We get it. After the longest of days, all you want to do is collapse in bed and sleep for as many hours as you possibly can. And that means you have zero energy for anything else, including making it over to the sink to remove your makeup before you head off to dreamland. Nope. But just how bad is it not to take off your makeup before you sleep, you ask? And how long until our eyes start sticking together? Here’s the deal.

Leaving on your makeup while you slumber can lead to painful breakouts. In an ideal world, you wash your face twice a day using some combination of a cleanser, eye makeup remover, micellar water, or, at the very least, a wipe to take off your stubborn makeup before bed. If you’re going to skimp at all on this routine, skip the morning cleaning instead. Just get that makeup off your face before bed, says Shari Marchbein, a board-certified dermatologist at Downtown Dermatology in New York City. “It is extremely important to remove makeup, dirt, and pollutants that have accumulated on your skin during the day before heading to bed,” she says. “Sleeping with makeup on/forgetting to rinse your face before bed is a big no-no. It can cause major acne breakouts, including painful cysts.” (Photo via Getty)

Eye makeup or face makeup — which one is worse to leave on? So you’re exhausted and decide to just swipe over your face with a makeup remover wipe. You can wash your eyes tomorrow. Or you really went to town on the eye makeup remover, so you skip the rest of your coverage. That’s better than nothing, right? “In truth, it’s all bad,” says Marchbein. “The eyelid skin is the thinnest skin of the body and is especially prone to inflammation and redness, so removing makeup gently yet completely from the eyes is extremely important. At the same time, leaving makeup on the rest of the face traps dirt, bacteria, pollution, and oils from the day into pores and can lead to breakouts, redness, and an uneven skin tone.” Noted. Stocking up on more remover now.

What’s the best way to remove stubborn makeup when you’re exhausted? Thankfully it’s pretty easy to remove makeup (even the long-wearing kind) with little effort, even when you’re tired. “I always recommend a gentle or ultra gentle cleanser,” offers Marchbein. She suggests Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($10) or a wipe like simple Skincare Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes ($13). “They’re the only ones I use since they don’t sting my face or leave a film on my skin.” For acne or oily-prone skin, she suggests a cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid or an exfoliating cleanser after a gentle cleanser to help clean out pores. If you have dry skin, skip that second step, though, as it can be irritating to your complexion.

(Photos via Getty)

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