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11th Jun 2024

What actually happens to your skin if you sleep with makeup on?

Sophie Collins

Sleep with makeup on

It can be tempting to fall into bed and sleep without removing your makeup after a long day

But this is your reminder that this seemingly harmless habit of going to sleep without washing your face can lead to a variety of skin issues. 

Failing to thoroughly remove makeup and cleanse your skin before you sleep can result in breakouts, dullness, premature ageing, dryness, and even eye infections. 

Here’s a closer look at what actually happens to your skin if you sleep with makeup on, according to Garnier:


Throughout the day, your skin accumulates dirt and oil, which can mix with your makeup if not removed properly. 

This combination can clog pores and lead to breakouts. A thorough cleansing routine before bed is essential to prevent these issues. 

Using a cleanser like micellar water can help remove 100% of makeup, eliminate invisible dirt, and leave no residue, reducing the risk of acne and other skin blemishes.

Dull Skin

During sleep, your skin undergoes a natural repair and renewal process that gives it a fresh, vibrant appearance in the morning. 

Sleeping with makeup on interferes with this process, causing your skin to look dull. Makeup can settle into creases and fine lines, resulting in dry, itchy skin. 

To maintain a radiant complexion, ensure you remove all traces of makeup before bed.

Premature Ageing

Leaving makeup on overnight can accelerate the ageing process. 

During the day, your skin is exposed to free radicals and other oxidative stressors that can break down collagen, leading to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Sleeping with makeup seals these harmful elements onto your skin, exacerbating their damaging effects. 

Properly cleansing your skin before bed is crucial to protect against premature ageing.

Dry Skin

Sleeping with makeup can dry out your skin. Residual makeup creates a barrier that prevents moisturisers from penetrating the skin, leading to dehydration. 

Additionally, some makeup products contain ingredients that draw moisture away from the skin. 

Using a product like micellar water to cleanse your face ensures that your skin is free from makeup and impurities, allowing it to absorb moisturisers and serums more effectively.

Eye Infections

Sleeping with eye makeup on can increase the risk of irritation, itchiness, and infections. 

Makeup particles can transfer to your pillowcase and enter your eyes, potentially causing irritation. 

In severe cases, leaving mascara on overnight can lead to eyelid cysts. Residual makeup can also cause redness and inflammation around the eyes. 

To avoid these problems, it’s vital to thoroughly remove eye makeup before sleeping.

The consequences of sleeping with makeup on show the importance of a consistent skincare routine. 

Using effective makeup removal products, such as micellar water or cleansers can help keep your skin clean, healthy, and radiant.