Do you really need to wash your face before bed?

Is it really that important to wash our faces before we go to sleep? If we want to have great skin, the answer is YES! We need to wash off the make-up, dirt, and grime from the day before hitting the hay.

True confession: I used to be really bad at nighttime cleansing. I would fall asleep on the couch and then wake up to go to bed and think of every excuse in the book for not washing my face. Things like, starting tomorrow I will do it every night, or if I wash my face it will wake me up and I won’t be able to fall asleep again, or the best one is, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t wash.

Years ago when I found that Bare Minerals had makeup you could sleep in, I was ecstatic and took full advantage of this claim, spending several months ditching my night time cleansing. Then I discovered by the condition of my skin, that sleeping in makeup was just a marketing spin.

It wasn’t until I became a skin care professional and learned what really happens to our skin when we don’t cleanse before sleep, that I bucked up and developed the discipline.

Sure it’s difficult to muster up the strength to do a night time skin regimen when you’re exhausted, but I discovered it really takes a very small amount of time. I timed my cleansing ritual and it actually takes less than 4 minutes to remove my eye makeup, cleanse twice  ( once to break down the makeup and another to wash it away), apply eye cream, a serum, and a moisturizer.

Let me convince you that nighttime cleansing is a key ingredient to healthy, glowing skin by sharing five things that can happen when you don’t.

1: Breakouts: During the day our face accumulates dirt, air pollution, sweat, and bacteria. This not only can clog our pores and cause blemishes, but can enlarge our pores over time. Even if you don’t wear make-up, you still accumulate these pollutants on your skin, but makeup makes it even worse by acting like a magnet for these things.

2: Skin irritation: If not cleansed off, makeup and other debris on our skin can cause irritation which can exacerbate conditions like rosacea, eczema or create uneven skin tone and redness.

3. Premature aging: Pollutants can penetrate the skin and break down collagen over time causing premature aging in the form of lines and wrinkles. While we sleep our body repairs damage that has occurred during the day from things like stress, pollution and sun exposure. Clean skin will allow this process to work much better. Also with a clean face, our antiaging products will penetrate more deeply, achieving their desired effects.

4: Eye issues: When we don’t remove eye make before sleeping, debris can enter the eyes during sleep and cause irritation and possibly infection. Sleeping in mascara can cause our eyelashes to become brittle and break.

5. Dirty pillow case: If we sleep with make-up and pollution on our face our pillowcase becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and will affect our face on the days to follow. I guess you could change your pillowcase every night but will most people really do that?

I love the saying “Having great skin doesn’t take a miracle, just commitment”. It may take time to develop the habit, but the benefits of clear, glowing, youthful skin are worth it. The foundation to healthy skin starts with cleansing. I hope I’ve convinced you.

With glowing regards,



About Shelly Abel

Shelly Abel is a Licensed Esthetician and a Certified Holistic Health Coach, who educates and empowers women to have beautiful skin naturally. She believes you can achieve a healthy, glowing complexion at any age, safely and effectively. For the past several years, Shelly has helped women with anti-aging skin treatments and concerns such as acne, rosacea, and sensitivity. With a passion for natural health and beauty, Shelly has also practiced massage therapy for the past 15 years and is an advocate for consumer safety of beauty products. She currently operates her skin care practice at Sandstone Therapeutic Massage Studio in Novi, Michigan and can be contacted at

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