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Eek! Sleeping in your mascara could actually make you blind

Raccoon eyes begone.

07 May 2019

Let's be real: we're all guilty of sleeping in our makeup after pulling an all-nighter. Sometimes, making that trip to the bathroom seems like too much of a mighty task when our comfy bed is calling our name.

You might want to take more care with your skincare regime from now on though, as it's emerged that sleeping in your eye makeup could potentially cause blindness.

"Removing eye make-up before you go to sleep is crucial," Dr Alexis Granite, consulting dermatologist for Kiehl’s Since 1851, told . "Any product that isn’t taken off has the potential to not only clog your pores, but also cause irritation, inflammation and infections. Inflammation around the eyelids can also lead to lash loss."

Skipping your cleansing routine for two extra minutes of beauty sleep may feel like a good idea at the time, but it leaves the tiny hair follicles and oil glands on our eyelids vulnerable to clogging, which occurs when our face rubs against the pillow in our sleep.

Last year, a 50-year-old Australian woman made headlines when her ophthalmologist 25 years’s worth of mascara buildup underneath her eyelids. Not only were the "concretions", which amassed from mascara that hadn't been properly removed, causing her pain and irritation, but they'd also scarred her cornea, causing longterm eye damage.

"Every time Theresa was blinking, these bumps were rubbing on the surface of the eye and they pose a risk to her vision," Dr. Robaei told the . "If the scratch on the surface of the eye got infected, there is a risk this could be potentially blinding but that would be rare." And even though Dr. Robaei was able to remove the bumps during a 90-minute procedure, Lynch still isn't out of the woods.

"It was certainly disabling," he continued. "She has suffered permanent scarring on her eyelid and the surface of her cornea. The symptoms are like somebody throwing a handful of sand in your eye — it's constantly irritating."

Since the skin around our eyes is the most delicate on our bodies, you need a soft, sensitive cleanser to ensure you remove all traces of makeup and reduce the risk of an eye infection.

Saturating a thin cotton pad or toning cloth with micellar water, such as , is a super efficient way to melt away stubborn mascara. A few gentle swipes is all you need to quickly clean your lashes - and it could save your sight too.