What Not Washing Off Your Makeup Really Does

Rachel Nussbaum

Washing Face

In the latest “oh God, why!?” news, Daily Mail writer Anna Pursglove stopped washing her face for a month to get the real deal on what leaving your makeup on does to your skin. Like herself pre-experiment, most of us have slept with our makeup on once or twice, and while it’s not the worst thing we could do (cue obligatory “Grease” interlude), yeah, that’s probably never happening again.

Cut off from all cleansers and moisturizers, Pursglove made a bold sacrifice in the name of science and interesting articles. And predictably, the results are terrifying. After a month of sleeping in her makeup, Pursglove, 40, was left with “visibly blocked and enlarged pores all over my nose, dry skin across my lips and cheeks and red eyelids” and “skin biologically approximately a decade older than before I began my no-cleansing experiment.”

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It’s a cautionary tale if we’ve ever seen one. We’re pretty diligent about washing our faces, but after reading this, our routine’s turning regime. Pursglove doesn’t spare readers any of the gory details, from her newly crepey, dry skin to a swollen eye from sleeping with her mascara on. It’s like that science class poster all over again, and here we’d thought we had left that kind of trauma behind with the frog dissections.

All’s well that ends well, we guess, because Pursglove’s dermatologists said that she didn’t incur any lasting damage. We’ll take her word for the lesson, though–we do a lot for our job (product testing’s super hard, okay), but we’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Preferably not on our face: her fine lines also deepened, because nope, everything else just wasn’t enough.

But anyways, now that everyone’s paranoid, go ahead and make sure to scrub your face clean tonight!

[The Daily Mail] Image via Istock