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What Happens if You Sleep with Makeup On?

By Viktoria
June 20, 2023
6 minutes

Light makeup is an essential part of our daily routine and if we are attending any party or other important events, the makeup gets even heavier. It can make you look prettier, and hide any pimples. The best thing about makeup is that your pictures come out well.

After you are done with that long event, or partying all day with your friends, it is normal to feel tired and not want to do anything. All you want to do after coming home is to throw your bag away and sleep. But, is it right to sleep with makeup on?

You are already wearing makeup for many hours and another 8 hours with the same makeup can damage your skin. In this article, we will discuss how makeup can damage your skin and if you accidentally sleep with makeup on, what can you do to minimize these problems.

What Happens if You Sleep with Makeup On?

Sleeping with makeup on can cause a number of problems to your skin. Having information about these problems is essential so that even if you want to sleep with makeup on, you will not.

Dullness and Wrinkling

The first thing you are going to face in the morning after sleeping with makeup on is dullness. This mainly happens because matte makeups usually absorb the natural oils present in your skin. So, when you leave the makeup on for a long time, imagine the amount of oils the makeup can absorb in such a long time. This will take your skin’s glow.

Moreover, If you are repeating the same practice over and over, your exposure to free radicals increases leading to your skin becoming saggy and wrinkled.

Premature Aging

When your face is layered with makeup, it refrains your skin from breathing properly and slows down its healing process. Furthermore, after you go out after wearing makeup, it is natural that your skin is going to be exposed to dirt, sunrays, and other pollutants. These pollutants get trapped in your skin which results in an increased number of free radicals.

This whole phenomenon leads to premature aging and decreased collagen synthesis which is also associated with wrinkling and decreased repair of damaged skin cells.


While you can use your makeup to hide acne, you can be more prone to it by frequently using makeup or wearing it for a long time. When you are wearing makeup, impurities are trapped in your skin. This clogs your pores and on removing your makeup in the morning, it is very likely for you to notice some breakouts.

Impurities also attract bacteria to your skin so the chances of pimples and acne increase even more.

Eye Problems

You might think that sleeping with makeup on will not cause any harm to your eyes. Certainly, eyes are the areas where we don’t apply layers of makeup but just a mascara can cause a number of problems.

The chemicals present in the makeup can irritate your eyes, the makeup may dry out and act as a foreign body irritating your eyes and disturbing your vision. Moreover, if it clogs your oil glands present in the eyelids, you can also suffer from the style.

The article What Happens if You Sleep with Mascara On ? addresses some other issues your eyes can face.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a problem we all run from. Remember all the skincare routines you do daily just to have glowy skin and prevent it from drying out? Just sleeping for a single night can nullify all the efforts you have made till now.

The makeup clogs your pores making your skin dry. Also, the layers of makeup prevent your skin from breathing properly thus interfering with its normal healing, regeneration, and delivery of nutrients to skin cells.

Changes in Skin Color

Makeup causes decreased production of collagen which means greater damage to your skin. Additionally, higher and prolonged exposure to free radicals can cause changes in your skin. This indicates that if you sleep with makeup on, and you do it continuously, you are going to face these color changes.

For instance, wearing lipstick for more than 10 hours can darken your lips.

Brittleness of Eyelashes

Wearing makeup for a long time affects even the little areas of your skin. When you are wearing mascara, it dries out and makes your lashes brittle. Resultantly, there are increased chances for your lashes to fall off. Moreover, If they fall in your eyes, you are more prone to vision problems than those who avoid makeup.

What to Do if You Slept with Makeup On?

There are times we are too exhausted to remove our makeup and sleep immediately after coming home. Your peaceful sleep will turn into a nightmare once you realize you slept with makeup on. But, there are some ways by which you can minimize the harmful effects of wearing makeup for a long time.

Do Double Cleansing

The very first step is to clean your face and remove the makeup. It is preferred to do double cleansing which includes using an oil-based cleanser first followed by a foaming cleanser. The oil-based cleanser helps in removing your makeup and oils completely while the foaming cleanser helps in removing the dust and other impurities trapped in your skin.

Exfoliate Your Skin

The second step you can take is to do exfoliation. Exfoliation removes the dead skin cells and any other remaining impurities in your skin. As the dead cells are removed, it will be easier for your skin to absorb the moisturizing products you apply later on.

If you notice your skin is red or have any rashes, then it is better not to do it.

Moisturize Your Face

The makeup has a tendency to absorb the natural moisture present in your skin. So, after you are done cleaning your face thoroughly, apply a moisturizing face mask, any lotion, or oil that can provide the necessary hydration to your skin.

If you don’t know what moisturizer should you choose, you can check out the 12 Best Body lotions for Dry/Aging/ Sensitive skin.

Skip Makeup for Some Time

It is better to skip makeup for the rest of the day or even for a few days to give your skin rest. It will able to breathe properly and proper skin care will not only reverse the harmful effects but will also help in making your skin even smoother and glowy.

Change Your Pillowcase

Another precaution for preventing acne and breakouts is to replace the pillowcase that you slept on the previous night with a new one. The pillowcases can accumulate your makeup that falls off during the night.

The contamination can cause bacterial invasion in your skin and clogged pores leading to acne.

A tip for you! Silk pillowcases can help prevent acne, breakouts, and hair damage. So, even if you are taking all precautions, buying a silk pillowcase can make things even better for your skin and hair. To know about more benefits, click Silk Pillowcase: 10 Benefits for Skin, Hair, and Sleep.


Makeup can be the most important part of your daily life to feel good, relaxed, and confident. But wearing it for a long time can increase the risk of acne, breakouts, dry skin, and brittle lashes. All these side effects can even worsen if you are sleeping with makeup. It is because, night is the time when your skin needs to be relaxed completely to heal, repair, and glow when you wake up in the morning.

But, if you accidentally slept with makeup on for the first time, just clean your face and do double cleansing, followed by exfoliation and hydrating your skin. Also, make sure it does not happen twice because a mistake when repeated can eventually become a habit.

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