Is it okay to sleep with makeup on? Question Answered By Expert 2022

Is it okay to sleep with makeup on beautiful-woman-using-mascara-towel-white-background

Most of the time, after a long day at work or engaging in any outdoor activity, you return home late, too tired to eat, talkless of taking a shower. You want nothing but to relax or just hit the sack. You mistakenly fall asleep with a full face of makeup only to wake up and realize that you did not wipe it off.

The question that keeps coming to mind is, is it safe to wear makeup to sleep? What will happen to my face? Will I lose my lashes for sleeping with mascara on? You might have been in this situation before. However, this article will share what sleeping with mascara can cause and what to do immediately you wake up; keep reading.

Is it okay to sleep with makeup on
Is it okay to sleep with makeup on

Is it okay to sleep with mascara on makeup?

It is a no-no. It would be best not to sleep with your mascara on; you may wake up with red, irritated eyes, which occur when you unconsciously rub and scratch your eyes in your sleep. 

It is possible not to notice any effect when you wake up. Still, repeatedly sleeping with mascara causes clumps to build up under your eyelids, causing irritation and other potential health risks.

Try not to get used to it after it has accidentally happened more than twice.

What happens to your eyes when you sleep in mascara?

If you don’t regularly remove your mascara or makeup before sleeping, one or more of the following may happen:

  1. Concretions
  2. Bacteria
  3. Eye irritation
  4. Falling lashes
  5. Dryness
  6. May damage your eyeballs
  7. Obstruct skin repair.
  8. Accumulated in the eyelids

1. Concretions

Not removing mascara or eye makeup can lead to concretions. It can cause solid masses that accumulate under the eyelids after material accumulation. 

The masses can corrode the cornea; the cornea is the thin, transparent layer of tissue on the eye’s surface that can cause much discomfort if scratched. It can cause excruciating eye pain and irritation. It can further degenerate to blindness if not treated quickly.

You should book an appointment with your ophthalmologist if you are experiencing eye pain or other unusual symptoms.

2. Bacteria

You are inviting bacteria into your eyes by sleeping with your mascara on. Your mascara will dry off while you are asleep, and it will act as a magnet that attracts dirt and bacteria. When it enters the eyes, Bacteria can cause various vision and eye problems such as blindness. 

If you care to protect your eyes from bacteria, you should not sleep with your mascara on.

3. Eye Irritation

You are bound to experience irritation of the eyes and redness when you sleep with your mascara on. It is because tiny particles of your mascara can slip into your eyes. 

Also, if mascara particles rub off onto your pillow, they will enter your eyes as you sleep. 

Eye irritation may scratch your cornea, making you unable to read correctly or focus at work that requires your clear vision.

4. Eye infection 

Sleeping with your makeup on can clog your pores and harm your eyelids. Also, if it accidentally rubs on your pillow or anything when sleeping, it would result in inflammation or an infection.

5. Falling lashes

Your mascara dries and clumps overnight, so sleeping with your mascara on may cause your lashes to fall off.

6. Dryness

Sleeping with your mascara can dry your lashes; it would smother and dehydrate them. Dehydrated lashes will become fragile and start falling off quickly.

7. May damage your eyeballs

Now, this is the scary part. Sleeping with mascara covering your eyelashes may harm your eyeballs. There is a tendency to rub or scratch your eyelash zone while sleeping accidentally. 

It is more like leaving a dagger in the eye while you sleep!

8. It will obstruct skin repair.

Dirt, dead skin, and all kinds of pollutants during the day’s activity cover your skin. They break down collagen in your skin, hasten to age and cause wrinkles. So, if you don’t scrub this outer layer of filth and dead cells away, you are preventing your skin from repairing itself.

Aside from the repair obstruction, your skin won’t produce newer and healthier cells.

9. The particles may accumulate under your eyelids.

Suppose you are a heavy mascara user and repeatedly sleep with your mascara on; the mascara may be stuck or accumulate in your eyelids, which may form hard masses like tiny rocks inside your eyes.

There was a woman in Australia who suffered this. The mascara formed tiny hard deposits buried in the skin under her eyelids. Some of the tiny hard deposits were coming out and scratching her eyeballs, especially when she closed her eyes. 

She had multiple darkly pigmented concretions under her eyelids. The concretions got buried deep in the conjunctiva layer. The Conjunctiva is the mucous membrane covering the eye and the inside of the eyelids. It keeps the eye moist and protects against infections. 

10. Follicular conjunctivitis

Follicular conjunctivitis is caused by hardened mascara that has been formed in your eyes over a while. It can cause serious infections or vision problems if left untreated.

11. Dark circles

Mascara stiffens eyelashes and breaks them while you sleep. It weakens the wing roots. It falls and settles down in fine lines around the eye, resulting in dark circles. 

What to do if you slept with mascara on? 

After sleeping with your mascara on, quickly do the following not to worsen the damage already caused.

