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The damaging effects of not removing your make-up before bed

Before the experiment, left. After the 30-day experiment, right.
Before the experiment, left. After the 30-day experiment, right.

I have a confession to make: I rarely -- if ever -- remove my make-up before bed. There are multiple reasons for this, none of which I'm proud of: I hate the tight feeling the cleanser leaves on my face, I hate putting moisturizer on my face because then it feels greasy, I'm lazy, and most of all, I figure if I put make-up on at 6:30 in the morning, surely it's worn off by the time I go to bed and I'm good to go.

Not the case. Keep in mind that most cosmetic companies advertise the 'staying' factor of their make-up to appeal to women who don't want to constantly re-apply. That means when your head hits the pillow at night, there is still a good amount of make-up left on your skin.

Because skin repairs itself at night, cosmetics such as foundation, primer, mascara, blush, etc. can all be detrimental to its health by clogging pores and not allowing it to breathe. This build-up of make-up and dead skin cells can cause uneven skin tone, dryness, redness, acne and even deepening of wrinkles all from not washing up before bed.

Recently, I caught a segment on The Doctors where a woman volunteered not to remove her make-up at night before bed for thirty days. During and after the the thirty days, her skin was analyzed with a 3D camera and the results were shocking. Her once smooth, soft skin suddenly suffered from broken capillaries, pores that were enlarged by five percent, whiteheads, white cysts around her eyes, and eye irritation from flaking of old mascara. In fact, the dermatologist who examined her skin said the make-up residue caused her skin to look a decade older that it was!

While this experiment won't cause her any lasting damage as long as she goes back to her old routine, the damage she experienced in such a short amount of time was a wake-up call for her -- and for many women who watched the show. To see the segment for yourself, click here.

If you're ready to start a nighttime skin routine (and you should be!), the process doesn't have to be complicated. While there are numerous types of lotions, creams, and gels that suggest they should be applied at night, don't let that confuse you; in reality, your skin only needs two to three things at the most. It's important to have a good cleanser, a moisturizer, and an exfoliating product. If you have sensitive skin, the exfoliator can be used a few times a week rather than daily to avoid irritating skin (and stay away from grainy scrubs as these tend to irritate skin the most). All three products should be specifically geared to your skin type, which is usually dry or oily, but can also be a combination of both. If you're confused about the differences, click here for a quick quiz that will help you determine your skin type.

I currently use a Clearasil face wash in the morning when I'm in the shower, and I love it. No other product keeps acne at bay the way this one does. Because I know it works for my skin type, I may see if they also have a nighttime line. However, if you're not ready to commit to a whole routine just yet, make-up remover wipes such as these by Olay and Neutrogena should do the trick.

How do YOU keep your skin looking its best? Drop me a line at and be sure to like my Facebook page:!

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