The question: Is not washing your face before bed every once in a while really that bad?

The expert: Dennis Gross M.D., founder of 900 5th Dermatology in New York City and creator of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare

The answer: The quick answer: yes, it really is that bad.

A survey over the summer revealed a third of women sleep with their makeup on at least two nights a week. Doing so can clog your pores and oil glands, says Gross. “When the makeup becomes impacted in pores, it can make them appear larger.” It also stretches them out and, unfortunately, since your skin collagen levels decline as you age, your pores won't bounce back to their original size as easily, says Gross.

Not only does skimping on cleansing clog and stretch your pores, Gross says that skipping your nightly washing routine can also cause inflammation—which can generate free radicals and lead to collagen breakdown. (Collagen is that amazing thing that keeps your skin firm and taut.) These factors, combined with larger pores, can make your skin age faster. So as Gross says, “It’s best to break this habit sooner rather than later.”

Too tired to make a trip to the sink to wash your face? Keep makeup removing wipes by your bed, which will remove any makeup residue at the very least, says Gross. If you are washing your face nightly and stillexperiencing annoying skin problems, check out if you’re making any otherface-washing mistakes.

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