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Why Makeup and Workouts Don’t Mix

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Makeup + Sweat = Bad

Wearing makeup to the gym is commonly known as a “no-no,” but I am here to tell you why. Am I an expert? No, but I did do some research to find the answers for you.

Why is wearing makeup while working out bad for your skin?

As we know, everyone always preaches to remove your makeup before you head out for your run, or hit the gym. Does anyone really tell you why?

Dr. Whitney Bowe told InStyle that makeup forms a barrier on the skin blocking your pores. Then, your perspiration and oil mix with your makeup creating the perfect concoction to prevent your skin from doing its job and releasing sweat and oils.

“When you work out, your pores and sweat glands open up in order to cool down your body—wearing a full face of makeup can block your pores and glands, hindering your skin’s ability to breathe, which in turn can result in breakouts, blackheads and skin irritation.”

Not only is wearing makeup during your workout bad for your skin, but it usually isn’t a good look. Sweating in your makeup will cause your skin to shine to the gods, mascara to run, and foundation to cake. While sometimes a little extra glow is a look we are going for, it’s not always cute when combined with black under eyes and crusty (yes, I said crusty) skin.

What should I be doing instead?

So we know now why we shouldn’t be wearing makeup to the gym, but how what is the best way to go about it?

The most ideal scenario is to cleanse your skin to ensure all of the makeup is removed, then follow up with a moisturizer. If you are opting for an outdoor workout then you should always apply sunscreen as well to help protect your skin. You can read my blog, Skincare 101: Your Basic Skincare Routine” for more on the importance of sunscreen.

However, for most, we squeeze our workout in when we can which means it often happens after work or on your lunch break when going through a full skincare routine is not always ideal. In this case, you can opt for a more “gym bag” friendly solution.

Many sources will tell you to use a cleansing wipe in the very least to remove the majority of your makeup before exercise. While these are an OK option, they can be very wasteful and not so great for the environment. Instead, I recommend putting some reusable makeup wipes and micellar water or a water-less cleanser of your choice in your bag. My go-to is the wipes from Earth Warrior Lifestyle and the Bioderma Sensibio H2O.

While this is best practice, if you are unable to clean your skin before every single workout, your life won’t be ruined. Just do your best, and clean your skin as soon as you are able to!


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