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How to Recover From Sleeping With Makeup

Lorraine Jones



After a long night of drunken adventures or an exhausting day of running from one event to another, the second we get home we start to slowly drift into a blissful sleep and forget to wash away the cosmetic remnants from the day.

“According to research, one in four women sleep in their makeup. Some do it to impress their partner; exhaustion also makes some forget, while others just do not care. Many women can't just help but sleep in their makeup even when they know the havoc it will reek on their skin. They also think that other skincare products can solve the consequences that arise,” said Niyla Carson, a skincare specialist.

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As hard as it is to resist sweet slumber after a day of nonstop obligations, don't neglect your skincare routine! If this becomes a continuous pattern it will be revealed through your skin. Even a simple one-night slip-up can have potential harm to the face. Marijke van Breda, a PR and Marketing Manager in Oliver Wicks, has personally experienced the negative effects that sleeping with makeup has on your skin. According to Breda, sleeping with makeup on can:

  • Hasten aging by making the skin appear older and increase the look of wrinkles

  • Prevent light from reflecting on your skin

  • Prevent the renewal of skin cells on your face from repairing and regenerating, leading to the breakdown of healthy collagen

  • Eye infection: due to residue of cosmetics irritating the eyes causing inflammation, redness, and corneal abrasions

  • Clog pores which result in acne and breakouts

“When you sleep in your makeup the skin cannot breathe and the eyelashes are getting weaker,” said Jabran Kundi, a Writer for Makeup traps dirt and pollutes the skin giving off a dull appearance.

If you wake up the next morning with makeup smeared on your pillow and mascara on your lashes, you need a go-to strategy for how to recover from sleeping with makeup on. Makeup wipes will do the job, but for a deep clean use a washcloth to scrub away the seeped in oils and old products. The texture of a washcloth acts as an exfoliating-like process that reaches deeper than a mere cosmetic wipe.

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“Whenever I wake up after accidentally falling asleep with my makeup on I always do a proper morning routine – cleanse, exfoliate and tone my face. If I see that my skin needs it, I do a cleansing face mask. Then I use a serum and a very light moisturizer. I also never forget to change my pillowcase,” said Kundi. Use an oil-based cleanser to eliminate the natural oils, dirt, and old makeup residue from the face. Oils from your hair and face can seep into your pillowcase while you rest your head, so, replacing it with a fresh clean one is highly advised.

Try to get at least eight hours of sleep and stay hydrated! “A good night's sleep can help the skin bounce back healthier due to hormones released in the body during the different stages of sleep. These hormones help maintain youthful and healthy skin, protect the skin from damaging free radicals, and increase collagen level giving the body its supple and smooth look.” said Carson. It is even recommended to take a break from makeup for a while if you find yourself in this situation.

If you have an accidental slip up and forget to take off your makeup, don’t fret! Skin can bounce back within 24 hours if you take proper precautions. Follow your go-to cleansing routine and try to not make a habit of neglecting your canvas. Sleeping in makeup isn't the end of the world, just breathe and let your skin do the same.

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