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October 8, 2015  ::  By Kate Sanders

What happens when you don’t wash your face before going to sleep?

What happens when you don’t wash your face before going to sleep?
This is a question we hear a lot. While most people agree it’s a good idea to wash your face before bed, some think there really isn’t much harm done if you skip a night or two (or three, or twelve). After all, we’re all busy. We have work to do, families and homes to take care of, and active social lives. Sometimes we fall into bed without washing our face. Is that so bad?

Sleeping in makeup can clog pores and cause breakouts

While forgetting to wash your face for one night is unlikely to cause lasting damage to your skin, one night is all it takes to clog pores and cause a breakout. Makeup left on skin overnight can prevent the skin from “breathing,” and can also inhibit the skin’s process of repair and regeneration while you sleep.

Even if you don’t wear makeup, your skin is exposed to plenty of oils and air pollution that can build up on the skin in the course of a day. Dirt and oils can also clog the pores, and can lead to breakouts – even after only one night. And, of course, this effect multiplies with each day that goes by without washing your face.

Sleeping in makeup causes an occlusive effect, meaning there is a “barrier” over the skin. Not only will this barrier keep in dirt, oil, bacteria, and other irritants, but it also prevents moisturizers from reaching the skin.

Sleeping in your makeup can age your skin

As we go about our days, our skin is constantly under attack from free radicals. Free radicals can “build up” on the skin, especially when wearing makeup, and can cause oxidative stress – when the body is unable to counteract the free radicals. When your skin isn’t given the opportunity to counteract these free radicals, collagen can break down. When the collagen in the skin breaks down, it leads to fine lines and wrinkles.

Sleeping in eye makeup can cause more than skin problems

While it may be tempting to wash the rest of your face, but skip the hard-to-remove mascara, eye shadows, and eye pencils, leaving those on can cause even more issues.

There are tiny hair follicles and oil glands on your eyelids. Failure to remove eye makeup (or even failure to remove the dirt and oils that can build up over the course of a few days) can lead those follicles and glands to become clogged. When this happens, bacteria can build up and cause inflammation and bumps, or styes – and can lead to infection. While these may clear up on their own, often intervention from a doctor is required.

Even the action of rubbing your face on your pillow can cause leftover eye makeup to get into the eye itself, resulting in eye irritation or infection.

So, how bad is it to skip washing your face before bed?

It’s pretty bad. Premature aging, dryness, breakouts, even potential infections can result from failure to wash your face before going to sleep. The good news is that skipping your normal skin care routine for one night probably won’t do irreparable damage. But continually sleeping in your makeup can lead to long-term skin damage – and it’s completely avoidable.

While makeup remover wipes don’t come close to cleansing the skin the way it should be cleansed, they are certainly better than nothing, so it’t not a bad idea to have them in your nightstand in case you need them. After all, removing some of the makeup is better than removing none.

Your best course of action is to take a few precious minutes and clean your skin properly. Reviva Labs makes several products that can help you cleanse your face thoroughly and quickly. Our Eye Makeup Remover Gel gently and quickly removes even the most stubborn eye makeup. And you can follow that up with one of our cleansers – Reviva’s Organic Cleansing Milk is a popular choice, as it deep cleanses as it soothes. Skin feels clean without feeling dry or tight.

For more information on properly cleaning your skin, read our blog: Cleansing your skin. Are you doing it right?


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