What You Need to Know About Working Out While Wearing Makeup

Have you ever wondered why putting on a full face of makeup before heading to the gym harm your perfect complexion? We all want to look presentable while working out in a gym full of fit people, but do the harmful effects of makeup outweigh the benefits of looking extra glamorous? Short Hills Dermatology has some helpful insight and tips on how to best care for your skin before and after you work up a sweat at the gym.

What Happens When Working Out With Makeup?

According to medical experts like Whitney Bowe, you should remove all traces of makeup before you start breaking a sweat at the gym. It may not seem aesthetically pleasing, but your skin needs to be able to sweat. When you work out, your pores and sweat glands need to open up so that your skin can breathe and cool down. But a full face of makeup prevents your skin from breathing; in fact, the products cover your pores and disable them from releasing sweat. Makeup traps your skin, leading to breakouts, blackheads, and skin irritation.

Prep Your Skin Before a Workout

Before working out, experts recommend cleansing the skin and applying an easily penetrable light serum suited for your skin type. During your workout, use a light towel to pat the skin dry to allow for consistent and maximum breathing space for your skin. After working out, you will need to cleanse your skin again. Your pores enlarge while the sweat and grime accumulated from the workout begin to settle onto your skin. Lightly cleanse the skin with a splash of water and apply any routine creams.

If you happen to wear a light amount of makeup, be sure to exfoliate the skin afterward and wash off any residual makeup. According to Renée Rouleau, a celebrity esthetician and founder of Renée Rouleau Skin Care, you should wash your face after your workout because of the increased factors that can lead to acne, including oil, bacteria, and sweat. Experts recommend cleaning your skin with non-drying cleanser followed by an alcohol-free toner and oil-free lotion.

How to Protect Your Skin for Outdoor Workouts

For outdoor workouts, use a non-pore clogging moisturizer that contains sunscreen. Any SPF-infused mineral powder above 30 can go a long way in protecting your skin from sun damage and harmful UV rays.

The Best & Worst Makeup for Workouts

Using sweat-proof makeup doesn’t get rid of the harmful effects makeup has on your pores. Whenever you mix sweat with any kind of makeup, it facilitates the perfect environment for skin bacteria to grow, and cause irritation or acne. The worst makeup to wear is foundation because it clogs pores. On the other hand, the least harmful product you can wear is waterproof, silicone-based mascara. Generally, eye makeup consists of a mixture of waxes and oils. By wearing this mixture, you run the risk of smearing it on the skin around your eyes. This can also lead to clogged pores in the same manner as a foundation product. Therefore, you should resort to the least harmful mascara.

Why You Need to Hydrate Your Skin

When you exercise, your skin – like the rest of your body – becomes dehydrated and craves water. But routinely moisturizing your skin can keep it hydrated. Dehydrated skin can lead to surface lines and a build up of dead skin cells, which can easily clog your skin. In addition, try avoiding any cleansers with ingredients like sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate because they detract water from the skin cells. Finally, remember to never leave your skin bare after washing it post-workout. Using any kind of moisturizer will aid your skin in retaining the water while keeping your face fresh and shining post-workout.


Avoid any unnecessary acne and skin irritation by letting your skin sweat at the gym without a full face of makeup on. Take care of your face and moisturize it with hydrating cream as well as sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays if you’re working out outside. For more helpful tips on skin care, contact the dermatologists at Short Hills Dermatology today

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