The real reason Dolly Parton sleeps in her makeup

Dolly Parton was obviously never a Boy Scout, but she’s still adopted their motto of “Be prepared.” It’s just that she’s not preparing to help old ladies cross the street, nor is she readying herself for famine, war, or the zombie apocalypse. Instead, Dolly is always ready to face her worst fear: a beauty emergency. 

In a 2019 interview, the New York Times asked Dolly if she had any good travel skincare tips. Her reply? “You never know if you’re going to wreck the bus, you never know if you’re going to be somewhere in a hotel and there’s going to be a fire,” she said. “So I leave my makeup on at night and clean my face in the morning.” Since, you know, God forbid anyone sees you in your natural state on the way to the hospital.

Why you shouldn't follow Dolly's example

Laundry is one reason you shouldn’t sleep with makeup on, as it can really mess up your sheets and pillowcases. But the real reason you should never, ever sleep in makeup is that, according to just about every dermatologist ever, it’s absolutely horrible for your skin. Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu, interviewed in Good Housekeeping, warns that leaving makeup on overnight can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Makeup will also trap dirt against your skin which can cause damage and premature aging. In fact, leaving your makeup on overnight can even lead to infections, inflammation, and skin rashes.

So how come Dolly can get away with it, and still manage to look pretty good for her age? Who knows. Dolly Parton is pretty much a law unto herself — always has been, always will be. Dolly does Dolly, but you do you, and you should probably wash your makeup off at night, no matter what Dolly does or doesn’t do.

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