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Woman lies sleeping in bed. Illustrated yellow semi-circles form an arching pattern at the top of the image.

I woke up like this!

Many of us are flippin’ fastidious about removing every lick of pouty paint from our fabulous faces before bed. But get ready to clutch those pearls, because some people actually go to bed - With. Their. Makeup. On.

In fact, according to our Insta poll, almost half of you admitted to sometimes keeping your makeup on in bed.

If you’re a fan of sleeping with makeup on, do you ever pause mid mascara stroke to wonder what wearing makeup in bed is doing to your skin? And we dread to think what your bed makeup could be doing to your poor pillows.

Won’t somebody think of the pillows?!

why are you sleeping with makeup on?

for your partner 

It’s no secret that many people wear makeup in bed so their partner thinks they look that way all the time. Even those that should know better admit to sleeping with a full face of bed makeup on to impress their lover. Beauty Editor, Loni Venti, revealed she continued to wear makeup to bed when she moved in with her now-husband. But she also confirmed that her skin looked a lot worse for wear from all that pore-clogging makeup that had been nuzzling into her skin for the previous six months (1) However, only 2% of our poll participants said the reason they keep their makeup on in bed is that they don’t want their partner to see their makeup-free face. Hoorah for bare-faced cheeks!

too tired to cleanse

Sometimes, when you’re completely cream crackered, the pull of the pillow is the mightiest force known to man.  And the whole cleanse, tone, and moisturise routine seems like a whole load of unnecessary effort when you’re that tired. 96% of our poll-takers, who previously revealed they sometimes keep makeup on in bed, said they’re just too bushed to take it off at night. We hear you – we’re all about the sleep too.

to save time in the morning

If you’ve an early start you might be tempted to save time and just keep on last night’s makeup. But you may well be in the minority, as only 2% of our poll participants cited this as the reason for keeping their makeup on in bed. To be fair, if putting on makeup in the morning takes up quite a bit of your time, you could be forgiven for considering just leaving it on. Well, almost…

But what impact, if any, does sleeping in makeup have on your very lovely visage?

what does wearing makeup in bed do to your skin?

According to celebrity dermatologist, Dr Annie Chiu, sleeping in makeup is asking for trouble. In an online article (2), Dr Chiu states that,

“If you don’t cleanse your face, dirt and dead skin cells are not removed. They stay on the skin, clogging pores and leading to chronic inflammation in the form of pimples.”

Well, that all sounds rather unpleasant.

But there are some celebs (presumably not clients of Dr Chiu) who openly admit to sleeping with makeup on:

  • Makeup mogul, Charlotte Tilbury admits to sleeping with makeup on, and that even her husband has never seen her with a completely make-up free face. Now that is some dedication to the makeup cause. Admittedly, she does cleanse her face and remove all the day’s makeup, but then she reapplies her eye makeup for bedtime. (3)
  • Drew Barrymore likes to line her lower lashes with eyeliner before bed and swears by the sexy smudgy look it creates when she wakes.(4)

With all this night-time eye makeup smudging its way around the pillow, it’s a good job our pillows are either fully washable or have removable, washable covers. That’s all we can say.

why is makeup removal so important?

Now, you may be thinking, “Who are you to tell me what to do!” but we really do have your best interests at heart. Sure, go to bed with your makeup on if you must– we won’t judge (much), but maybe if you knew what makes makeup removal such an important part of your bedtime routine, you’d think again.

37% of you lovely Instagram Poll takers said that skincare is a regular part of your bedtime routine. Almost half say you spend five minutes on this before bed and several others spend 15 minutes or more.

So, here’s what you should be including in your bedtime makeup removal process:

  1. eye makeup remover is a must – sorry celebs, we know some of you love the sultry look for bedtime, but wearing eye makeup in bed can have some quite grim consequences. According to celebrity makeup artist, Katey Denno (5), keeping eyeliner and mascara on at night can lead to “swollen, infected eyelash roots”. Erm, no ta. Denno suggests using wipes to remove eye makeup if you’re too tired to do a full-face wash.

  2. take off the lippy – keeping lipstick on at night may result in chapped lips. Remove with wipes or a gentle face wash and even give your lips a little rub with an old, but (and we can’t emphasise this enough) clean toothbrush to remove any dry skin.
  3. cleanser – once your makeup is removed, cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser to ensure your skin is free from any remnants of pimple-producing makeup.
  4. toner – a good toner can hydrate skin and leave you feeling refreshed, but some people prefer to skip this step and go straight to moisturiser.
  5. moisturiser – as the name suggests, moisturiser aims to replenish and encourage moisture in your skin. However, moisturiser can in fact do more than this, and according to Dermatologist, Dendy Engelman MD, “Moisturising skin protects the skin barrier” (6)

Enjoy massaging the moisturiser into your skin for a relaxing finish to your bedtime skincare regime.

If bedtime makeup removal has got you thinking about other ways you can create a positive bedtime routine, check out  Christine Hansen’s blog on pre-sleep rituals.


how we know what we know:

(1) Here's Why I Wore Makeup to Bed for Almost 1 Year (




(5) 11 Gross Things That Happen If You Don’t Remove All Of Your Makeup Before Bed (

(6) 22 Best Face Moisturizers of 2023 - Reviews of Top Rated Face Lotions (

what did you say in our polls?

Is skincare part of your bedtime routine?
Yep 32, 37%
Occasionally 32, 37%
I never bother 23, 26%

Do you think your skincare regime helps you wind down before bed?
Definitely 34, 47%
Nope 39, 53%

How much time do you spend on skincare before bed?
None 25 29%
5 minutes 42, 49%
10 minutes 15, 17%
15+ minutes 4, 5%

Do you ever go to bed wearing makeup?
Never 48, 51%
Sometimes 44, 46%
Always 3, 3%

If you do - why?
Too tired to cleanse before bed 55, 96%
Don't want partner to see me without 1, 2%
To save time doing makeup in the morning 1, 2%