The party’s over. It’s time to kick off those shoes, drink some water and crawl into bed before you turn into a pumpkin. As you turn your head, smearing mascara on the pillow, you realise you’ve forgotten something. Oops. You’re still wearing makeup, and now, so is your pillow.
It only takes a few minutes to remove your makeup and allow your skin to repair, but you’re still not convinced. And besides, you’re comfortable and can’t be bothered getting up. Perhaps you need some more convincing before you drag yourself out of bed and head for the cleansers.
Why should you remove makeup before bed?
Mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow all look great when you’re heading out the door for a big night, but they can irritate your eyes if you forget to remove them before bed. You can wake up with itchy eyes and clumpy mascara, but that’s not the worst part. You could get a speck of mascara in your eye, causing swelling and soreness. You could get clogged eyelash follicles (yes, that’s a thing!) and end up with weird white bumps along the rim your eyelids. Sleeping in your eye makeup can also damage your eyelashes and make them brittle. Often the phrase “you look tired” can be translated into “you slept in your makeup again”. A few minutes of eye makeup removal and you can sleep easy, without waking up with puffy, squinty eyes.
Leaving a layer of makeup on your skin can interfere with the skin’s natural shedding process. This can lead to clogged pores, uneven texture, dullness, and dryness. It was once thought that skin needs to breathe at night, just as we do. This isn’t the most accurate description of the process. Humans breathe, but our skin does not. According to the latest research, the top layer of skin is essentially “dead”, and therefore doesn’t “breathe”. The lower layers of your skin require nourishment from within, and skin will naturally shed and release toxins through the pores while you sleep. Any references to skin “breathing” should be taken to mean whether or not your pores are clogged with debris. If you remove your makeup before bed, you can avoid dry skin, clogged pores, and unwanted breakouts.
Dry and chapped lips
Lipstick can highlight your natural lip line, enhance your overall look and bring out your natural colouring. At night, the harsh ingredients in lipstick can work against you, drying out your lips and causing chapping. The best approach is to remove all traces of lipstick and lipliner, opting for a nourishing lip balm for your beauty sleep.
So now you know why you should remove your makeup before bed. The next step is finding the best way to remove makeup that works for your skin type and daily routine.
Finding your skin type
Before you begin, it’s important to find out whether your skin type is oily, normal/combination or dry. Oily skin tends to have fewer wrinkles, but pores are more likely to be larger and this type of skin requires a deeper cleansing routine. Dry skin tends to have smaller pore size, but is more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
A good way to determine your skin type is to do a quick test: when you wash your face, does it become oily soon afterwards? If so, you most likely have oily skin. If you get a little oil in the “T-zone” area (the forehead and nose area) but the rest of your skin feels dry or normal, you have normal/combination skin. However, if your skin feels dry and tight after washing and cries out for moisture, you fall into the dry skin category. Once you have determined your skin type, you can begin to explore the various techniques of makeup removal to find the one that works best for you.
Soap and water
If you’re anything like me, your mother and/or grandmother would have told you on numerous occasions to never to wash your face with soap and water. The ingredients in soap are fine for cleansing your body, but they are too harsh for the delicate skin on the face. Soap can dry out the skin and tends to make it rough, flaky and itchy. The warning not to use soap on facial skin is good advice, however the development of “soap-free” soaps has changed all that. So what is a “soap-free” soap? When choosing a soap for your face, the best choices are known as “beauty bars”, made with soap-free ingredients. They resemble soap, in that they come in a convenient rectangular shape and lather when you use them, but their ingredients are generally hypoallergenic and gentle enough to use on facial skin. Beauty bars are often suited to those with oily and normal/combination skins, due to their effectiveness in removing deeply embedded oils and grime within the pores. A beauty bar is quick to use in the morning and in the evening, lathering while you shower to remove all traces of makeup in a flash.
Makeup removal pads
You may prefer to use plain makeup removal pads with your chosen cleanser, or you can use the ones that come pre-treated with makeup remover. I tend to remove my eye makeup with the pre-treated kind, as it takes less time to reach for a pad and start cleansing immediately when I am strapped for time. I am often amazed at the amount of makeup these pads can remove, watching in morbid fascination as I add yet another makeup-caked pad to my discarded pile. It’s satisfying, however, to know that the makeup is piling up on the removal pads, rather than clogging my pores and rubbing off on my pillow. This important routine will also avoid the unwanted situation of coming out of the shower and leaving black mascara marks all over your lovely clean towels.
There are a multitude of cleansers to choose from when it comes to makeup removal. Cleansers come in many forms, including creams, milks, foaming cleansers and micellar water. Micellar water is made up of cleansing oils suspended in soft water and is best suited to those with drier, more sensitive skin types who wish to get a deep cleanse without the drying effect. Once you have tested out and chosen the best cleanser for your skin, you can apply the cleanser with your (clean) fingertips, or use a cotton ball or use a makeup removal pad. The best options for daily use are often the gentle cleansers without added fragrance as these are known to irritate sensitive skin and cause inflammation. Be sure to check the product information for hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (nonpore-clogging) ingredients to find the gentlest cleanser for your skin. Oiler skin will require deeper cleansing than dry, easily-irritated skin. Try out a few different cleansers on a daily basis and rotate their use to gauge their effectiveness and determine which one works best for you.
You can remove the last traces of oil and makeup residue by applying a gentle toner with a cotton ball or cleansing pad. Toners are useful for restoring the pH balance of skin and reducing pore size after the initial step of cleansing. For those of you with oily or combination skin, your cleansing routine should include toning as well, to ensure your skin looks its best at all times. When selecting a toner, opt for the more natural brands and avoid those with harsh alcohol-based ingredients. Witch Hazel is a natural alternative for those wanting to use a plant-based toner. Witch Hazel is a natural astringent and contains natural anti-inflammatory properties to soothe skin irritation.
Fun fact: Witch Hazel gets its name from the use of divining rods that were traditionally used by witches to indicate the location of underground water. These rods were carved from the branches of the shrub.
Once you have cleansed and toned your skin, it’s time to moisturise and allow your skin to absorb the soothing ingredients without a barrier of makeup in the way. It’s important to know your skin type before choosing a moisturiser. For example, I have oily/combination skin, which means I only need a light moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated. If you have oily skin, opt for moisturising “milks” and lighter products. Just because your skin is oily, it doesn’t mean you get to skip the moisturising step. Greasy skin can be a sign of skin dehydration, and you need a good moisturiser to restore your skin’s natural balance. If you have combination skin, choose a light moisturiser for your oily T-zone and use a creamier moisturiser on your cheeks and other areas prone to dryness. If you have naturally dry skin, select a potent anti-aging moisturiser to promote suppleness and elasticity.
Once you have found the best makeup removal technique that fits into your personal routine, the important part is to stick with it as a daily ritual. I am guilty of sleeping in my makeup, as I am sure we all have been at one time or another. The important point to remember is that a good makeup removal routine will care for your skin by removing debris, promote suppleness and elasticity, and allow your skin to reveal its natural glow.
Having the removal tips above enumerated, here’s another piece of makeup advice that you would love to know:How do I make my eye makeup last the whole day?Leave a reply →