Still Need Convincing That Wearing Makeup To The Gym Is Bad For You? Read This

girl gym
(Photo: Nelen/

It seems that not a day goes by without another hundred articles appearing online telling you to eat this, not eat that, do this, don’t do that. But if you care about your skin, this one’s important, and it’s honestly not a load of bulls**t either.

For every woman who goes bare-faced to the gym for a full-on, sweaty workout, there’s another who hits the treadmill with a full face of makeup on. Either she’s planning a selfie session, she didn’t have time to take it all off first or she simply doesn’t see the issue in looking pretty while getting fit. (Or, she really struggles with self-confidence and is anxious about going to the gym as it is, in which case Shevolution says do whatever makes you feel comfortable as that’s the most important thing.)

For those ladies who have ummed and ahhed over pre-gym cleansing, note that failing to forgo your foundation before exercise can lead to breakouts. The nasty toxins that usually escape during a natural, sweaty detox have nowhere to go and worse, your makeup starts seeping into the pores that have opened to try and release them. These poor pores get clogged up, you get spots, and your whole complexion ends up looking dull and unhealthy. Put off reaching for the powder yet?

Powder is a staple of our makeup bags but you won’t find it in our gym bags

There’s more. Think about every time you wipe your face with a towel after getting hot and sticky. It gets the towel even muckier for starters, but it also leaves you with patchy makeup, which trust us is a lot less attractive than no makeup at all (which in our opinion, is often much more attractive than you think it is).

We asked Dr Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist at Cedars Dermatology in London for her expert opinion on the issue.

“Ideally it is best not to wear makeup to the gym because a combination of increased body temperature, sweat and makeup can result in blockage of pores, leading to the development of breakouts and spots,” she said. “Certain activities may cause more of a problem than others, such as hot yoga, where you would expect to sweat a significant amount.”

Dr Mahto did add that it is tricky to quantify exactly how bad wearing makeup to the gym is for your skin as there is yet to be a randomised controlled scientific trial on the subject, but it seems pretty clear that fresh-faced is the way to go.

Try going to the gym first thing in the morning

Simply put, there’s no time wasted taking off your makeup if you never put it on! Plus, you get to release all those happy endorphins early on in your day, so you can make the most of the energy and feel-good factor that exercise gives you.

Take small steps

Foundation and powder are definitely the main enemies here, so leave them at home first and then slowly cut back on the rest. Not everyone is confident enough to waltz in au naturel, especially those used to hiding behind makeup. Taking it gradually is absolutely fine. Keep it up!

Restock your makeup bag

If you absolutely must wear makeup, then at least try an oil-free foundation or BB cream to minimise the pore-clogging, and cleanse your face thoroughly after your session.