Despite the multitude of advisories against it, a surprising amount of women do not wash away the day’s makeup before hitting the sheets. Admit it, at least once or twice, you perhaps left the party two hours later than intended, and wanted nothing more than to exhaustedly dive headfirst into the soft pillows of your bed. In such a moment, it’s hard to convince yourself to wipe away the day’s foundation and mascara. What’s the harm anyhow? Trust me, the dermatologists (and your mother) have their reasons for lecturing about the nightly removal of cosmetics. A clean face allows your skin to be rejuvenated. Pores produce oil called sebum, which provides the skin with a natural shield and helps clear away dead cells. When makeup clogs the pores, the sebum excessively builds up and can cause to acne. Furthermore, the makeup prevents the skin’s natural flushing habits, leading to dead skin and other grime (dirt, pollution and free radicals) to grow to create pimples, blackheads, etc. However, acne is not the only reason your skin needs to be able to breathe. Just like a good night’s worth of sleep can do wonders for your mind and spirit, your skin benefits from relaxation as well. Nighttime is when your skin revives itself from the stress of the day; during this crucial time, makeup is heavy and strains the skin’s elasticity when it would otherwise be repairing itself. Additionally, makeup dries the skin out, especially the delicate area around the eyes. Both of these factors cause your skin to age prematurely. Sleeping in makeup is unhealthy for your eyes. For starters, you can thin or lose your eyelashes! Mascaras and eyeliner contains wax that melts throughout the day; if not routinely removed, it can weigh on the lashes and block the follicles that would otherwise help them grow. More importantly though, the atmosphere’s unhealthy particles can cling to the sticky, waxy lashes and lead to serious eye infections. For an extreme example of cosmetics’ effect on your face, we turn to the case of Bae Dal-mi; having formed an unhealthy emotional dependence on cosmetics, the 20-year-old South Korean hadn’t washed her face in two years and daily caked on more makeup. After finally being convinced by her mother and dermatologists to remove her mask-like makeup, doctors determined that her skin’s condition should belong to someone twice her age! Washing away the makeup doesn’t have to involve scalding your skin and vigorous rubbing at your eyelids to be rid of the waterproof mascara. For products that gently clear the grime without drying the skin, we recommend Derma E Evenly Radiant Makeup Remover and Dermalogica Soothing Eye Make Up Remover.