Unless you’re a superhero, you’ve probably fallen asleep in your makeup at least once in your life — whether it was accidental or inspired by a late night out and a few too many drinks (we don’t judge). Either way, your skin’s going to be struggling the next day, and depending on your skin type that might mean it’s dry, breaking out or looking a little duller than usual.
“If you slept in your makeup, you want to be extra diligent about removing it the next morning,” explains NYC dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. And in addition to that, you’re going to want to take some extra measures to ensure that your skin gets the love it desperately needs.
Below, check out our step-by-step guide on what to do if you fall asleep with your makeup on.
STEP 1: Don’t panic.
Your skin definitely isn’t happy about wearing full-coverage foundation all night, but this doesn’t mean you have to freak out. Take a deep breath, and prepare to give your skin a lotta’ love.
STEP 2: Cleanse, twice.
We know we don’t need to tell you to wash your face — you’re probably already on it as we speak or have hastily completed this step already. But if you didn’t double-cleanse on your own, get ready to do so now. Dr. Zeichner recommends using an oil-based cleanser to remove oil and makeup fully from the skin to start, followed by a foaming cleanser to penetrate more deeply into the skin to remove any remaining dirt. We like DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to dissolve all of your makeup, followed with a gentle face wash like La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser.
STEP 3: Exfoliate.
Lightly exfoliate your skin to remove any gunk from your pores with L'Oreal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Face Scrub. Exfoliating will help your skin absorb the rest of the hydrating and nourishing products it needs to recover. If you’re super sensitive and think exfoliation will irritate your skin, then skip this step.
STEP 4: Put on a hydrating face mask.
Right after exfoliating, nourish your skin with a hydrating, calming face mask like the Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask. “I typically recommend hydration first and treatment afterwards,” Zeichner explains. “Acne treatments are notorious for causing skin irritation. By hydrating the skin first, you can help minimize the risk of irritation.”
STEP 5: Treat breakouts.
This brings us to our next order of business: spot treatment. One of our favorites is the Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment. It’ll work to quickly reduce the appearance of any breakouts that sprung up overnight.
STEP 6: Moisturize.
Finish your skincare routine with a super-moisturizing face cream. H20 Plus Infinity+ Deep Sleep Recovery Cream has nearly five stars on Ulta for good reason: It’s going to restore your skin’s moisture and bring back your radiance.
STEP 7: Give your skin some time to rest.
Skip makeup for the day if you can, and consider a hydrating overnight treatment for the next night, like the Lancôme Moisturizing Rose Jelly Overnight Mask. This jelly-like formula’s going to absorb into your skin fast, and come Monday morning, it will be like this whole thing never happened.