You’ve probably heard this one over and over again – Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you could do to your skin.
Going to bed without removing your makeup is something that can make some of the bravest women recoil – and for good reason. Clogged pores, breakouts, and even eye infections – the list goes on.
Not so much.
I’ve always gotten away with having to do just the minimum – makeup removal and washing off with a cleanser. On truly lazy nights, I even skip the cleansing and go to bed after using just makeup wipes.
Before you gag and click out of the page in disgust, let me explain myself.
It might have something to do with my youth, but I haven’t had any repercussions (yet) of neglecting my skin. Aside from the occasional pimple breakouts, my skin has been relatively good to me and I’ve always taken that for granted.
So you can understand why I was more than willing to take on a challenge to sleep with my makeup on for the whole night.
I’ve always wondered about what would happen if I did sleep with a face full of makeup.
Would there be any difference at all in my complexion – would it get greasier or develop a few new zits, or would I age overnight? I had no idea, but decided to document it for any other reader who had the same odd curiosity as me.
Keeping it real, I started out that morning with a full face of makeup – my long-wear foundation (really putting it to the long-wear test), two concealers, bronzer, highlighter etc – the whole shebang.
If I was going down, I wanted to make sure I did it in style.
Returning home after a long day of touchups and reapplying my lipstick, I instinctively reached out for my trusty makeup wipes after popping my contacts out. It was at that precise moment that I realised how greasy and tight my skin actually felt.
The long night ahead suddenly felt even longer as I yearned to wash my face and let my skin breathe. Still, I went ahead to bed. Nothing could come in between me and my precious sleep, not even a cake face.
The makeup did nothing to my actual sleep itself and I woke up feeling refreshed – for the most of it. Skin-wise, I felt like I had a mask on and my face was starting to feel itchy. I looked into the mirror expecting to see raccoon eyes, or massive cracks on my foundation but….
It was nothing too dramatic.
My foundation was no longer providing the full coverage it promised (not that long-wearing, after all). My fading acne scars were showing through from under the cakey and cracked foundation. My mascara and/or eyeliner had definitely flaked throughout the night and left some deposits on my under-eye area.
The more obvious signs that I had slept in my makeup came from my eyeshadow – the colour at my inner corners of the eye was practically gone and the lipstick i had painted on was nonexistent (did I swallow the lipstick in my sleep? Highly likely.)
As I finally removed my makeup that morning, I thought to myself that I could easily continue on with another day of this challenge. After letting my skin breathe for all of 30 grand minutes, I slapped on the new day’s makeup and headed to work.
I knew something was not right.
My skin had been feeling irritated and itchy and when I went to the bathroom to survey my skin closely, I was shocked to see my skin breaking out in tiny bumps all over my face – this had never happened to me all my life! Regretting all the times I took my skin for granted, I considered whether I should continue with the challenge but…
I confess. I chickened out after that and removed my makeup almost immediately to save my already tingling and red skin.
After that, it took two days of complete bare-facedness for my skin to get back to normal – no itchy bumps, no redness. I felt like it was a punishment from the universe for all those times I neglected my skincare routine.
It could have been the clogged pores or the inflamed skin caused by the layer of dirt all night, but it was definitely scary stuff, and I would not recommend anyone else to wake up with a face full of makeup, regardless of how curious you are.
Lesson learnt: Never again will I sleep without proper removal of my makeup.
The good news is, this experience has made me somewhat of a skincare addict now and I find myself religiously slathering on moisturiser and eye cream at night – it’s the only way for me to ensure I never enter the dreaded dermal doghouse again.