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This Is Exactly What Happens When You Forget to Take Your Makeup Off at Night

by Tori Crowther / Monday, 26 November 2018

Whether it’s a regular occurrence or once in a blue moon, we’ve all been guilty of forgetting to remove our makeup before going to bed at some point or another, and it could be doing harm to your skin in the long term.

If you tend to skip that important step at night, there are a few things you should know. First, the obvious: “Makeup has a tendency to clog up pores,” said Dr. Tatiana Lapa, dermatologist and medical director of the Dr. Tatiana Aesthetic Clinic, adding that washing your face at the end of the day gives you the opportunity to “clear the debris sitting within them.” Then, the less obvious: “Clogging these pores with oily material can cause them to enlarge, become inflamed, and potentially scar,” she said. This happens because makeup can prevent the normal function of the skin. “It can block sebaceous glands and cause a buildup of excess sebum, which is inflammatory for the skin. It’s important to understand that oil does not mean moisture or hydration for the skin. In fact, oil irritates the skin and increases the risk of other skin problems like acne, rosacea, and pigmentation. There is a misconception that oily skin ages better, which simply is not true.”

But enlarged pores won’t be your only concern. “Makeup forms an oily layer on the skin that tends to absorb pollution and bacteria,” Dr. Lapa said. “Wearing your makeup at night means that your skin is smothered in this grimy layer. Your skin cells will not shed in the normal way, and the oil glands may begin to malfunction. This means that your skin will feel greasy, unhealthy, and dull.” As a result, you may experience more frequent breakouts, poor skin texture, and sensitivity.

If it’s glowing, blemish-free skin you’re after, a good skincare routine should be your priority, and now might be the time to hop on that double-cleansing bandwagon.