I recently stayed at a friend's place during a vacation, and she was amused by how long my evening skin-care regimen took. Not only do I wash my face with a cleanser, but I remove my makeup with a wipe, then follow up with a chorus line of lotions and potions to keep my skin looking A+. When I woke up the next morning and realized she was still wearing her makeup from the night before, I understood why she had been laughing. She, like a ton of other women, doesn't always wash her face before bed. And the insane thing is that she knows it's bad for her skin. She just shrugs her shoulders and moves on.
It's no wonder that so many women are skipping their evening cleansing. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian have been open about their nocturnal makeup-wearing habits. But we're here to reiterate that even if you have a crystal-clear complexion, failing to properly cleanse before you snooze is not just bad for your skin — it's horrible. "[Sleeping with makeup on] clogs your pores, and that buildup ultimately prevents other beauty products from penetrating the skin," says dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. So even if you're layering a fancy night cream over your old makeup to assuage your non-cleansing guilt, you're not even getting the benefits of said cream. Dr. Gohara says: "It also precludes the skin's natural exfoliation process. We shed 50 million skin cells a day. If there's makeup on, they won't be liberated as freely, resulting in a gray, lackluster appearance."
Makeup also traps pollutants on your skin, compromising the integrity of the skin barrier, which "leads to a higher likelihood of infection, irritation, and overall dullness," Dr. Gohara says. It's basically like putting on a mask that guarantees a grayish skin tone, inflammation, and decreased skin function. Is that truly worth the extra three minutes of sleep you get?
But if your inner lazy girl is still willing to swap skin health for snoozing, we're pulling out all the stops. We've broken down exactly what happens when you don't properly remove all your makeup. From nasty styes to scaly skin, see what ailments could be in your future. And, please, for the love of collagen — wash your damn face!