Sleeping With your Make-up On – Skin’s Worst Nightmare?


We all try to practice safe cleansing, including washing the day away before we hit the sack. But is it really that bad to skip a night or two? Some feel it isn’t, like Kim Kardashian for example:

“Charlotte Tilbury is my hero because she has never let her husband see her without make-up on. She sleeps with her make-up on. She’s my idol. She’s inspired me when I am really lazy and I can’t do my make-up the next day, so I’ll sleep in my make-up.”1

Sure, it’s easy to adopt this train of thought, particularly on late nights when we’re too tired to be bothered (we’ve all been there). The problem is, we all don’t have a team of expert dermatologists and make-up artists (not to mention the million dollar spa and facial treatments) on hand to clean up the problems that can and will happen when we take the lazy way out.

Not to rub it in or anything, but we should mention that it has never been easier to remove make-up before bed. Technological advancements over the past five or so years have allowed us to say "goodbye" to alcohol-laden make-up removers and disposable wipes. Instead we've been been introduced to gentle and efficient Micellar Waters and reusable microfibre cloths.  

What types of problems could be lurking under the surface when you skip the pre-bed time cleanse? Read on to find out.

First Up, Eye Irritation

Damaged Lashes

Eye make-up only looks good on your eyes, not in them. Rolling around on the pillow all night with your make-up still in tact can cause tiny particles of eye shadow and flakes of mascara to creep into your peepers. Aside from causing redness, irritation and infection2, it can also dry out your lashes causing them to become brittle, making them susceptible to breakage.

Another scary consequence of sleeping in your make-up: demodicosis. This is a condition that occurs when there is an overabundance of eyelash mites in lashes. Everyone has them (it’s completely normal) but having too many is not normal and can cause infection and even eyelash fallout3. Leaving mascara on overnight is one of the main culprits, so just another reason to take it all off.


Irritation doesn’t just cause redness, it can also cause styes. These nasty eyelid pimples are the result of clogged hair follicles and oil glands4 that could come with not washing off make-up. Aside from being painful, annoying and unsightly, these small bumps, or hordeolums, can lead to even bigger problems.


In extreme cases, the infection could go beyond small styes and actually cause meibomian cysts, or chalazions, to form on the eyelids. These cysts can lead to far more problematic consequences if they continue to grow in size, like cornea deformation and astigmatism and require more aggressive forms of treatment or even surgery5.

Pimples, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores & More

Not washing your face before bed cancels out all that time, hard work and money you’ve put into perfecting your skin the rest of the time. When make-up stays on, it invites dirt and dry cells to build up, clogging pores and causing pimples, blackheads, enlarged pores and even acne6. Already have acne? Then you’re already aware of the importance of washing your face regularly and what could happen if you don’t. You can imagine how much worse it could be if you don’t remove your make-up to boot.

Skin Product Interference

Speaking of all that money you’ve spent on your make-up routine, sleeping with it on for just one night can have a negative effect on your skin. It can block the body’s ability to absorb moisturizers and other cleansing products the following evening7.  Keeping your face clean between the sheets is another good way to help keep your products working as they should.

Say Hello to Early Wrinkles

If this isn’t one of the biggest reasons to wash your make-up of, we don’t know what is. Make-up can trap dirt and environmental pollutants inside the skin, and this type of environmental stress can result in increased free radicals which can cause DNA mutations, collagen degradation and over time, can result in premature aging8

Even when we're being our most diligent at pre-bed make-up removal. An effective anti-aging serum will help keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay. The Riversol Anti-Aging Sample Kit is available completely free and includes a serum rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles over time.

Cue the Dry Skin

As we’ve been learning here, sleeping with your make-up on causes all kinds of inflammation. With increased inflammation comes dryness. And redness and flaking9. Think your lips can escape the dryness? Think again. Leave that lipstick on and you can expect chapped lips the next day10.

There you have dry skin, washing your face before bed is a must to keep skin looking its best. Just be sure to choose a cream style cleanser as these are hydrating, even as they clean. Generally speaking, they are specifically designed to replenish dry and dehydrated skin. 

Regardless of how diligent we are (or aren't) with our nightly cleanse. Having an effective skin care routine can be the cornerstone of radiant, healthy skin. The Riversol anti-aging sample kit includes a gentle cleanser, anti-aging serum, and powerful moisturizer to keep skin it's best at any age. Get a completely free 15-day sample kit here. There are non strings attached, no credit card details to input, and no "hidden fees". It's simply, a free sample, enough to be sure if Riversol is right for you. 


  1. (2017) Kim Kardashian’s Beauty Routine: Four Eyeliners, Ombre Brows and Sleeping In Makeup. Marie Claire. Retrieved from:
  2. Black, Lindsey Rose (2016) 9 Things That Happen When You Don’t Regularly Remove Your Makeup At Night. Retrieved from:
  3. Consumer Health Digest. Eyelash Mites: Causes and Treatments To Reduce* Eyelash Mites. Retrieved from:
  4. Boyd, Kierstan. American Academy of Opthamology. (2017) What are Chalazia and Styes? Retrieved from:
  5. Improve Eyesight HQ. (2017) Chalazion: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments. Retrieved from:
  6. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 10 skin care habits that can worsen acne. Retrieved from:
  7. Baum, Isadora, CHC (2016) 11 Gross Things That Happen If You Don’t Remove Your Makeup Before Bed. Retrieved from:
  8. Kitchens, Simone (2012) Is It Really That Bad To Sleep In Makeup? Dermatologists Tell Us The Truth. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from:
  9. Faragalli, Samantha (2015) Here’s Why You Seriously Shouldn’t Sleep With Your Makeup On. Retrieved from:
  10. Farrell, Shannon. What Really Happens When You Sleep With Your Makeup On. Retrieved from:
  1. First Up, Eye Irritation
  2. Pimples, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores & More
  3. Skin Product Interference
  4. Say Hello to Early Wrinkles
  5. Cue the Dry Skin