Pretty Please Stop Sleeping With Makeup On (Trust Us, It's Not Worth It)

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After a long and wild night out, taking your makeup off can feel like the last thing worth doing. It's 3 a.m., your bed looks cozier than ever, and you're willing to get under the covers with loads of foundation and mascara still intact. While we're frequently told to take our makeup off before bed, it is rarely followed up by the long-term and research-backed reasons why this is. The truth is, though, this practice can damage your skin.


In addition to the reasons why wearing makeup has such negative effects on your skin, understanding the most effective ways to remove your makeup is also essential, including the best products, techniques, and ingredients you should work into your skincare routine. Although everyone's skin is different, there are some general guidelines that everyone should be conscious of, and having the right information and resources can help make your skincare feel more exciting (while hopefully leading to less foundation residue on your pillow).

It can disrupt the barrier of your skin

If you want to avoid aging and preserve that anti-sagging collagen in your skin, removing your makeup is the best way to start. As dermatologist Dr. Sue Ann Wee told Byrdie, "Makeup can trap dirt and environmental pollutants inside the skin, and this type of environmental stress can result in increased free radicals which can cause DNA mutations, collagen degradation, and, over time, can result in premature aging."


In addition to barrier disruption, an increase in inflammation and acne-prone skin is a direct result of sleeping in your makeup. It's likely the same reason you've woken up with breakouts because leaving your pores vulnerable to beauty products overnight will clog and irritate them. It can also lead to other symptoms like a duller complexion, as well as inflamed and itchy skin. "One or two days of not cleansing is unlikely to have long-term negative effects," Dr. Wee explained. "But developing the habit of not gently cleansing makeup off can compromise the ability of your skin to age well and the overall health of your skin."

Commit to a consistent skincare routine

Just like most habits, commitment is the hardest part of developing any skincare routine. Key essentials include a gentle cleansing face wash, hydrating moisturizer, and a finishing serum or oil. You can also seek guidance from online how-tos that target every skin type and budget, and you only need a few sustainable products to build your very own routine. Maintaining your nightly skincare routine is of the utmost importance because your skin repairs itself as you sleep, so be sure to remove all traces of makeup in order to help maximize that process, per Neutrogena.


There are also products specifically geared toward renewing skin that's been damaged. From the lowest to the highest price, some of these products include Biore's Instantly Warming Clay Mask ($8), Krave Beauty's Great Barrier Relief ($28), and Dr. Dennis Gross' Universal Daily Peel Pads ($92). Start with a gentle makeup-removing cleanser and wash your face with warm water. Follow up with a hydrating moisturizer and make sure to not limit it to just your face, as it's never too early to start treating your neck in your skincare routine. Lastly, follow up with a serum or oil to add extra hydration. You can also incorporate other skin-enhancing products into your routine like a toner, eye cream, or acne treatment.


Apply a face mask once or twice a week

Whether your skin is oily, dry, or somewhere in between, a weekly mask can help hydrate and brighten your skin all at once. Every skin type has a mask that directly addresses its concerns, like a waterlock mask for dry skin and a brightening clay mask for oily skin. For combination skin, a bio-fermented mud mask helps address multiple concerns and leaves skin soothed, softened, and moisturized. Depending on which type of mask you use, it may also help to remove excess oil that's built up over time, reduce pores, and provide a spa-like treatment in the comfort of your own home.


To get the best results from your face mask of choice, make sure your skin has been cleansed beforehand (without putting any other products on). Leave the mask on for five to 10 minutes (or whatever the directions state), then remove with warm water and gently pat your face dry. Follow up with the skincare routine you've just perfected, and voilà! You have glowing, supple, and makeup-free skin. You're ready for bed now.