Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

No judgment, but going to bed a full face of makeup on isn’t great for your skin. Just like the rest of your body, sleeping is restorative for your skin too. Leaving your oil glands and pores blocked overnight by your foundation and concealer doesn’t allow skin to properly shed, which can lead to clogged pores, redness, blackheads, and inflammatory acne.

Even if you’re extremely careful and keep a pack of makeup wipes in your bag or stashed in the top drawer of your bedside table, waking up with last night’s makeup can still happen. I always proud of the fact that no matter how many cocktails I’ve had or how my work day was, I’ve always managed to at least use cleanser to wipe (sometimes hastily) my makeup off my face. However, over the holidays I lost my bragging rights. After an unplanned sleepover on a night out, I woke up the next morning and realized that all of my makeup—including concealer, mascara, and blush—was still on.

While I expected to see a massive breakout staring back at me in my friend’s bathroom mirror, I was surprised (and relieved) that no new blemishes had popped up on my face. Still, I wondered what steps I should be taking in my morning-after skincare routine for damage control—aside from immediately removing the remnants of last night’s makeup.

Montclair, NJ-based dermatologist Dr. Jeanine Downie agrees that the first thing you should do is completely remove every trace of makeup that’s still on your face with a makeup remover such as Neutrogena's Oil-Free Makeup Remover ($8; walgreens.com). If anti-aging is one of your regular skincare concerns, you can use a cleanser like SkinMedica's AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser ($47; dermstore.com) that’s formulated with ingredients that target fine lines and wrinkles, or she suggests washing your face with a gentle cleanser such as Simple's Moisturizing Face Wash ($5; target.com) to prevent further irritation.

VIDEO: 5 Products to Help You Winterize Your Skin

Once you've cleansed your skin, the dermatologist recommends applying sunscreen with SPF 30 protection and your usual go-to moisturizer. And if you're planning on doing it all again two nights in a row, makeup is probably part of the equation, but Dr. Downie says it's better to keep your makeup looks light for the next few days to let your skin breathe and recover. Another product to avoid? Toner, which can further dry out your complexion when it's already imbalanced.