Wearing Your Makeup To Bed Will Turn You Into A Flaky-Skinned Hag

Chronic makeup-to-bed-wearer here. As such, I read with interest a new, very scientific study undertaken by Anna Pursglove, a writer over at the Daily Mail, who spent a month wearing her makeup to bed (and basically not washing her face) to see what might happen.

Short answer: It’s not pretty.

But here are the rules she gave herself. Pursglove went to sleep with makeup on each night, and in the morning, gave her face a quick wash in the shower. She’d then reapply her makeup over whatever cursory traces remained from the night before and be on her way. I imagine it was something like this:

Pursglove had her skin monitored by the 3-D Cosmetic Imaging Studio, where they analyze every broken capillary and enlarged pore in detail. The imaging program provided before and after assessments, comparing her skin to others her age (she’s 40). Pursglove reported that by her third no-wash day, she’d developed tiny white cysts around her eyelashes indicating she had incredibly dry skin. To solve the problem, she did the dumbest thing ever.

“In a bid to rehydrate my parched face, once or twice I tried putting moisturizer over the surface of the makeup at night,” she wrote. “But this served only to smear it in a wider arch across the pillowcase.” Oops.

It seems that in an effort to prove a point and get more extreme results, Pursglove did a lot of outlandish things. I’d reckon that the majority of us who wear our makeup to bed at night do a very thorough cleansing of our skin in the morning. No way would I ever put makeup on over the previous night’s foundation or blush. That’s just pure idiocy. [I have been known to do this. — Amelia]

As expected, Pursglove’s skin dried and cracked — covered in Marie Antoinette-grade layers and layers of makeup, her skin couldn’t breathe. At the end of the 30-day experiment, dermatologist Dr. Stefanie Williams assessed the damage. “Sleeping in makeup has an occlusive effect. This means any irritants are locked in, exacerbating any allergic reactions, and moisturizers are locked out,” she explained.

“Experts,” said Pursglove, estimated that her skin was 10 years older than it had been at the beginning of the experiment. The damage is (thankfully) not permanent, but Pursglove is back on an evening cleansing regiment indefinitely. And yes, this was all pretty much common sense.

The moral: Wearing makeup to bed is a bad idea. But it’s seriously not as bad as this Daily Mail article is making it out to be. And reading sensational articles in the Daily Mail is probably a waste of time. But you knew that already. [Daily Mail]