have always told my daughter to do the same and now I am in my 40's I believe that it has made a huge difference to my skin. It's one of my top 2 beauty tips for sure.

  17. Becky Smith
    September 10, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    I'm proud to say that I have never gone to sleep still wearing my makeup. I've only been using cleansers/moisturisers etc for around the last five years (I'm 33) but I have noticed that when I skip cleansing my skin in the evening I can really tell the next day. So no matter how tired/sad/desperate for bed I am I always make sure I give my skin a quick wash to make sure I don't then have to spend several days afterwards trying to encourage it to stop looking so yuck! x Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

  18. Zoe
    November 10, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    I am guilty of doing this. A few years ago, I would go to bed with make up on all the time. These days I take care of my skin, but it makes me shiver realising the damage I did!

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