What REALLY happens to your skin when you sleep in your make-up? Experts warn that forgetting to cleansen can lead to breakouts and eye infections and even premature ageing

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  • Skincare experts explain how sleeping in your makeup can damage skin
  • Be warned that forgetting to clean can lead to premature aging and skin irritation
  • Dr. Katherine Borsiewicz also pointed out the importance of the double. Sanitary

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Everyone knows that sleeping in your makeup is a major skin care sin, but do we really know what damage it does to our face when we forget to cleanse before sleeping?

Leading skin care experts have revealed what happens to our faces when we leave makeup on overnight, from bacteria causing bad breakouts to trapped dirt in your skin and slowing collagen production.


Problems caused by leaving your cosmetics on for too long include eye infections, brittle eyelids and rashes, according to dermatologist Dr. Katherine Borsiewicz. Discover why double cleansing in the evening can be the secret to glowing skin.

Here, FEMAIL explains the five things that can happen to your skin when you hit the pillow with makeup and how to fix them.

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Leading skin care experts have revealed what happens to our faces when we leave makeup on overnight, including breakouts and bacterial eye infections (stock image).


By sleeping with your makeup on, you’re trapping natural oils, environmental impurities, and a whole host of other harmful bacteria in your pores, which can result in nasty breakouts.

As you sleep, the cell regeneration process lubricates your hair follicles, allowing natural oils to flow to the surface of your skin.

When you take off your makeup, this oil gets trapped and mixes with all the other product on your face, clogging your pores and causing breakouts.

Lou Somerx, clinical director of Cosmex Clinic, a leading skin rejuvenation clinic in Cambridge, says: ‘Bacteria are the main cause of breakouts. Throughout the day your makeup mixes with many bacteria and pollutants from the environment; These by-products break down into your makeup, getting into your pores.

Why you should clean your face twice: Dermatologist reveals that removing makeup completely could be the secret to good skin

Dr Katherine Borisiewicz, Consultant Dermatologist at Cadogan Clinic, said: ‘It is important to thoroughly cleanse the face to remove makeup, skin care products, dirt and oil that has accumulated throughout the day. Sleeping in makeup over time can also accelerate skin aging, so it’s important to take the time each evening to thoroughly remove makeup.

Every day our skin sheds about 50 million cells and the renewal process mostly happens at night. Makeup that is left on the skin overnight can inhibit the natural exfoliation process, leaving skin dull, lifeless or oily and pores can appear enlarged. Old makeup can also block the flow of oxygen to the skin, which is important for skin repair and regeneration of collagen and elastin, which give structure and support to our skin.

Double cleansing is recommended in the evening to completely remove makeup, skin care products as well as dirt and bacteria that naturally accumulate during the day.

I would recommend a good pH balanced cleanser followed by a gentle micellar water like Bioderma. This is also a great product to use in the morning to remove products the night before.

Many people love the convenience of micellar water because it doesn’t require washing off – great for late nights or those makeup-free days! However, if used regularly as part of a double cleansing routine, it should be washed off as it will be able to absorb skin care products properly. This is a very gentle, user-friendly way of cleansing the skin.

Despite their convenience, face wipes are not eco-friendly and they are not effective in cleaning the face properly. They don’t remove all makeup, oil, and dirt—they move it around the face and can lead to skin breakdown, irritation and sensitivity, and skin dehydration.

There are non-rinse cleansers available such as creams and lotions that can be applied to the skin and removed with a cotton pad. They are soap free hence a good option for sensitive skin.

Astringents, which usually contain alcohol, are applied with a cotton pad, which can be harsh and drying for sensitive skin.

Facial cleansers are designed to remove dirt, oil, and bacteria from the face, while makeup removers are formulated to remove makeup from the surface of the skin.

The water temperature should be warm. If it’s too hot it will dry out your skin, if it’s too cold it won’t remove dirt efficiently.

Do not leave the cleanser on the skin for too long – massage it gently on the face for a few seconds and then wash off with warm water.

If your skin is feeling tight or dry or sensitive with dry, red spots, you may be over-washing or using skin care products that are too harsh for the face. Over-washing can also lead to oily skin as the skin is replenished by the production of excess oil.

If your skin is suffering from over-washing, it is important that you give your skin a rest and ample time to repair. Strip back on skin care products and use a gentle cleanser or oil cleanser.

Facial massage not only feels great (especially if someone else is doing it) but it can also help improve circulation, reduce puffiness, relax muscles, and improve skin’s appearance. It should be gentle and there are various facial massage tools that can be used regularly at home.

Eye makeup remover is essential to remove eye makeup. Products like mascara can be extremely difficult to remove, so it’s important that you choose a gentle, hard-working eye makeup remover. It is important to be gentle when cleaning the eyes – soak a cotton pad with eye makeup remover and gently press it onto the eyelid for 30 seconds before wiping – resist the urge to rub!!

When it comes to removing cleansers, there are many different products and they all have their benefits – it’s mostly…


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