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What's the big deal? If you're lucky, sleeping in a face full of makeup will only leave behind a pimple or two. But make it an all-the-time thing and you're asking for clogged pores and a breeding ground for bacteria to run wild on. The worst culprit? Foundation, according to Elissa Lunder, MD, FITNESS advisory board member and owner of Dermatology Partners, Inc. in Massachusetts. In some cases, Dr. Lunder has even seen people develop milia -- small, hard bumps that form on the skin. And while she says sleeping in eye makeup won't cause your lashes to fall out or give you pinkeye (whew!), dozing in mascara can cause eye swelling. But don't stop the suds at your face! Forgetting to wash your brushes can lead to staph infections as well as aid in spreading cold sores or other illnesses. Um...gross?
Break it: If you had a late night and find yourself waking up to raccoon eyes, wash your face with a normal cleanser and a washcloth. Steer clear of facial scrubs, which will only irritate the skin more, says Dr. Lunder. If you're guilty of this beauty blunder more than once a week, stock up on pre-moistened makeup clothes, which Dr. Lunder says is better than nothing. Since the bathroom sink is filled with fungus, mold, mildew, and bacteria, make sure your brushes are on a clean towel, and aim to wash them once a week in hot, soapy water. If you have a cold sore, toss any sponges or products (like lipstick) that came in contact with it.