Trust Us, Your Skin Will Thank You For Not Wearing Makeup To The Gym

For many of us, hitting the gym first thing every morning isn't feasible. There's work, there's errands, along with numerous other social commitments that make it so we don't get our sweat on until our day is nearly finished. But for those who love make-up, this means we're probably arriving at the gym with a full face of glam.

It can be tempting to just leave it be, following the logic that we'll likely shower after our workout anyway. And we're not here to judge! But the truth is the benefits of working out without makeup vastly outweigh whatever reasons we have for wearing it. Exercising with a clean face, for instance can help purge our pores, whereas doing the same with makeup can have the opposite effect. And even if having a full face helps some of us feel more confident when taking our gym selfies, it's worth remembering a good sweat is bound to destroy whatever glam look we were rocking.

With all that in mind, keep reading to find out why it probably isn't the best idea to wear makeup during a workout, and what to do for your skin instead.

Makeup can trap gym germs on your face

In addition to benefitting our bodies, a good workout can do wonders for our skin. Dr. Amy McClung told U.S. Dermatology that exercise increases blood flow to the skin, flushes toxins, reduces stress, and makes skin appear younger. "If you think about your bloodstream as a highway for your cell's essential nutrients and waste removal, exercise increases the highway speed, which means that all the nutrients are getting where they need to be more quickly and waste or toxins are leaving the cells more quickly," she said. "It's a win-win for all of our cells, including those that make up our skin."

A layer of makeup functions as a detractor from these benefits. Dr. Natasha Cook told the Daily Mail that foundation and powder act as a net, catching bacteria and keeping it on the face. This in turn can block pores, causing inflammation and breakouts. The fact that we're likely to touch our faces more often when we're sweating means our skin is at even greater risk for housing those germs found on yoga mats and workout equipment. 

And if that's not enough, sweating also makes it easier for certain products like mascara to get in our eyes, which can lead to irritation. In other words, as good as makeup may make some of us feel, it's probably best to remove it before our workout.

What your skin actually needs before a workout

Skipping makeup doesn't necessarily mean we're free to totally forget about our face entirely. According to Premiere Dermatology, practicing pre and post workout skincare routine is necessary for ensuring our skin stays healthy.

A straightforward routine is all you need. First, cleanse the face in order to remove all make-up. A cleanser or micellar water is a great option. The second step is all about hydration; use a facial mist that emphasizes hydration followed by a moisturizer. Lastly, for those of us who are partial to exercising outdoors, be sure to finish the prep with an SPF and any other sun coverage, like a hat.

After the workout is complete, it's time to wash our faces again. Cosmetic physician Dr Jamuna Pai told Vogue that this should be done as quickly as possible. "The longer sweat is on your body and face, the higher the chances of it getting in your pores and attracting things like dead skin cells, fungal infection and bacteria," she explains. "Take a shower with lukewarm water and use a mild shower gel and face wash." Since skin can be red and inflamed after a workout, Dr. Pai urges gentleness in post-workout skincare. Follow a wash with a lightweight moisturizer or a thermal spring water mist and sunscreen.