Top 4 Reasons Not to Sleep in your Make Up.

Ever come home at a particularly late hour, flopped down onto your bed and awoken the next morning with last night’s makeup smeared all over your pillows? We’ve all been there. But while you may think that doing this every now and then is okay, in reality – it certainly isn’t. Why? Read on…


Because you accumulate a lot of oxidative stress during the day from free radicals often found in environmental aggressors like pollution, sleep is generally when your skin is able to recharge and regenerate itself and combat those kind of harmful effects. But if your pores are clogged with makeup, this becomes almost impossible. The free radicals not only remain on the skin when you don’t clean your visage properly, but cause collagen breakdown over time which leads to premature ageing in the form of fine lines and saggy skin.


Clogging your skin with makeup is a big no-no for the very fact that it attracts acne-causing bacteria to your pores. When your skin becomes a breeding ground for nasties, you can bet your bottom dollar that breakouts will start to occur. Excess sebum builds up and when it reaches a certain point, protrudes out onto the outer layer of the scene in the form of oil excretion which turns into pimples. Kind of gross, don’t you think? That’s why it’s always good to let your skin air out overnight, and the best way to do this is by ensuring it is squeaky clean and nourished before your head hits the pillows.


Falling asleep with raccoon eyes should be avoided at all costs. Not only can mascara and eyeliner end up in your eyes as you sleep, but it can lead to your lashes drying out which can make them brittle, thin and eventually cause them to fall out over time. To break it down even further for you, when you sleep in eye makeup, the tiny hair follicles and oil glands on your eyelids can also clog up and bacteria can build up and cause inflammation. Small bumps and styes can form and if things get out of hand, may result in treatment from your doctor. Yikes!


Heavy foundations and thick, oil-based primers are often the worst offenders at making the skin appear drab and dull when left on for too long. This prevents the visage from renewing itself as you snooze, which can lead to blackheads, acne and overall lacklustre, dull skin.

So what’s the solution? Summon up all the energy in the world to remove your makeup, cleanse and moisturise each night (we recommend Guinot One Step Cleansing Water and Trilogy Balancing Facial Lotion which are suitable for all skin types). If by chance you have fallen asleep with you face paint still intact, then you’ve got several options.

First, remove all of your makeup. There’s a slight chance your face may have been irritated over night from cosmetic residue, so opt for a lightweight, natural formula like Jane Iredale Botanical Makeup Remover to wipe it all off without flaring up the skin. This can be used on eyes, lips and over the entire face. You might want to also apply an alcohol-free toner like Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner to really ensure not one trace of makeup is left on your skin.

Next, apply a facial clay masque for about 30 minutes to extract any dirt and grime from your skin. Reach for Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Mask, an award-winning concoction that combines kaolin and bentonite, the highest quality natural earth clays, to decongest pores and lift impurities.

Finish up with a replenishing moisturiser suited to your skin type to give your visage a much-need moisture and antioxidant hit. We’ve got plenty of options to skim through here ( Sleeping on silk pillows and chugging down at least 8 glasses of water a day are also great ways at allowing your skin to appear beautifully radiant and healthy. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to clear skin nirvana in no time at all.

Kylie Freeman

Kylie Freeman

Writer and expert