Why is wearing makeup to the gym bad for your skin?

Yes, we know we all want to look like a diva whilst breaking out into a sweat, but wearing make-up whilst exercising is bad for our skin. Let’s confess – we do see gyms full of women wearing full faces of carefully applied cosmetics.

Mascara is one thing – though beware, you may find it running down your cheeks by the end of the session – but with foundation and powder you risk blocking pores and congesting skin that really needs to be able to sweat, sweat, sweat.

Ideally, it’s best to avoid wearing make-up to the gym. Increased temperature brought on by exercise can lead to open pores, which can become blocked by particles of make-up. This can easily lead to breakouts and, in turn, uneven skin texture.

It isn’t just sweat, though. In constant contact with feet, hands and the floor, things like yoga mats, bicycle handles and weights are the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that causes acne. If you are wearing make-up, it gives this bacteria something to cling on to.

So, we’ve established that working out in make-up can lead to the odd spot, but will refusing to get rid of your full face of products lead to long-term damage? After all, we spend a fortune shopping for serums and moisturisers that promise to lend our skin an otherworldly glow, and a lot of time applying them properly.

It is how you cleanse that could have a big impact on your skin’s health. While it’s a good idea to remove make-up before the gym, you also need to be sensible about cleansing. Over-washing using too hot or too cold water onto your skin can lead to dryness, sensitivity and irritation. Exfoliating will also help get rid of heavy makeup.

Skin expert Claudia Fallah says: “I know that a lot of women use their lunch break to go quickly to the gym.

“Of course you are wearing your make-up and want to have a quick workout but you need to go back to the office/work with your make-up on? Bear in mind you are sweating and if you rush back to work without having cleansed your skin it could cause redness and irritation that can lead to long term problems.

“Especially if you suffer from Rosacea you should cleanse before and after the gym, it’s a “must” not a whenever!”


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