Is it Bad to Sleep with Mascara On?

Mascara is a magical tool in the world of makeup. It enhances the beauty of your eyes, making them look larger, more expressive, and alluring.

But at the end of a long day, the question often arises: is it bad to sleep with mascara on? Many of us have been guilty of hitting the hay without properly removing our mascara, but what are the consequences?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the effects of sleeping with mascara on and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your bedtime beauty routine.

The Basics of Mascara

Before we dive into the topic of sleeping with mascara on, let’s establish some fundamentals about mascara itself.

Mascara is a cosmetic product primarily used to darken, lengthen, and volumize eyelashes. It typically comes in a tube with a wand applicator, and it’s available in various formulations, including waterproof and non-waterproof options.

Types of Mascara

Waterproof Mascara: This type of mascara is designed to resist water, making it perfect for events where you might shed a tear or get caught in the rain.

Non-Waterproof Mascara: This mascara washes off more easily with water and is a popular choice for everyday wear.

Volumizing Mascara: Volumizing mascara adds thickness and fullness to your lashes, providing a dramatic effect.

Lengthening Mascara: Lengthening mascara is formulated to make your lashes appear longer and more defined.

Curling Mascara: Curling mascara helps lift and curl your lashes, giving your eyes a wide-awake look.

Is it Bad to Sleep with Mascara On

Sleeping with mascara on is a habit that many people occasionally fall into, but is it really a problem? Let’s delve into the potential consequences and effects of this beauty blunder.

Mascara and Sleep: A Risky Duo

It’s important to note that mascara is not designed to be worn overnight. Here’s why:

Eye Irritation: The eye area is sensitive, and mascara particles can flake off during the night, causing irritation. This can lead to redness, itchiness, and discomfort.

Clogged Pores: Leaving mascara on can clog the tiny hair follicles on your eyelids, leading to conditions like styes or milia.

Lash Breakage: Sleeping with mascara can make your lashes brittle and prone to breakage, as the product dries and hardens.

Potential Eye Infections: Bacteria can build up in mascara over time. Sleeping with it on can increase the risk of eye infections such as conjunctivitis.

Difficulty Removing Mascara in the Morning

Even if you don’t experience immediate issues, leaving mascara on overnight can make it more challenging to remove in the morning. You may need to rub your eyes more, which can cause damage to your lashes and the delicate skin around your eyes.

Effects on Eyelash Health

Mascara, especially waterproof formulas, can make your lashes more brittle and prone to damage. This can lead to decreased lash thickness and a less lush appearance over time. Properly removing mascara at night is essential for maintaining healthy lashes.

Cosmetic Stains

Mascara can transfer onto your bedding, pillowcases, and even your eyes, creating unsightly stains. If you have light-colored linens, this can be particularly problematic.

Makeup Clumps

When you sleep with mascara on, it can clump or create raccoon eyes. This can make you appear tired and disheveled when you wake up.

Overall, is it Bad to Sleep with Mascara On?

In conclusion, sleeping with mascara on is not advisable. While an occasional slip-up might not lead to immediate consequences, it can certainly harm the overall health and appearance of your eyes and lashes in the long run. Taking the time to properly remove your mascara each night is a small step with significant benefits.

How to Remove Mascara

Now that we’ve established the importance of removing mascara before bed, let’s discuss some effective methods to ensure you do it properly.

Use a Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Invest in a quality eye makeup remover that’s gentle on your skin and eyes. Apply it to a cotton pad and gently wipe away the mascara, being careful not to rub too vigorously.

Micellar Water

Micellar water is an excellent option for removing mascara. It’s both gentle and effective, and it doesn’t require rinsing afterward.

Oil-Based Cleanser

An oil-based cleanser can be particularly effective for waterproof mascara. The oil helps break down the product, making it easier to remove.

Cotton Swabs for Precision

For any stubborn bits of mascara in the corners of your eyes, use a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover to target those areas.

Be Patient and Gentle

When removing mascara, it’s essential to be patient and gentle. Pulling or tugging can lead to lash breakage and skin irritation.

The Mascara Effect on Sleep

If you’ve ever slept with mascara on, you’ve probably experienced the discomfort of waking up with crusty, dry eyes. Mascara particles can flake off and end up in your eyes, causing irritation.

Stains and Allergies

Mascara can also transfer onto your pillowcase, leading to cosmetic stains. In addition, if you’re prone to allergies, mascara particles left on your lashes can exacerbate symptoms.

See also: How long does mascara last unopened


Q: Can sleeping with mascara on lead to permanent lash damage?

A: While sleeping with mascara on occasionally won’t lead to permanent damage, it can contribute to long-term lash issues if done regularly.

Q: What’s the best way to remove waterproof mascara?

A: Use an oil-based cleanser or a specialized waterproof makeup remover to effectively remove waterproof mascara.

Q: Can mascara stains on bedding be removed?

A: Mascara stains on bedding can often be removed with pre-treatment and the right laundry techniques.

Q: Does sleeping with mascara on cause wrinkles?

A: Sleeping with mascara on isn’t a direct cause of wrinkles, but it can contribute to skin damage and signs of aging over time.

Q: How can I prevent mascara transfer onto my pillowcase?

A: To prevent mascara transfer onto your pillowcase, make sure your mascara is completely dry before going to bed.


In the world of beauty, it’s crucial to prioritize both looking good and maintaining the health of your skin and eyes.

Sleeping with mascara on might seem harmless, but it can have long-term consequences. Properly removing your mascara each night is a small yet essential step in your beauty routine.

Your eyes and lashes will thank you for it, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day, without any makeup mishaps from the night before. So, to answer the question, “Is it bad to sleep with mascara on?” – yes, it is. Don’t risk your beauty or your eye health; remove that mascara before you snooze!