Wearing make-up at the gym: how bad is it really?

In an ideal world we would all hit the gym with a fresh face. However, in reality, we’re often in a rush (lunch hour HIIT session anyone?) with barely enough time to shower and change afterwards. Let alone having enough time to take off all your make-up and re-apply it from scratch post-workout.

Which is why we thought we’d find out just how detrimental that sometimes unavoidable layer of gym make-up might be to our skin.

According to Skin Specialist Kelly Mcaneny from Elixxir Medispa wearing make-up to the gym is one of the worst things you can do for your complexion. “The heat generated in the body causes the follicles and sweat glands to expand and open, allowing the body to cool down and release heat,” explains Kelly. “When the skin is covered in heavy make-up, it blocks these ducts, often resulting in blocked pores and breakouts.” Yikes! So what’s the best way to combat these issues? We asked two of Australia’s leading beauty editors for advice.

facial wipesBeauty expert Sigourney Cantelo, founder and editor of Beauticate.com recommends keeping facial wipes in your gym bag all times to remove any foundation before you exercise. Sigourney also says that “if you need to cover up any blemishes it’s best to try a concealing spot treatment. Or a mineral make-up, which will help absorb the sweat rather than a liquid that will end up melting down your face!”

Rachael Mannell, beauty health editor and presenter forhealthyMEtv.com.au, says to steer clear of touching your face during your workout and carry your own gym towel at all times to dry any sweat.

“Working out with make-up on can lead to blackheads, whiteheads and milia,” says Rachael. “Wear as little make-up as possible to the gym and focus your gym look around your hair. Perhaps a subtle lip stain or waterproof eye liner to enhance your features without looking over the top.”

And if removing all your foundation before your workout just isn’t an option, the experts agree that sticking to mineral make-up is the best way idea. “I recommend the use of natural minerals, as they contain zinc and other natural properties which can help you avoid skin conditions often resulting from wearing make up to the gym,” says Kelly.

Image credit: Thinkstock
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Olivia Boyd-Smith
Olivia wholeheartedly embraces all things health, fitness and beauty-related in her everyday life. It is more than a passion to her, it is her lifestyle. Studying a combined degree of Communications and Business, Olivia hopes to branch into the Corporate Beauty world where her business mind and passion for nutrition and beauty from the inside out can combine. Exercise is an integral part of Olivia's lifestyle. With 16 years as a ballerina she strongly believes in moving her body every day. Her interests include running, Barre body and reformer Pilates. Olivia has worked with skin Doctors for the past few years while studying, which has allowed her to acquire a vast knowledge of all things skin and body health related. This compliments her interest in nutrition and wellness. She’s also always in the kitchen experimenting with new healthy recipes, allowing her love for beauty foods to flourish. Through her writing Olivia hopes to inform and inspire and readers to live a healthy and beautiful life.