With the world gradually starting to open up, you might be feeling the motivation to go out again and look fantastic while you’re at it! But before you vamp up your makeup routine, let’s not forget that crucial step for when you get home – a nightly cleanse. No matter how late it is, no matter how lazy you feel, no matter your age – yes, even you're college freshman – the one J-Beauty step to never leave out is a thorough night cleanse. Though we’ve been warned time and time again that skipping this is one of the biggest evils in skincare, somehow us American women are unable to shake the habit. Just how bad are the repercussions of sleeping with your make-up on? We explore them here.
1. Early aging & collagen degeneration
Makeup attracts dirt and environmental pollutants that cling to your skin and get trapped inside your pores during the day. This triggers the production of free radicals, which damage skin DNA and eat away at your natural collagen supply. When collagen dwindles, the skin loses its elasticity and suppleness. It is for this reason that J-Beauty skincare routines often favor lipophilic cleansing oils loaded in vitamins, that effectively dissolve toxins, sunscreen and cakey makeup.
This one’s a no brainer. Leaving your makeup on overnight increases the chance of clogged pores. Thankfully, there’s a fool-proof solution for any nagging residue. J-Beauty foaming cleansers leave your skin squeaky clean, but as with all things Japanese, how you use the product is just as important as the product itself. Japanese women use foaming nets to work up a lather much foamier and richer than anything you could create with your bare hands. More on that technique here!
3. Skin dryness
Makeup accumulated on the skin can hinder the skin’s natural exfoliation processes. This can lead to dry skin, dullness, and uneven skin texture. If your skin is naturally on the dry side, you might want to cleanse off with an extra-hydrating cream cleanser such as KITAO Matcha + Chia Cleansing Cream. For gentle nighttime exfoliation, try KITAO Matcha + Chia Enzyme Powder.
Ingredients in makeup are generally not subject to the same FDA regulations as ingredients in skincare. When left on the skin for long periods of time, makeup ingredients can irritate the skin, and even trigger allergic reactions and contact dermatitis. This rings especially true for skin around the eye area, which is extra delicate and prone to inflammation. Eye makeup such as mascara can carry harmful bacteria that not only pose a danger to your skin but your eye health as well.
5. Impaired skin repair
During sleep, the body goes into repair mode. Skin-healing hormones such as melatonin and growth hormone are secreted, and help to accelerate cellular regeneration, but makeup can interfere with these processes. On the flip side, a gentle cleanse can enhance the skin’s renewal cycle during sleep. Japanese women never seem to miss out on the chance to wake up fresh-faced and fabulous. Not only cleansers, but we see many Japanese products designed specifically for better beauty sleep, including eye masks, pillows and supplements that make sure you get the most out of your Zzs.
If you’re consistent with cleansing and only miss it every once in a while, don’t worry - you’re still in the clear (phew). But sleeping with your makeup on is a slippery slope – it’s easy to fall into a habit that eventually causes long-term damage to your skin. Ready to make a change but not sure which J-Beauty cleanser is right for you? We’ve got you covered. Read all about the different types of J-Beauty cleansers for a detailed guide on the cleansing process.