Never wear makeup while exercising

We all are familiar with the most commonest beauty tip that is doled by aestheticians and makeup artists alike and often mentioned in most beauty magazines, blogs and forums. And that tip is one should always remove makeup before going to bed.

But did you know that you should also remove every scrap of makeup from your face before your exercise? Or for that matter that you should never wear makeup when you exercise? Yes, it's true. By leaving your makeup on before an exercise session, a gym workout or a sports activity, you could be wreaking havoc on your delicate skin and more so if you are doing it on a regular basis.

Long ago, I had shared a skin care tip of Dr. Schultz that one should always wash the face before exercise and that it's far more necessary to cleanse your face before a workout than afterwards. The same principle holds true here.

Aesthetician Andy Millward explains: 'Unlike skin care products which are designed to get absorbed into the skin, makeup sits on the surface of the skin to give it a flawless appearance. When we exercise, heat is generated in our body and our skin gets warmer and any makeup gets absorbed into the skin leading to congestion and clogging of pores. This in turn may lead to acne, blackheads and ugly spots.'

We need to sweat to cool ourselves when exercising. Layers of makeup on the skin traps sweat which contains toxins and other waste materials This sweat is meant to evaporate and get off the skin and rid the surface of impurities. 

By not letting your skin breathe by wearing makeup, heat rashes and small bumps called milia can also develop. Also due to the clogging of sweat pores, most impurities will sit on the surface of the skin giving it a dull and worn-out look.

woman washing face
Wash your face thoroughly before you exercise

While it's tempting to wear makeup for a gym selfie or a fitness video to look your best, you should resist this desire for the sake of your skin and go for the 'au naturale look' without any makeup.

Ideally you should rid yourself of all makeup using a light makeup remover before you exercise and wash your face with a mild cleanser and start your exercise session with a squeaky, clean face. And after you are done with your workout, you can finish off by splashing water over your face and gently wiping it dry.

However, if you are exercising outdoors in the sun, you should liberally apply sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher but no other makeup such as foundation, concealer, mascara etc.

Also read another perspective from a guest writer: Is it bad to wear makeup when you exercise?

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  1. Expert2:26 PM

    “Be sure to have a clean towel so you can pat your face instead of rubbing it dry,, if you’ve washed your face prior to working out, then you only need to splash your face with water and pat it dry after the workout—no soap necessary.

  2. Srilaxmi2:28 PM

    Working out while wearing makeup clogs up your pores

  3. Soukhya2:31 PM

    “The oil and particles can clog pores, which open with excessive perspiration, causing inflammatory papules and pustules.

  4. Ra ngita2:34 PM

    Heavy foundations, powders or concealers could contribute to clogged pores.Since your pores open up while sweating, you don’t want to block your skin's ability to breathe by wearing heavy makeup


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