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What to Do When You Sleep with Makeup On

Sleeping with makeup on

While it’s ingrained in us that sleeping in a full face of makeup is one of the worst things you can do to your skin, it happens. Perhaps you had a long day at work and could barely keep your eyes open when you reached home, or maybe you were inspired by a night boogying on the tiles and a few too many cocktails (don’t’ worry, we don’t judge).

Either way, your skin won’t be in the best condition the next day. Depending on your skin type it may be looking and feeling a little dry, breaking out, or appearing a tad dull.

Thankfully, there are several skincare steps you can follow to rescue your face after a night snoozing in your makeup. Keep reading to learn how to save your skin.

Double Cleanse

Day-after makeup is going to be more stubborn to remove from your skin, so a double cleansing approach is needed. After all, it’s pretty much been imprinted into your pores at this point.

Use a micellar water solution to wipe the grime, dirt, and old makeup straight off your face. Osmotics Soothing Micellar Cleansing Water works to dissolve makeup while cleansing and refreshing skin without over-drying it. Plus, it’s super gentle and kind to skin, so it helps avoid any further irritation.

Next up, use a gentle cleanser to penetrate the skin more deeply to eliminate any leftover dirt and residue. Your skin will thank you!

We love CosMedix’s Benefit Clean Gentle Cleanser which is packed full of calming shea butter and a specialized impurity-filtering mineral to soothe and protect the skin.


If your skin is feeling and looking particularly dull following a night sleeping in makeup, you may want to consider lightly exfoliating skin after cleansing. This helps for even greater penetration of the skin, removing any further gunk sitting deep in your pores. Plus, exfoliating helps your skin absorb the moisturizing and blemish-combatting products you’ll use next to help it recover.

However, if your skin is super sensitive and you feel exfoliation may agitate it, then you may want to skip this step.

Treat Breakouts

For some of us sleeping in makeup means our skin is left with a fresh new breakout of unsightly spots and blemishes – uh oh. For this next step, you’ll need a quality acne spot treatment to help reduce the appearance of any blemishes that sprung up overnight.

PCA’s Skin Acne Gel is a salicylic acid spot treatment that works to eliminate blemishes and prevent future breakouts. Though that doesn’t mean you should get into the habit of snoozing with your makeup on!


One of the last steps is a simple but super important one – moisturize. Choose an intensely rich solution to restore the skin’s moisture and to bring back your skin’s glow and radiance.

June Jacobs Brightening Moisturizer is a rich and ultra-hydrating formula that delivers intense moisture for bright, smooth, and comfortable skin. It’s exactly what troubled skin requires after a night sleeping in caked-on makeup that has left skin dry and damaged.

Wash Sheets

While treating skin following a night snoozing in old makeup, dirt, and grime is crucial, washing your pillowcase and sheets afterward is just as important.

If you don’t, you risk reverse contamination. You can spend the time and money investing in quality products to heal skin, only to go and sleep on the same pillow that’s soaked with residue, makeup, and filth that’s left your face the night before. It will transfer back to your face when you snuggle up to snooze, encouraging further breakouts and dullness.

While it may seem like a hassle, always wash your pillowcase and sheets following an accidental night sleeping with a full face of makeup. It’s the best way to reduce any further breakouts, plus, who doesn’t love sleeping in a fresh clean bed?


Sleeping in makeup is quite traumatic for skin, so next, you’ll need to allow your skin to rest and recover. If you can, skip wearing makeup for the day to give it a much-needed breather. You can also treat skin to a hydrating overnight treatment the following night to pamper it with some TLC. Before you know it, your skin will be glowing once again.

Keep your skin clean and sanitary by following your usual skincare regime. You should also keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face, as you always should.

After all, throughout the day our hands touch so many things that it’s hard to keep track of. Items such as keyboards, your phone, and pens are coated with bacteria that can transfer from your hands straight onto your face.

Want to kick some more bad skincare habits? Check out our article on the skincare crimes you may be committing.