Yes, You Should Always Wash Your Makeup Off Before Bed

You wake up, and immediately the guilt hits.

You finally got home, after a long work day and drinks with your friends, and the last thing you wanted to do was spend more time away from your comfy, cozy bed. Especially when it meant dealing with running mascara and sticky lip stains. But this morning, you're paying for it. The flaking black mess on your pillow surrounded by peachy residue and foundation stains chastises you.

You slept in your makeup, and now you're fighting an uphill battle to get your skin back to looking halfway decent.

As much as we want to fight it, there are plenty of reasons not to skip taking your makeup off before you crash.

Your skin will suffer for it.

Sleeping in your makeup does a few things to your skin—namely, it suffocates it. Skin is a living, breathing organ and if your pores stay clogged all night long, bacteria has the perfect opportunity to grow. Bacteria leads to breakouts, which means you’ll need more makeup to do damage control the next day, creating an endless cycle. Makeup enlarges your pores as well, creating a duller surface that makes you look tired, drained, and overall less alert than you would with a fresh, radiant complexion.

Your skin works hard all day long and needs that break between applications to breathe, renew, and stay healthy. And no, a quick makeup wipe isn’t going to cut it—a thorough, gentle cleanser will do the trick. You don’t have to go overboard, either! While a skincare routine is important, you don’t need to follow ten steps in order to give your skin the benefit of breathing throughout the night.

Side note: you also don’t want to leave makeup residue on your pillowcase to work its way back into your pores the following night!

You’ll look older.

Makeup dries your skin out as the day wears on, so that moisturizing BB cream you so proudly used this morning is now contributing to the flakey, dead skin you see in the morning. Dry skin is prone to appear aged, leading to more fine lines, wrinkles, and redness. Most of the rejuvenation process that leaves your skin looking fresh the next day takes place overnight—leaving makeup on slows down this process.

Routine actually improves your sleep.

Creating a balanced, simple, and relaxing routine before you go to bed has been proven to improve your sleep in a few ways. A routine cues your body to slow down and prep for bedtime, working with other natural tells that the day is done to ease you from your busy schedule into quality, restorative sleep. Just like anything else we do, sleep is a behavior, and you need to train your mind and body to follow the best habits possible. Our bodies aren’t designed to abruptly hit the hay, so slowly transitioning into it with a quiet, evening skincare routine can lead to better sleep in the long run.

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Shelly Weaver-Cather
Shelly Weaver-Cather

Shelly Weaver is part of the Content Team at Tuft & Needle, leading the writing and editing of our blog. Not quite a Phoenix native, (They take that sort of thing super seriously.) Shelly has spent most of her life in the Phoenix Metro area and has no plans of leaving anytime soon. She made the unexpected jump out of wedding photography and onto T&N’s team in 2016, and found a passion for the people that keep the lights on. She still finds herself shooting in her free time, though these days there are less bridal portraits and more masterpieces of her first child, Duke, a lab-pit mix with an unparalleled love for both T&N mattress hogging and couch destroying.

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