Last updated on Sep 18th, 2018 at 07:26 am

If you fall into bed without washing your face most nights, we chatted to Neutrogena to give you the motivation you need to get into better skincare habits.

1. Your skin becomes dull

We all know by now that our skin is an organ that performs multiple functions, right? It secretes sweat and oil, protects us from infection by healing wounds, and plays a vital role in heat regulation.

In order to perform the above functions, your skin needs to maintain a healthy barrier – which you ruin by not cleansing your skin at night (crucial whether you wear make-up or not, FYI). If your skin has to contend with layers of oxidised skincare, this morning’s make-up, as well as an entire day’s grime and pollutants; it doesn’t stand much of a chance.

The result? Tired-looking dull skin.

2. Eye irritation and injury

A combination of your tears and your eyelashes keep the delicate membranes of your eyes protected from irritants and small particles like dust and pollen.

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Should you decide to face plant an eye that is covered with eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara into your pillow, all bets are off, as an immune response will likely be triggered to fight the looming threat that is now being smeared into your eyes. You can expect redness, swelling, and itching.

If you’re REALLY unlucky, you can also end up with a scratched cornea, stye, and long term eyelid skin issues like dermatitis!

Copyright: sergeyp / 123RF Stock Photo

3. Your eyelashes break (and it doesn’t stop there)

Since your mascara is nice and dry by the time you go to bed, it makes your eyelashes brittle. This results in more breakage. As if the aesthetic aspect alone isn’t bad enough, you need your eyelashes to protect you from harm (read point 1) and they’re not much good when they’re broken in half.

It’s these broken eyelashes that can lead to a scratched cornea if they go into your eye. It’s also blocked eyelash follicles that can lead to a stye. Mascara tubes are already prone to build-up – sleeping with it on is playing with fire.

Copyright: gpointstudio / 123RF Stock Photo


4. You’re effectively treating your skin with today’s dirt

Aside from the sweat, oil and make-up you’ve accumulated over the course of the last 16 or so hours, there’s also dust, pollutants, whatever causes the funky smell in the office aircon, the exhaust fumes you picked up on the highway… Don’t forget everything you touched today, because you definitely touched your face more times than you washed your hands… (I could go on, but I think you get the point).

All these potentially harmful agents sit on your skin until you remove them. Since our skins are amazing organs, they do a pretty decent job of keeping these things out, but if you don’t remove them from the skin surface regularly you can end up with a myriad of skin problems.

A big one is irritation, which leads to inflammation. Once your skin is inflamed, the consequences can be anything from stretched pores to breakouts, uneven skin tone, and faster wrinkling. (Yes, that’s right, sleeping with make-up on makes you look older, so stop doing it ASAP!)

If you struggle to remember to wash your face at night, or can’t deal with the effort of a basin of water and face cleanser after a big night, keep a pack of Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette’s on your bedside table. It’s the easiest way to make sure you never suffer the negative consequences of sleeping with your make-up on again.