How To Recover From Sleeping With Your Makeup On

Sleeping with makeup on is not as harmless as it may seem. Furthermore, it can wreak havoc with your skin. However, if you ever fall short of the practice, make sure that you reverse the overnight damage and restore skin the best way possible.

woman sleeping in bed wearing her makeup.

It is essential to know the right methods of cleansing the face and replacing the antioxidants in the skin, along with eliminating the adverse effects the morning after. Additionally, you should also learn the techniques to keep your skin healthy if you often fall asleep with your makeup on.

What Happens To Your Skin When You Sleep With Makeup On?

Sleeping with makeup on can have terrible consequences to the skin. Here is what happens to your skin when you go to sleep without removing your makeup first.

Clogged Pores

A combination of excess sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands, dead skin cells sitting on the surface layer, and lots of environmental impurities keep blocking our skin pores throughout the day. Then applying thick makeup onto it worsens the situation by suffocating the skin completely. Furthermore, the makeup will all stick together and form clusters of clogged pores. If left overnight, this can even lead to blackheads and inflammation.

woman sleeping under a white duvet.


As your makeup clogs your pores, the acne-causing bacteria gets trapped in them easily. This results in bacteria build-up, which eventually leads to blemishes and acne flare-ups.

Even the skin around your lips, in particular, can also break out due to the pore-clogging waxes present in lipsticks and lip glosses.

Skin Sensitivity

The dirt, oil, dead cells, and makeup stuck to the skin all through the night can irritate and sensitise it to a large extent. As a consequence, you can develop skin conditions like rosacea.


Makeup, when left on the skin for the entire night, can dehydrate the skin cells and cause slowness. Those chemical-laden products along with all the foreign particles they attract during the day are known to cause poor micro-circulation in the skin. Furthermore, if you do not restore skin immediately, you may experience dryness, flakiness, and discolouration over time.

woman asleep with lipstick smudged from her lips to her bedding.

Premature Aging

The night is the time for our skin to repair and renew itself so you must let your skin cells breathe for this purpose. If you skip your nighttime makeup removal, you are resisting the self-healing capacity of your skin by breaking down collagen and elastin.

Simultaneously, the free radicals present in various makeup products mess with the natural antioxidants of your skin, thereby interfering with its process of regeneration.

These can cumulatively bring on signs of premature ageing, which includes fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, and a cranky complexion.

Suggested Article: Beat Lip Lines, W​rinkles And Discolouration With These Anti-Aging Lip Treatments.

Eye Infections

Your act of not removing makeup prior to dozing off can cost you serious eye infections.

The sticky formulations of eyeliners and mascaras catch tons of bacteria along with dust, which can clog eyelid pores and, therefore, can often lead to nasty styes. Additionally, if you rub your eyes against your pillows during sleeping, you might end up getting makeup in your eyes and developing infections like conjunctivitis.

Brittle Eyelashes

Irritating particles in mascaras can inflame your eyelash follicles if you don’t remove your eye makeup before sleeping. Your lashes may also get clumped and brittle as eye makeup tends to dry them out.

woman asleep, with a book by her side, wearing a full face of makeup.

How to Prevent Any Damage from Worsening

We know that the list of damages is long and cringe-worthy. However, the side effects can worsen if you attempt to recover your skin without knowing exactly what do in order to put a stop to further damage

Cleansing your face with your regular cleanser and water will not do if you have left full coverage foundation on for the whole night.

Make sure that you purify the skin intensely, and renew with antioxidants so that it does not need to struggle with its recovery the next day and afterwards.

In short, you need to rethink your method of cleansing!

a woman cleansing her face with foam cleanser

Suggested Article: Create an all-natural Skincare Routine with Home Ingredients.

Skip Makeup the Day After

Skipping makeup the day after will encourage the rejuvenation of your skin by allowing it to relax and breathe. When combined with proper care, not only does it slow down bacteria build-up but it also delays the appearance of signs of premature ageing.

So, say no to using makeup for a couple of days to restore skin more effectively.

How to Cleanse Your Skin Effectively the Morning After

Now that you are all set for damage control and repair, reach the sink and start with double-cleansing. Follow a fine-tuned approach to recover skin and renew it after sleeping in a full face of makeup.

Cleanse Your Face

This step is all about removing the leftover makeup from the surface of the skin.

Choose an oil-based, ultra-hydrating cleanser that will dissolve all surface debris including oil, bacteria build-up, and even the toughest makeup products. Simply, massage it gently on your skin and wash everything away with tepid water.

woman washing her face over the sink, preventing clogged pores.

