I like unnecessary stunt journalism as much as anyone else. And there’s a lot I’d do for science. Soylent mono-diet? Yes, please. Ayahuasca? Pass me a bucket. No-poo hair regimen? Bring on the grease, I guess.
But I would never agree to wear makeup for a prolonged period of time.
Letting your skin suffocate under Kardashian-level contouring, or even just a few dabs of concealer and a light dusting of bronzer, can leave you with angry, itchy and aged skin. Just look at what happened to this woman.
It seems like a no-brainer, as obvious as removing your contact lenses before bed, but surveys suggest that a not-insubstantial chunk of women — anywhere from 25 to 40 percent — occasionally doze off all dolled up, because they get lazy, forget or feel self-conscious going all-natural in front of significant others.
But pores need to breathe. Nighttime is a period of reparation and restoration for skin, just as it is for brains and muscles. Skip sleep and watch lustrous skin devolve into a blemished, heavily bagged canvas. Unfortunately, merely getting rest probably won’t cut it for those of us without teflon-tough skin — aside from anti-aging and treatment products, you should hit the sack with as bare a face as possible.
What are the worst offenders?
If there's any type of makeup to be vigilant about removing, it’s liquid foundation. Debra Jaliman, a New York-based dermatologist, says that acne-prone skin probably suffers the most. But, sleeping in caked-on cover-up aggravates a slew of other issues, including contact irritations, eczema and an inflammation of the skin known as seborrhea dermatitis.
Passing out in full eye makeup isn’t a great idea either. Mascara or eyeliner that migrates to the under-eye area, Jaliman explained, can cause milia, a type of acne that look like small white cysts. Gunky mascara can also clog oil glands at the base of eyelashes and leave you with blepharitis, a condition marked by red, irritated lids. And, makeup that gets inside eyelids and onto linens turns your peepers and pillow cases into breeding grounds for such delicious infections as pink-eye.
What’s more, a 24/7 coating of mascara will dry out luscious lashes, leaving them brittle and prone to thinning or falling-out.
What should I do if I forget?
If you do make the mistake of passing out with your face on, as we all have, Jaliman suggests a thorough morning scrub, ideally with a very mild cleanser, like Cetaphil.
“Use a cotton pad to wash with,” said Jaliman. “Then use a moisturizer to soothe the skin. Stay away from acids like glycolic and salicylic acid.”
How long should you give a morning break-out to clear up? About a week. If blemishes or rashes persist, Jaliman says, it’s time to head to the dermatologist.
What about makeup advertised as safe-for-bed?
Recently, a few cosmetics brands have have touted mineral makeup as a viable nighttime option. If you have to leave one type of foundation on overnight, Jaliman says mineral is the way to go because it’s lighter and less likely to clog pores. Still, she wouldn’t recommend sleeping in anything.
Birchbox also compiled a list of makeup products that you can wear to bed, including nighttime BB cream from Dr. Jart and timeBalm concealer from theBalm. While I don’t love how this particular BB cream looks (night or day), I did (accidentally) wear it to bed, and it didn’t wreak havoc on my exceptionally sensitive skin. (That’s saying a lot — a facialist once refused to perform extractions on me because she said I had the most sensitive skin she’d ever seen.)
I’m also a big fan of timeBalm, but I don’t buy wearing it to bed. Infused with vitamin A or not, timeBalm is somewhat creamy, medium-coverage concealer. If you want to lighten under-eyes overnight, consider a tinted eye cream instead, like Eye Duty Triple Remedy by First Aid Beauty.
All in all, going to bed makeup-free at night will keep your skin looking clearer, younger and smoother by daylight. So, coat your face to your heart’s content in the morning, but make sure to scrub, wipe or oil-cleanse away your favorite feature-defining products before you hit the sack.