Maybe you got home late from girls’ night and were too exhausted, or maybe you pulled an all-nighter studying and just didn’t have the time. Whatever the reason, as long as you don’t make it a nightly habit and follow these steps, your skin can be brought back to life.
“Not only does sleeping in your makeup promote irritation but it causes eczema and breakouts as well. When it’s not fully cleansed, your skin isn’t able to adjust to the overnight renewal process and maintain healthy hydration levels. It won’t be able to function properly with a heavy makeup layer all night long.” says Joshua Zeichner, MD and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Step 1. Remove it immediately.
Take off your makeup as soon as you wake up. First, use a makeup wipe or cleansing oil, then double-cleanse with your go-to face wash. Here are some guidelines:
For oily/acne-prone skin: Use a salicylic acid cleanser to remove excess oil. It will also help exfoliate dead cells to unblock pores.
For dry skin: If you have dry skin, make sure to use a hydrating cleanser.
For sensitive skin: A gentle milk, cream, or micellar water cleanser is best.
Step 2. Use a skin-balancing toner.
This step is crucial in balancing out your now-out-of-whack skin. Choose one that has aloe vera to reduce redness, AHAs to help exfoliate dead skin cells, and chamomile extract to accelerate healing and minimize scarring from breakouts.
Step 3. Treat with acne-killing ingredients.
Benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria, opens up blocked pores and reduces skin inflammation. Dr. Zeichner says: “In order to avoid skin irritation and dryness, look for a lower concentration (around 2.5%) of the ingredient. And if you’ve got extremely sensitive skin and cannot tolerate a leave-on treatment, try a BP cleanser to start.”
Step 4. Let your skin breathe.
Don’t put any more makeup on for at least 12 hours. But if you must — pick a medicated formula. Look for powder or mineral foundations, or if you want a liquid, choose one formulated for acne that contains acne-preventing salicylic acid.