Why Working Out with Makeup May Damage Your Skin

Foundation during exercise can hinder oil production, causing clogged pores, dry skin, and acne.

Mascara and eyeliner during exercise can cause discomfort, itching, and rashes. To avoid skin issues, use “noncomedogenic” foundations and wash your face after working out if cosmetics gives you the confidence to hit the gym.

A new study shows that makeup-wearing gym-goers may want to reconsider to protect their skin.

Researchers had 43 healthy male and female college students complete 20-minute treadmill workouts in a lab. All of them applied cream foundation to the forehead and upper cheek of one half of their faces before exercising, leaving the other half makeup-free.

Foundation-covered skin had fewer pores and less oil. According to lead study author Dongsun Park, PhD, of the Korea National University of Education in Seoul, wearing makeup during exercise may impair oil regulation, causing dry skin, clogged pores, and acne.

Park said oil imbalances can cause skin problems.Park says clogged pores and oil production produce whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.This worries acne-prone skin.”Park advises that exercise may ruin makeup. Cream foundation may break down or slip off due to excess oil, creating blotches or streaks.

The study focused on cream foundation, but Shari Lipner, MD, PhD, an associate professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, who wasn't involved, thinks powdered makeup would also affect skin function during workouts.

Lipner warns that mascara and eyeliner can cause irritation, itching, rashes, and infection. Lipstick in the gym is less likely to create skin issues.

Lipner advises little makeup and noncomedogenic products to avoid clogged pores. Apply makeup wipes and wash with a moderate cleanser and water immediately after working out.Lipner warns against exercising with makeup because it can worsen skin issues. I'd rather exercise with makeup than relax."

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