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This is what actually happens to your skin if you wear your makeup to bed... and it might freak you out

Besides a dirty pillowcase...

09 Jul 2018

When your eyeliner is on point and your highlighter is blindingly beautiful, it can be a darn shame to wipe it off at the end of the day. Plus, cleansing often seems more effort than it's worth when you're a few gins and a cheese platter down. Let a girl live!

So if you make the odd pass out without proper makeup removal, is it really that bad? Sarah Jayne Tipper, Clinical Director and Trainer at , gives us the brutally honest answer...

One night does make a difference

Damn. Apparently even an innocent slip-up has consequences, and what's worse is it's usually the skin's appearance that suffers.

"Vital maintenance work takes place at night and it doesn't love a layer of makeup getting in the way", says Sarah. "You may get a little irritation, one or two small spots and your skin may be patchy in the morning."

But hey, we're only human, so what should we do if we do stuff up and sleep in it?

"Wash it as soon as you wake up!

"Preferably by doing a double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser first to break down the oils on your skin, and then follow with a gel or foam-based cleanser so that you really clear out your pores. I would then suggest using a micellar water to ensure any residue is removed and to rebalance your skins moisture levels."

Repeat offenders, beware!

If you often fall asleep with foundation on, dehydration, puffy eyes, dark circles and a sallow complexion will become a regular problem.

"We naturally shed about 50 million skin cells a day and it's mostly during the night that they renew", says Sarah. "Old left on makeup can trap dead skin cells, preventing them from natural exfoliation and therefore leaving you with a dull complexion. The skin will also only be getting half the amount of oxygen it needs and you will be at risk of areas building up an accumulation of nasty bacterias."

Spots are also a likely side-effect and Sarah says will often be more prevalent on the side you sleep on.

Mascara might be the worst...

While it's not technically on your skin, mascara can have just as serious side effects on your eyes.

"Most mascaras will strip the natural oils from lashes, so wearing it to bed can dry them out severely, causing them to become brittle, break and even fall out."

Not to mention, a stiff lash can actually scratch your cornea while you're sleeping and cause eye problems. Eeeek!

So if you want to keep your lashes fluffy and full, Sarah says it's important to remove all traces of mascara pre-bed and perhaps even apply a serum or moisturiser to help keep your tiny lash hairs hydrated.

"And if you know you have a habit of wearing your mascara to bed, use a lash primer with nourishing properties, such as the (£25), as a precaution."

"This will help to protect your lashes against dehydration and care for them at the same time."

Are cleansing wipes enough?

Face wipes... a lazy girl's answer or not quite good enough?

"Most wipes are saturated with chemicals that allow for easy removal of makeup, which means they can leave chemical residue on the skin and if used incorrectly, they can smear makeup into the skin instead of removing the particles completely. Plus, if they contain alcohol, they can be irritating and dry you out."

Your best bet is to choose a pack from GLAMOUR's edit of the best face wipes or follow up with a gentle cleanser or micellar water to make sure your skin is truly clean and able to breathe.

Sleep-safe makeup

If you know you're going to sleep in your makeup (overnight flight, a hot date, testing a '24 hour foundation' - all valid excuses) try to choose makeup that's also skin-friendly.

Look for dermatologically-tested base products, and ophthalmologically tested for mascaras.

Sarah recommends using a clear mascara, which will still separate, lengthen and volumise your lashes without smudging or leaving residue on your pillow. Or you can always opt for a lash tint.

Been treating your skin like sh*t? Say sorry with one of our favourite sheet masks: