Why Sleeping With Mascara On Is Terrible For Your Eyes

We've all had moments when we are too tired to fully take off our makeup. After all, it's easy to just pass out now and again. However, this can be much more detrimental in the long run. We have all heard that it's not good for your skin when you sleep with your makeup on, but products like mascara create a whole new set of issues worth staying up a little bit longer for.


While mascara is not harmful by itself, it is meant to be taken off at the end of the day. According to Makeup Muddle, the pigments and emollients used to create beautiful-looking lashes can be damaging to the eyelashes, particularly warned for a prolonged time. Over time the thickest eyelashes can start to look sparse and even shorter, the complete opposite of what you would want from a mascara. While that sounds bad, it has the possibility to do much worse with your eyes.

The damage mascara can do to your eyes

Although sleeping with mascara seems like a harmless endeavor, it can lead to serious issues that are definitely not worth it. According to Veterans Optometry Partners of America (VOPA), sleeping with mascara allows bacteria to enter the eyes. When foreign bacteria are introduced to the eyes, it can create serious vision problems, and in some cases lead to blindness. In fact, the University of Rochester Medical Center points out that mascara can be tampered with bacteria after one use, making it especially important to not keep it on your face for too long.


Improper removal of the mascara can also lead to concretion. The experts at VOPA describe it as a mass that slowly forms underneath the eyelids due to the mascara building up. Concretions are especially dangerous as they can cause irritation at best and erode your cornea at worst. Most people won't have symptoms right away, but some might experience redness or see yellow dots under their eyelids, according to The College Of Optometrists.

How to remove mascara

The problem with mascara is that while it's important to remove, the product can be quite stubborn, especially waterproof mascara. However, removing mascara without pulling your eyelashes out is actually quite simple. Real Simple recommends people start off using by using 100% cotton pads versus a cotton ball to remove their makeup. Cotton pads do not have loose fibers that could potentially irritate the eye.


From there, soak the cotton pad in makeup remover, and apply it to the eye firmly. "It's important for the solvents to dissolve the polymers and pigments and break down the mascara," Angela Caglia, celebrity facialist, told Real Simple. "This is key to avoiding aggressive rubbing and pulling on your lashes later on." Biphasic, which combines oil and water, is perfect for breaking down mascara. The most important part of the process is to be gentle with your eyes while rubbing the mascara. "The more time you allow the mascara to dissolve, the easier it will be to remove in the end," New York City dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman told Real Simple.