The Scary Things That Happen When You Sleep in Makeup (and why I recommend a konjac sponge)
Even though we know it's a skin “no,” we’ve all gone to bed without removing our makeup from time to time. A survey from the UK found that a third of women go to sleep at least twice a week without giving their face a good cleanse. And when we asked our readers, 75 percent of them admitted they’ve done it too.
But what would happen if we stopped taking our makeup off before bed all-together? Thanks to Daily Mail reporter Anna Pursglove, we now know and the details are gruesome!
Over a 30-day period, Pursglove abstained from washing her face and just reapplied makeup over top, which caused some very ugly things to happen. Her skin became extremely dry and sensitive, her eyelashes fell out in clumps, and not only were her pores clogged but they grew by 5 percent. Even worse, Pursglove’s eyes became swollen and she developed something she coined as “eyelash dandruff”.
“It’s bad to sleep with your makeup on because [it] can clog your pores and break you out,” says Montclair, NJ, dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, ”In addition, if you sleep with a lot of makeup on it has been known to cause different types of eye infections.” Dr. Downie has had a few patients scratch their cornea after rubbing their eyes in the middle of the night with mascara on.
Pursglove also noticed that the wrinkles on the sides of her face had gotten significantly worse. One explanation could be that some makeup, especially ones that are talc-based, can dry out skin. “Dryness accentuates the appearance of fine lines and pores, giving the skin an aged appearance,” says San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD. It’s also important to note that some makeup products can contain toxic ingredients like lead and mercury - leaving those on your skin for long periods can be especially hazardous.
At the end of her experiment, experts estimated that Pursglove had aged her skin by a decade. Luckily, she didn’t do any lasting damage in her month-long trial, but this serves as a scary reminder of why leaving that “little” bit of makeup on is a terrible idea.
Don’t feel like you have time to remove all your makeup? A makeup remover wipe is better than nothing. Of course using a cleanser and water is the best method but you can actually remove your makeup in less than a minute with this technique if you’re in a pinch. When looking for a makeup remover wipe, get one that is described as gentle, safe, hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist-tested, dermatologist-tested and/or fragrance-free, says Dr. Bucay.
Myself, I hardcore recommend a konjac sponge. If you've never used a konjac sponge, you need to know that they are THE BOMB. It blows my mind that something that is basically a perfectly shaped piece of vegetable root could be the best face cleanser ever. You will be amazed at how smooth, bright and exfoliated your skin is using these and after about a week of regular use your pores will become absolutely tiny. No special sauce needed, just this sponge and some water. If you still want to use cleanser with it, you just need a drop as the sponge will make it foam up like nobody's business.
You have NO EXCUSE now not to wash your face before bed because this is about as low maintenance as it gets. Get it wet. Rub it on your face. Go to bed. Boom. Done. It even gets off makeup and it's naturally ph balanced to keep your skin gorgeous without needing toner. Plus, it doesn't dry out your skin like so many cleanser can. The charcoal in it does extra pore cleansing and tightening and is ideal for blemish prone skin.
On top of everything, I LOVE the size of this one- I've gotten these in so many sizes and shapes, but this is easily the largest sized one I've gotten, making it easy to hold. I'm impressed that they have so many varieties available as well, I've only ever tried the white ones and the charcoal ones- I'd be interested to see the difference.