What Happens When You Workout With Makeup On

If your New Year's resolution, like many people, is to be more active, you've probably already hit the gym (or the pavement) a few times this week. With busy schedules, it's difficult enough as is to squeeze in a workout, let alone remove your makeup before running on a treadmill or spinning at SoulCycle. But I'm here to give you the lowdown on exactly what happens when you work out with makeup on, and let me tell you — it's not pretty.

Getting more exercise is a great New Year's resolution, even if it is a bit of a cliche. Trust me, I'm as much of a cliche as anyone when it comes to this. I joined a gym a month ago and am now talking about running my first half marathon. If you do get swept up into the New Year's Resolution bandwagon like me, you've got to learn what wearing makeup can do to your skin while you exercise.

Yes, it's hard to go without makeup at the gym, especially if you think you'll run into some potential hotties (or friends, or co-workers). Still, even if you're a makeup junkie like me, this might convince you to forgo it. Here are seven things that happen when you work out with makeup on your face:

1. Your Skin Won't Be Able To Breathe

When you work out, your skin flushes and your pores expand. If your face is covered with heavy makeup, your skin won't be able to cool down properly. Facialist Debbie Thomas explains: "Your skin needs to breathe — during a good workout even more so," she told Vogue. "Mix in sweat, heat and open pores and over time, the skin will become blocked. Not everyone will get spots, but most will get blackheads coupled with dulling and possible uneven skin texture." So, let's recap: blackheads, dull skin, uneven texture – those are all traits we absolutely do not want on our face, yes? Yes.

2. You Might Break Out

As Thomas said, you might break out if you work out with a heavy layer of foundation on. Combine greasy makeup, sweat, dirt and some not-so-clean gym towels and you have a recipe for a pimple.

3. You Will Turn Your Towels Orange

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I say this from experience: If you work out with makeup on, you will wind up with an embarrassing orange towel you'll want to hide at the bottom of the towel basket when you're done with your workout. Worse — your makeup could drip onto your tank top, and if it's any light shade (white or gray), your sweaty makeup will likely stain your shirt. At the very least, stock up on makeup cleansing wipes so you don't have this happen to you.

4. You Could Wind Up Looking More Flushed Than Usual


If you're a fan of blush, you might see where this is going. Dermatologist Dr. Ava Shambam cautions against wearing blush during a sweat session. When you work out, your face naturally flushes, which can be a delicate pink tint to your cheeks for some people or a tomato-red look all over if you're like me. Either way, adding blush to the equation is only going to make you look more red.

5. Your Eyes Will Sting


Drippy mascara, sweaty eyeliner, and runny foundation will all likely get into your eyes, which is unpleasant to say the least. Do your eyes and yourself a favor and do not let this get in the way of your workout.

6. Your Mascara May Run

Unless you pick an absolutely budge-proof formula, your mascara will most likely run during your workout. Raccoon eyes aren't a good look on anyone, so take off the mascara beforehand.

7. You Will Feel Kinda Gross


Dripping sweat is gross as is, but dripping sweat mixed with makeup? Not cute and not something that feels good, not to mention, it's totally unhygienic, especially if you're on a machine that someone else might use after you.

The good news? Working out with makeup occasionally isn't going to kill you (or your skin). The most important part? Wash your face after your work out. The dirt and sweat sitting on your skin for hours is what's truly going to cause a breakout. Now, go forth and fulfill those New Year's resolutions.

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