What The Experts Say: Is Working Out With Makeup On Really That Bad?

January 31, 2017  |  

While some people are okay with taking their bare face to the gym for a workout or a favorite class, there are many women who choose to exercise with a full face of makeup on. Sometimes it’s the makeup they wore to work, other times, they literally put on their beauty essentials to exercise. Hey, you never know who you might run into, right?

Most people would say that all of that is doing too much. But seriously, is wearing makeup while getting in a good workout really that bad for your skin? These days, expert opinions differ. There are products specifically made for exercising in and quite a few eyeliners and mascaras are waterproof. However, there are still dermatologists who say makeup and sweat are never a good combination. So what should you do?

To help you make the best decision while trying to make fitness a priority, here are recommendations from the experts to aid you in taking care of both you body and skin.

Wearing a Full Face of Makeup Can Lead to All Sorts of Skin Issues

According to Whitney Bowe, M.D., a leading dermatologist in NYC, going into a workout with the full face of makeup you wore to work can block pores and increase the likelihood of a breakout and general irritation.

“Makeup forms a barrier on your skin covering your pores, and when working out, your makeup mixes with oil and perspiration, which in turn congests your skin and prevents those pores from being able to release sweat,” Bowe told InStyle. “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.”

Consistent Makeup Wear Can Also Have a Negative Impact on Your Overall Complexion

Fellow NYC dermatologist Elizabeth Hale, M.D., told Glamour that consistent makeup wear with negative effects on the skin can mess with the natural color, texture and appearance of the skin while also causing wrinkles to stand out.

“You start to get a sallow complexion from the build-up of makeup and dead skin cells,” Hale shared with Glamour. “And besides breakouts, any wrinkles you have may look more prominent.”

But Certain Products Actually Won’t Hurt

While a heavy foundation can do some harm, author and dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., told Health.com that a little bit of product can go a long way without doing damage.

“The problem with foundation is if you sweat it can clog your pores,” Jaliman said. “But a little concealer and mascara won’t hurt.”

Wear Light Products for Class and Do a Good Cleansing Afterward

Facialist Debbie Thomas told Vogue UK that you can forgo bad breakouts if you not only ensure makeup worn to exercise is light, but if you also cleanse your face thoroughly following a workout.

“If you must wear make-up during your workout try to use a light, oil-free, tinted moisturiser so that it’s not as heavy,” Thomas said. “Then cleanse your skin as soon as possible – preferably before your skin cools down and your pores tighten again, trapping the make-up and grime in the opening of the pore which can lead to breakouts.”

Makeup or No Makeup, Wash Your Face Before You Exercise

How many of us really use a wipe to cleanse our skin before working up a sweat? Even if you don’t wear makeup to exercise, bacteria on your skin should be removed before it comes into contact with sweat. Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ronald Moy, M.D., said it’s a great way to take care of your skin in general.

“Treating the skin beforehand with something that takes the bacteria out, like a topical antibiotic or topical benzoyl peroxide, is your best prevention,” Moy, M.D. shared with Women’s Health. “These acne medications can go deeper into the hair follicle and stop some of that bacteria that may develop as someone is perspiring.”


Image via Shutterstock

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