Cleanse Your Skin Again

When it comes to deep cleansing your ‘tortured’ skin, this second step is a surefire winner. Where it not only removes the remaining makeup and dirt it also helps to restore the skin efficiently.

  • If you have oily, acne-prone skin, then use a mild foaming face wash.
  • But, for dry and dull skin, a soothing cream cleanser will work better.

Then, simply lather up the cleanser and let it penetrate deep into the skin before rinsing it off.

Slough It Off

Unless you have super sensitive skin, consider light exfoliation as a part of your cleansing game. Either opt for a softening and nourishing scrub that is kind to your skin or simply use a deep glycolic chemical wipe. If any gunk is still sitting in your pores, it should be sloughed off completely at this stage.

Tip: Stay away from exfoliating formulas containing grains or beads as they will irritate your already damaged skin even more.

How to Replace Antioxidants in Your Skin for Repairing It

You would be taking extra measures for replacing antioxidants in your skin in this step of your morning-after strategy. This is essential to slow down the oxidative damage created overnight and reboot your complexion by combating premature ageing.

Apply an Antioxidant Serum or Gel

A serum or face gel rich in antioxidants will repair, replenish, and renew your skin very well. Follow it up with ultra-rich face cream or lotion to support the healing of your damaged skin cells.

Indulge in Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Include more antioxidants in your diet to recover skin from the trauma of last night in a more efficient way. Colourful fruits and vegetables, green tea, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, can give your body as well as your skin a natural antioxidant boost.

woman holding a green smoothie, with a straw, the surrounding image blurred.

How to Treat Your Skin to Avoid Possible Side Effects

Restore The pH Balance

If your skin feels a little too dry or sensitive after sleeping in makeup, you need to restore the pH of its protective outer layer. Simply spritz a facial mist to soothe and energize it while bringing its natural acidity level back.

Suggested Article: Dry Lips: Combat Chapped Lips This Winter with the Best Natural DIY Remedies.

Soothe and Rehydrate

Try your best to comfort and restore skin with intense hydration and nourishment. To do this, all you need is a face mask that suits your requirements.

A balancing mud mask is great for reducing the risk of irritation whilst a hydrating creamy mask will give a healthy look by quelling dryness. You could also try a homemade natural mask packed with fatty acids and antioxidants in order to lessen the appearance of signs of premature ageing.

Suggested Article: Make Your Own Natural DIY Face Masks for Every Skin Type.

Keep Zits Under Control

The bacteria build-up on your skin can make pesky zits and blemishes spring up overnight. Therefore, to recover skin fully, you have to focus on treating these spots. Opt for natural spot treatment for faster results.

woman applying product to acne.

Suggested Article: Tea Tree Oil: 10 Ways To Use It To Combat Blemishes and Breakouts.

What to Do if You Are Prone to Falling Asleep in Makeup

To begin with, do not make it a habit. You might end up wreaking havoc on your looks despite your continuous efforts to restore skin later.

However, if you still feel that taking off makeup is just too much after a long day, chances are high that you will break the rule again. So, here are a few easy hacks for you to do it with minimal side effects.

Use Mineral Makeup

According to experts, mineral makeup products are much safer than the oil-based makeup products available on the market.

Being less comedogenic, mineral powders neither block pores nor encourage bacteria-buildup as much. This means you can recover skin easily and quickly the next morning.

Set It With Loose Powder

Apply a sheer loose powder all over your made-up face in a thin layer before taking a snooze. This will keep your makeup in place, thereby ensuring that you do not need to struggle with the recovery phase.

Using a makeup setting spray will also serve the same purpose.

a woman applying makeup with a powder brush to her cheek.

Protect Your Eyes

When it comes to sleeping with your makeup on, make sure that you provide protection to your eyes beforehand. Using a soothing eye drop can zap away all kinds of irritation, itching, and redness that can cause discomfort the next day.

Get a Silk Pillowcase

Continuous friction with a pillowcase will turn your made-up face into a discomforting mess along with causing more irritation, breakouts, and signs of premature ageing.

Get yourself the softest pillow available along with a silk cover in order to avoid this issue. This will make the process of healing much easier.

Just remember these tips and you will be all good to avoid a skin catastrophe even after falling asleep in your makeup.

To learn more about the effects of sleep and skincare, click here to read our article on ’11 Sleeping Habits That Can Reduce Breakouts While You Sleep.’

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