Although it might not seem like a big deal, leaving your makeup on overnight can cause a host of unwanted skin problems; here are 11 reasons why you shouldn't go to sleep with makeup on.
You've been working hard all day, it's late, you're exhausted, and all you want to do is crawl into bed.
But wait — you forgot to take off your makeup — so you fall asleep with foundation, mascara, and eyeliner caked on your skin.
You're not alone! A lot of people go to sleep with their makeup on, but is that a good idea? The answer is no, and here are 11 reasons why you shouldn't go to sleep with your makeup on.
Here are 11 reasons why you shouldn't go to sleep with your makeup on:
1. Cosmetics are not FDA-regulated.
Did you know that the FDA's legal authority over cosmetics differs from its authority over other drugs, biologics, and medical devices.
With the exception of color additives, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval.
That means that companies can pretty much put anything they want in their products — and they don't have to disclose what those ingredients are; there's no telling what harmful chemicals and ingredients are in your makeup.
So, when you're sleeping with your makeup on, you're sleeping with all of those harmful chemicals and ingredients on your skin which can lead to a host of skin problems.
2. Acne Flare-Ups and Breakouts
Our skin is built up of pores which are tiny little holes that release sweat and sebum to remove dead skin cells and other irritants from our pores and moisturize our skin.
Makeup physically blocks your pores, so when you go to sleep with makeup on, all of the sebum, dirt, and pollutants that have accumulated throughout the day are trapped under your makeup.
As a result, you end up with clogged pores and an increased number of free radicals that cause irritation and inflammation, all of which lead to acne flare-ups and breakouts.
In addition, when you sleep, your skin goes into repair mode, and cell turnover is increased; this means that the cells on the surface of your skin are replaced with new ones.
But if you sleep with makeup on, the old cells can't be appropriately shed, which leads to a build-up of dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt that result in acne, blackheads, and whiteheads.
If that wasn't enough to convince you to take your makeup off before bed, the mechanical pressure of your face on a pillow grinds makeup into hair follicles which increases the amount of friction and irritation on your skin which can also lead to acne flare-ups, and breakouts.
And that's not it; during the night, your pillowcase gets dirtier from the makeup on your face, so if you don't change your pillowcase the following night — even if you aren't sleeping with makeup on — you're re-introducing dirt, sebum, pollutants, and maybe even infections into your skin.
A study conducted by Robert Dunn discovered that pillowcases have slightly more bacteria on them than toilet seats, but much of the same bacteria are found on both.
3. Enlarged Pores
When you don't remove your makeup before going to bed, the combination of sebum, sweat, pollution and makeup trapped under the surface of your skin creates solid blockages in your pores.
These solid blockages — known as clogged pores — enlarges your pores and result in blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.
4. Dry Skin and Dull Complexion
Sebum is a waxy and oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands in our skin to keep it lubricated and moisturized.
That said, sleeping with makeup on physically blocks your pores and prevents your skin from adequately releasing sebum, which leads to dry skin and a dull complexion.
What's more, at night, your skin produces less sebum and, as a result, you lose more water overnight because makeup dries out your skin and you don't have a protective layer of natural oils on your skin to prevent transepidermal water loss.
Last but not least, when you don't remove your makeup before bed, it causes a build-up of dead skin cells that interfere with natural cell regeneration, prevents moisture and other vital nutrients from getting into your skin, both of which give your skin a dry and dull appearance.
5. Premature Aging
When you sleep, your skin regenerates and heals itself, but when you sleep with your makeup on it disrupts these critical processes because makeup traps dead skin cells, sebum, dirt, and pollutants inside your skin.
When dead skin cells are trapped, it causes dead skin cell build-up that prevents skin cell turnover, which, in turn, hinders the natural cell regeneration process that's important for maintaining healthy and youthful skin.
On the other hand, sebum is responsible for transporting fat-soluble antioxidants that protect against free radicals to the surface of your skin.
But sleeping with makeup on blocks your pores preventing them from releasing sebum to rehydrate and protect your skin from free radicals.
And the environmental stress on the skin caused by dirt and pollutants sitting on your skin for too long results in increased free radicals, which cause inflammation, redness, irritation, pigment production, DNA mutations, and collagen and elastin degradation.
6. Irritation and Inflamation
Makeup has artificial fragrances and colors and is prone to harboring harmful pathogens.
When you sleep with makeup on, all the fragrances, colors, and pathogen flake and rub against your skin, causing significant irritation and inflammation.
And, significant irritation and inflammation lead to redness, puffiness, and itchiness because our immune system is triggered to fight off a possible infection.
7. Broken Eyelashes
If you leave mascara on overnight, it can dry out and cause your lashes to break or fall off, which is problematic because eyelashes protect our eyes from dust and debris to prevent infections.
In addition to this, broken eyelashes could also get in your eye and scratch your cornea.
8. Clogged Eyelash Follicles
Sleeping in makeup can cause the product to rub into your lashes, clog tiny hair follicles and oil glands on your eyelids and lead to the development of small, painful bumps called Styes or Hordeolum; besides these bumps being painful, they cause your eyelashes to fall out.
9. Eyelid eczema
If you don't remove your eye makeup before going to sleep, it could lead to a skin condition called irritant dermatitis.
Irritant dermatitis is eczema of the eyelid area and can cause symptoms like rash, scaliness, itching, and burning.
If this happens, you should see a dermatologist for treatment; a low-potency topical steroid will usually be prescribed.
10. It Can Give You Pink Eye
Sleeping in mascara can lead to bacteria and other microorganisms entering through the conjunctiva — the thin, clear tissue that covers the white part of your eye and the inner surface of your eyelids — and causing pink eye.
11. Chapped Lips
Sleeping with lipstick on sucks out the moisture from your lips, leaving them dry, chapped, and cracked.
It's clear that it is best to avoid going to bed with a full face of makeup, so take the time to remove your makeup before hitting the pillow.