Should You Wear Makeup While Exercising?

Should You Wear Makeup While Exercising?

Recent studies have revealed intriguing insights into the effects of wearing makeup during exercise on skin and pores. With a growing interest in both fitness and beauty, understanding how these two aspects interact is crucial for anyone looking to maintain both a healthy body and radiant skin. Let’s dive into the latest research and discuss the impacts of exercising with makeup on, and guide those who juggle their fitness routines with their beauty rituals. Should you or shouldn’t you wear makeup when exercising?

Sweat and Glamour: The Intersection of Beauty and Fitness

In today's fast-paced world, the convergence of beauty and fitness has become increasingly prominent - just look at social media posts where you see more beauty than sweat. Many individuals strive to look their best at all times, even during exercise. This has led to a significant question: What are the effects of wearing makeup while engaging in physical activity? 

Understanding the Skin's Needs During Exercise

Exercise increases blood flow and opens up pores as the body works to cool itself down through sweating. This natural process is vital for regulating body temperature and maintaining a healthy skin ecosystem. However, wearing makeup during this process can interfere with the skin's ability to breathe and expel toxins effectively.

The Recent Study: A Closer Look

Recent research has aimed to shed light on the specific effects that wearing makeup during exercise can have on the skin. This new study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reports the results of an intervention study on skin changes following the use of makeup while exercising on a treadmill.

Interestingly, a recent survey indicated that as many as 60% of gym-goers wear facial makeup while exercising. The impact of this habit on skin health was the focus of this study, particularly examining the effects of applying cosmetic foundation cream.

Forty-three university students between the ages of 23 and 26 participated in the study, none of whom had a history of chronic diseases or known allergies to cosmetic products.

Keep in mind that physical activity leads to physiological changes that can influence skin health, including increased healing, metabolism, and alterations in skin condition. Specifically, a slight rise in body temperature by 0.2 degrees during exercise enhances blood circulation to the skin as a natural cooling and regulatory response. This also results in the dilation of skin pores, facilitating the expulsion of more waste and sebum. These substances need to be promptly removed to prevent accumulation and potential skin damage.

In this study, each of the 43 participants’ faces had two areas on one side cleaned and then applied with cosmetic foundation cream. On the opposite side, two areas were left untreated, to act as comparison points.

Following the application of the cream, participants engaged in a 20-minute treadmill workout, after which their skin conditions were evaluated following a specific protocol.

To summarize and put it in layman’s terms, the findings indicate an overall increase in skin moisture, more so in areas with makeup, possibly due to the foundation trapping moisture and reducing evaporation. The average moisture level was recorded at 60. While exercising with makeup on might pose risks to skin health, this study observed enhanced skin elasticity in both made-up and bare skin areas, with a more significant increase in the former. This suggests a potential relationship between skin moisture and elasticity, warranting further investigation.

Although pore size and count slightly increased after exercise, the change wasn't marked, which might be attributed to makeup impeding pore clearing, leading to potential skin issues.

Sebum levels showed an increase in both makeup-applied and untreated areas but were more pronounced in areas without makeup, suggesting makeup might block pores, affecting sebum measurement.

These observations underscore the complex effects of makeup use during exercise on skin health, highlighting areas for future study, particularly regarding skin moisture, elasticity, and pore behavior.

Again, post-exercise oil levels went down in the makeup areas, while they increased in the no-makeup areas. This may indicate that wearing makeup during exercise could cause skin dryness and possibly block skin pores while increasing sebum production. 

The possibility that the use of makeup during exercise may dry out the skin and perhaps block the skin pores while increasing sebum production means that people with dry skin, at least, should not, perhaps, use makeup when they exercise. “This research offers important insights to the public, encouraging them to consider the possible consequences of using makeup while exercising.”

Let’s Summarize The Key Findings

The study revealed several key findings about the impact of makeup on skin during exercise:

  • Pore Clogging: Makeup can clog pores more severely during exercise because sweat, mixed with makeup, creates a thicker substance that is harder to expel from the pores.
  • Increased Breakouts: Participants who exercised with makeup experienced a higher incidence of acne and breakouts compared to those who did not wear makeup. This is likely due to the trapping of sweat, bacteria, and makeup within the pores.
  • Skin Irritation: The combination of sweat and makeup can also lead to increased skin irritation for some individuals, including redness and sensitivity.
Should You Wear Makeup While Exercising?

The Science Behind the Effects

The reasons behind these effects lie in makeup and sweat interaction. Makeup is designed to stay on the surface of the skin, creating a barrier. When sweating occurs, this barrier mixes with sweat and skin oils, leading to potential skin issues. Furthermore, certain ingredients in makeup can be comedogenic, meaning they are more likely to clog pores, especially when mixed with sweat.

Recommendations for Exercising with Makeup

For those who prefer not to part with their makeup during exercise, some steps can be taken to mitigate the negative effects on the skin:

  • Opt for Non-Comedogenic Products: Choose makeup that is labeled non-comedogenic, as these products are specifically formulated to minimize pore clogging. Some products are also considered Clean Beauty.
  • Use Lighter Makeup: Instead of full-coverage foundations, consider tinted moisturizers or BB creams that allow the skin to breathe more easily.
  • Focus on Eye Makeup: If you wish to wear makeup, you might opt for focusing on eye makeup, keeping the foundation and blush to a minimum to allow the skin to breathe and sweat naturally.
  • Cleanse Promptly After Exercising: Ensure you thoroughly cleanse your skin immediately after your workout to remove sweat, bacteria, and any makeup residue, preventing pore clogging and breakouts.

The Takeaway

While the desire to look good, even while working out, is understandable, it's crucial to balance this with the needs of your skin. The recent study highlights the potential skin issues that can arise from wearing makeup during exercise, including clogged pores, increased breakouts, and skin irritation.

For those committed to their beauty routine, choosing non-comedogenic skin moisturizers and makeup, opting for lighter coverage, personalized skincare and ensuring prompt post-exercise cleansing can help mitigate these effects. However, the best practice remains to allow your skin to breathe and sweat freely during physical activity, embracing the natural glow that comes from a healthy workout.

Final Thoughts: Choosing Between Cosmetics and Natural Beauty

The intersection of beauty and fitness continues to evolve, with new studies like this one offering valuable insights into how to care for our skin while staying active. By understanding the effects of wearing makeup during exercise and taking steps to protect our skin, we can enjoy the benefits of both worlds without compromise. As we move forward, it's clear that the key to balancing beauty and fitness lies in listening to our bodies and giving our skin the care it deserves.












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