Should you wear makeup when you workout?

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you’ll see that I’ve recently gone back to exercising. In addition to my usual Monday night yoga, I’ve added a dancercise class and a pool workout. I make sure to remove all my makeup before my workout, but I’ve seen girls exercise with makeup on. Which brings me to my question, should you wear makeup when working out?

There are definitely days when I wish I could workout with my makeup on – days when my skin is not a 100 percent up to the mark or days when I’m rushing and would have preferred not to spend five to 10 minutes washing up. But the fact that makeup blocks your pores when you workout and can lead to acne (which is already a problem for me) is reason enough for me to spend a few minutes cleansing before my sweat sesh.

Let me explain: exercising raises the body temperature, which in turn causes you to perspire – which is the body’s way of staying cool. However, when you have a face full of makeup on, foundation and other products cover your pores and prevent the expulsion of sweat, trapping toxins, sebum and bacteria. Moreover, the makeup mixes with the sweat and sebum to further congest your pores. It’s the perfect recipe for the disaster called pimples.

Besides, why would you want to negate all the benefits your skin gets from you exercising?

Working out increases the blood flow which brings with it essential nutrients that promote growth of collagen and perspiration forces out all the impurities and toxins which leaves you with healthy, glowing skin. All in all exercising is not just good for your body, it’s great for your skin.

So you understand why I would prefer to cleanse my makeup before I hit the gym. However, I do believe that there are times when you have to wear makeup to workout. In that case, opt for water-based, lightweight products like BB creams, tinted moisturisers or mineral makeup. And make sure you cleanse your face immediately after with a makeup remover. If you’ve already cleansed your makeup before your workout, use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil after because you still need to wash off all that sweat. And don’t forget to also wash your back and chest as stale sweat and tight clothes can lead to chest acne and backne.

makeup at the gym, makeup to workout, workout with makeup, gym makeup,

My essential gym kit is made up of a bit of skincare and a bit of makeup. Whether I’m working out at the gym or going to an outdoor class, I carry my Biore or Cetaphil wipes, which I use to cleanse makeup before, and wipe sweat off after the workout. After cleansing, I’ll apply a thin layer of a lightweight cream or serum rich in antioxidants before I start to work up a sweat. Exercising can dehydrate your skin (because you’re sweating), and it also causes production of free radicals, so you want something to combat both. I like to pack the Allies of Skin 1A All Day Mask with me (use a single pump only) because it doubles up as under eye cream as well. Post workout I’ll also put on the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream add on some mascara, fill in my brows with the CLIO Kill Brow Tattoo Lasting Gel Pencil (so convenient!) and use my L’Oréal Shine Caresse CC Genius Balm. I specifically choose this lip product because my lips get really dry from breathing from my mouth when I work out (I know, I know you’re supposed to control your breathing and breathe through your nose, but sometimes I need all the air I can get!) and the shea butter in it offers lasting hydration and it’s also super pigmented.

And there you have it, I’m fit and happy (exercise makes you happy) and ready to face the world.

4 Replies to “Should you wear makeup when you workout?”

  1. I am so glad you posted on this. About a 3 years ago I started to do hot Yoga and my skin did not take it well at all, in fact I broke out in places like my chest and back where I had never in my childhood or adult life gotten a pimple. It was heartbreaking. I was not wearing makeup, but I also was not cleansing before I went to class. Also I was told the heat in Hot yoga can cause breakout, are you familiar with this? Now I apply a thin layer of my Tamanu Oil Blend since it provides me the moisture I need but is antibacterial and does not clog my pores and and it works with my Limbic system to help me have a well rounded positive experience. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. It can be heartbreaking to get into a healthy routine and then experience negative side effects like skin problems, so its great you provided this guidance!!


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