What Happens to Our Skin When We Don't Take Our Makeup Off, According to an Expert

You know those nights when you simply can't find the energy to take off your makeup? We've all been there.

Whether you were too tired or just forgot, it happens to all of us. If you forget to remove your makeup once in a blue moon, you have nothing to worry about. But, if you make it a recurring habit, you need to make a change—and stat. We spoke with Naseeha Khan—certified makeup artist and co-founder of CTZN Cosmetics—about the dangers of keeping your makeup on overnight.

Keep reading for everything she has to say about what happens to your skin when you don't take your makeup off:

Sweety High: Is it absolutely necessary to take off your makeup every night?

Naseeha Khan: It's always best to cleanse your skin at the end of the day to remove your makeup, and also any dirt, bacteria and impurities collected throughout the day in your skin.

woman removing makeup

(via Shutterstock)


SH: If you religiously take off your makeup, but forget one night, what happens to your skin?

NK: One night is probably not going to be the end of the world, but you'll definitely be more at risk for breakouts, dry skin, and so forth.


SH: If you apply new makeup over yesterday's makeup, are there any bad effects it can have on your skin?

NK: Depending on the makeup you use, you could be clogging your pores by adding new layers of makeup onto your skin. You'll also find that the makeup may not go on as well. Clean, well-hydrated skin typically wears makeup the best.


SH: Are makeup wipes good enough to take off all your makeup?

NK: I usually recommend using a makeup wipe to remove as much makeup as possible, then following with a cleanser (I like oil cleansers) to really deep clean.

cartoon illustration removing makeup

(via Shutterstock)


SH: What products would you recommend to take off your makeup?

NK: Start with micellar water or makeup-removing wipes, then follow with a cleanser. You can use a cleansing tool like Foreo if you'd like to get a really thorough cleanse.


SH: Does anything happen to your skin overnight if you keep your makeup on?

NK: Absolutely—leaving your makeup on overnight leads to flakiness, unevenness, dryness and breakouts! A lot of makeup is formulated with silicones, which can clog the pores, especially when you leave it on overnight.


SH: Does taking off your makeup prevent breakouts?

NK: Taking off your makeup absolutely prevents breakouts. By cleansing your skin, you're removing any built-up dirt and bacteria (which we know cause breakouts), and you're allowing your skin to breathe overnight.


SH: What actually happens to our skin when we don't take off our makeup for an extended period of time? 

NK: Prolonged periods of not removing your makeup can lead to dryness (to the point where your wrinkles are very accentuated and look more scar-like), acne breakouts, uneven skin texture, negative reactions, rashes and more. Moral of the story: Take your makeup off!

woman with pimple

(via Shutterstock)


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