  1. Remove it immediately
  2. Cleanse gently
  3. Apply a hydrating face mask
  4. 12 hours of no makeup

1. Remove it immediately 

After making the mistake of sleeping with your mascara and other makeup on, remove it immediately you wake up. You can use a makeup wiping or cleaning oil to do this, and then wash your face, maybe twice. 

Ensure you use a cleanser that will remove excess oil, help unblock pores and keep them open by exfoliating dead cells. Your cleanser can contain salicylic acid as they are always effective, especially for oily/acne-prone skin.

If you have dry skin, buy a hydrating cleanser. Buy milk, cream, or micellar cleanser if you have sensitive skin.

You can use a toner that balances the skin; it is necessary to balance your now-out skin. 

2. Cleanse gently

Since you are giving your skin a new start after the mistake of sleeping with your mascara or makeup, it would be best you do a two-stage cleaning process. 

Use an oil cleanser to help dissolve the remaining maquillage and accumulation.

Ensure you wash your face gently and not aggressively with formulas. Also, exfoliate with grain texture because the skin is already partly harmed.

3. Apply a hydrating face mask 

Feed your skin with a calming and hydrating facial mask after exfoliation. First, hydrate the skin before starting the treatment to reduce the risk of irritation.

4. 12hours of no makeup

Makeup can cause breakouts, particularly on liquid foundations when your skin is oily or acne-prone. After that mistake of sleeping with your mascara on makeup, free your skin from makeup for at least 12 hours.

It would be best to always go for products with medicated formula. Either purchase powder or minerals or an acne formulation with acne prevention of salicylic acid if you want a liquid.

Is it okay to sleep with makeup on beautiful-woman-using-mascara-towel-white-background
Is it okay to sleep with makeup on beautiful-woman-using-mascara-towel-white-background

Eight things you should know about your mascara

  • It has a shelf life; the average life span is 3-6 months. Replace it to prevent bacterial infections, and no one wants that.
  • You can always use your wand as a “spoolie” brush to help groom your brows. So when tossing your mascara tube, don’t toss the wand, except you already have enough.
  • Don’t be too tired to wipe off your mascara or makeup before going to bed. When it dries overnight, it can cause your lashes to fall off.
  • Don’t use mascara every day. Give yourself a break.
  • Use waterproof mascara for summer months or when you know you’re going to be sweaty. You can’t remove it quickly; the continuous tugging at the lashes can cause them to become fragile and then start falling out.
  • Don’t blink when applying your mascara, so it doesn’t enter your eye. It may be hard for some people to do. To achieve this, open your mouth wide when applying your mascara; you won’t get to blink.
  • If you want to avoid mascara stain, place an old business card or plastic spoon on your eyelid, right above your lashes. Apply your mascara in this position; any excess product will go onto the business card or spoon instead of your eyelid.
  • After application, coat your lashes with clear mascara to solidify and protect the mascara from smudging or running.

What are some side effects of wearing makeup to bed?

  1. Wrinkles
  2. Breakouts
  3. Clogged Eyelash Follicles
  4. Broken eyelashes
  5. Dull complexion.
  6. Acne worsens. 
  7. Infection.
  8. Makeup stains on the sheets


In conclusion, if you have formed the habit of sleeping in your makeup, desist from it to not further damage the health of your eyes. Regardless of how tired you may be, ensure you remove your mascara and all makeup before you hit the sack. 

If you are one of those that keep forgetting to remove mascara or makeup often, ensure you keep cleansing face wipes next to your bed. The eye is more prone to infection than any other body part. Eye infection can further lead to vision problems or blindness.


Why should mascara be removed at night? 

You should remove it at night, so it doesn’t dry and break down your cloves over the night. If you constantly sleep with your mascara on, your clods will end up diluting and falling out.

Can bacteria enter your eyes through mascara?

No, bacteria can’t enter your eyes by wearing mascara. However, it would enter your eyes if you slept with your mascara on. It will end up damaging your eyes in the short or long run.

What can makeup mistakes cause?

It can cause pimples, rashes around the eye, viral infections, and sties. Sties are small bumps caused by infected follicles or glands on the eyelids.

What will happen if you use the wrong mascara?

Wrong mascaras always dry out quickly and then crumble afterward. These “crumbs” irritate the eyes. It would be best to buy thickening mascara; it doesn’t crumble and lasts longer.

What happens to your skin when you sleep in makeup?

Sleeping with your makeup on can trap dead skin cells and prevent them from natural exfoliation. You will be left with a dull complexion. 

Is it wrong to sleep with eyeliner on?

Yes, it is terrible to leave your eyeliner on overnight. It can lead to clogged eyelid pores and a nasty stye. You were unconsciously rubbing your eyes on the pillowcase while sleeping; it can get makeup in your eye and cause inflammation.

Watch More Answers To Sleeping In Your Makeup | Video



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