Should You Wear Makeup During a Workout?

Your daily ritual may include putting on makeup every morning before going out. For many women, this is a big part of putting their best foot forward and feeling good about how they look. That is great! What isn’t great is what happens to your skin if you don’t remove your makeup before putting on your workout gear and starting a workout.


Your Skin and Makeup

Your pores secrete sebum throughout the day. This sebum mixes with makeup, dirt, and environmental material (whether you’re indoors or outdoors) and creates blockages. This turns to inflammation that leads to the redness, irritation, whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.

Cleaning your face daily helps with this but what many people don’t realise is that during a workout your pores secrete more sebum. Making it especially important for your skin to be clear before breaking into a healthy sweat.


Actions to Take Before a Workout

It may be tempting to reach for facial wipes. However, cosmetic dermatologists advise against using them regularly as a way to clean your face before a workout. Opt for a light cleanser and water. Dermatologists also recommend not applying moisturiser before a workout, as the excess oils can make your skin greasy and clog your pores.

If you just can’t bring yourself to workout makeup free, there are still some ways you can help protect your skin. Try to use a light, oil-free, tinted moisturiser so that it’s not as heavy.


Actions to Take During a Workout

It’s not just makeup that can upset your skin while working out! Because your pores open up as your body heats, it is especially easy to cause breakouts by getting the wrong things on your skin. Remember that germs travel on your hands!

Things to be careful of:
  • Exercise mats
  • Weights
  • Benches
  • Machine handles
  • Tools for exercise

All these items function as breeding grounds for acne-causing bacteria. Every time you touch your face while working out, you’re transporting germs, whether you’re wearing makeup or not.

Good practice behaviours:
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Clean gym equipment before using it when possible
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Make sure you wash your hands prior to washing your face after a workout!


Actions to Take After a Workout

After a workout, you should aim to cleanse your skin before your skin cools down. It’s important to do wash as soon as possible as your pores will close again, trapping make-up and sebum in the openings of your pores which can lead to breakouts and acne. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, toner, and then a light moisturiser (bonus if it contains SPF!).


Looking your best is a great goal. Along with health and our mental state, it’s often why we work out. Makeup can also help you look your best but it just isn’t suited for workouts… and in the end, trying to pair the two just causes problems.