What happens to your skin if you work out with make-up on

Yahoo Style UK team
What working out wearing make-up does to your skin [Photo: Getty]
What working out wearing make-up does to your skin [Photo: Getty]

There are various reasons people might choose to wear a full face of make-up while working out.

You might have gone straight to the gym after a long day at work, you may just not like the thought of ditching the glam to exercise with a bare-face, or you may be feeling the pressure to share a gym selfie of yourself looking all Insta-glowy.

Putting on a quick slick of mascara before busting out your burpees is one thing (beware the post press up panda eyes), but did you realise that exercising with a full face of slap is actually really bad for your skin.

“Exercise promotes circulation,” explains Dr Preethi Daniel, Medical Director of London Doctors Clinic. “It opens the blood vessels near the surface of your skin and causes you to sweat. This not only helps you cool down but it also helps push impurities out of your skin. Now imagine some foundation, setting powder, blush and some contour is covering all of these sweat glands?”

Gross right?

“Sweat and natural skin oils can clog these pores and cause overgrowth of bugs such as Propionibacterium acne, which can cause spots,” she continues.

And if you’re prone to suffering from acne, wearing make up while working out can make things even worse.

“When these sweat pores open, anything sat on the surface such as day old makeup and city pollution particles also clog them up and cause breakouts!”

The rise in body temperature puts you at risk of developing an unsightly heat rash too!

“Heat rash or miliaria which are small itchy bumps on the skin can develop from not letting your skin breathe,” Dr Daniel explains. “Sweat needs to evaporate off the body, cooling it and lifting impurities. By not allowing this you have more of a chance of developing these small itchy bumps.”

Your skin won’t thank you for working out wearing make-up [Photo: Getty]
Your skin won’t thank you for working out wearing make-up [Photo: Getty]

So what do the experts suggest?

“It is always best to wipe makeup off with a wipe or even better to wipe it off with some micellar water on a cotton pad to remove last of those impurities before working out,” she explains.

She recommends thoroughly cleaning your skin post workout too.

“It is best to shower or wash your face after working out to clean any sweat and dirty gym gear residue (shudder, think of those mats!) off your face as soon as you are done at the gym,” she advises.

In terms of cleansing products, some are better than others when it comes to giving your skin a post-exercise scrub.

“Clay masks are excellent for deep cleansing your skin whilst also helping tighten up and lift up,” Dr Daniel says.

“Products containing salicylic acid are natural anti inflammatories and could be useful for breakouts but it’s always best to check with your doctor before using medicated products.”

“Do exfoliate regularly and for a quick DIY recipe, try whizzing papaya with honey for natural cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturising all in one.”

Happy exercising!

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