Is it Okay to Gym with Makeup On? Everything You Need to Know

gym makeup

You’ve just clocked off and with a backpack in hand and are making your way to the nearby gym for a 5:30pm cardio class.

With just enough time to spare to change and make it into the class, you head on in for a sweaty session — with the same full face of makeup you were wearing all day. 

Odds are this might sound familiar to you. 

Surely it can’t be that bad to exercise with makeup on, right? We’ve done a little digging to get the full down-low. 

Should you wash your face before working out?

According to StyleCaster, it is essential to wash your face before working out, even if you don’t have any makeup on. If you skip washing your face before, you run the risk of causing breakouts.

“If you don’t wash your face before working out, then you’re sweating up against all of the oil, dirt, debris, and makeup that is on your skin, which can clog your pores,” dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross shares. So whether you’re wearing makeup or not, keep in mind that a little pre-gym cleanse might go a long way in terms of skin health. 

Risks of wearing makeup at the gym

In theory, you might get it, but in reality, you may still be thinking that washing your face before the gym just isn’t practical.

But even if you don’t think you sweat, or are confident in skin’s ability to dodge breakouts, there are other reasons why makeup at the gym might not be the best idea. In addition to clogging pores, makeup can be a host for bacteria on the face, Huda Beauty explains.

“Even if you’re not rubbing your face against the dirty floor, you constantly touch your face with your hands. Touching your face at any time should be avoided, but imagine how much bacteria is on them when you’ve been touching the germs and dirt on the bike handle or a weight.” 

What type of makeup is best to wear while exercising

If you really can’t go to a workout without a little makeup, or are trying to ease yourself into the idea, there are certain types of makeup you can opt for that will do a little less damage.

Rather than wearing a full face, perhaps limit your gym makeup to just mascara or maybe a brow gel. As these products won’t rest on the skin, there is less chance of them clogging your pores during a sweaty session.

Another alternative could be to wear makeup specifically designed for gymming. Clinique Fit, for example, has a mascara and blush, while Sportsfx has an entire makeup range dedicated to being workout-friendly. So if you’re going to keep wearing makeup to the gym, choosing one of these will be better than the alternatives.

Regardless of whether or not you decide to stop wearing makeup at the gym altogether, a key takeaway is to always wash your face before and after. Doing so will prevent exercise-related breakouts and keep your skin happy and healthy while you’re getting fit.

While there is no long term damage related to ageing that is directly caused by wearing makeup to the gym, it is better for your overall skin health to choose a formula specifically created for exercise — if not skip it altogether.