Do you wear makeup to the gym? Stop immediately!


Do you wear makeup to the gym? Dermatologist reveals what REALLY happens when you wear cosmetics while exercising – and why you should stop immediately

  • Makeup the gym causes pimples and irritation due to trapped follicles
  • Dr Natasha Cook revealed to FEMAIL the extent of the damage it can do
  • She also shared some tips on how to keep your skin healthy if you do.


While most women prefer to work out fresh-faced, those who don’t are often unaware of the very real consequences makeup can have on their skin.

Combined with sweat and open pores, cosmetics can wreak havoc on the complexion and cause acne, inflammation and even nasty infections.

Australian dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook agreed that it isn’t ideal to wear full-coverage makeup while exercising as skin needs to be able to breathe.

‘It’s not a deal breaker and if you look after your skin post-workout you will be okay,’ she told Daily Mail Australia, adding that a light CC cream is the best option for coverage.

‘The problem is heavy coverage is already occluding the follicle and pores to a point,’ she said.

This means that heavy coverage can cause hair follicles to become blocked and then rupture, causing inflammation.

Why should you avoid makeup at the gym?

 In constant contact with feet, hands and the floor, things like yoga mats, bicycle handles and weights are the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that causes acne.

 If you are wearing make-up, it gives this bacteria something to cling on to, especially as we tend to touch our face 3.6 times an hour on average – a little more if we’re sweating.

Add in sweat then you risk breakouts and infection of the follicle known as folliculitis,’ she said.

Besides the CC cream Dr Cook said that if you want to wear makeup to the gym you should use a serum under your coverage that includes Alpha hydroxy acid and Beta hydroxy acid.

‘BHA – A.K.A salicylic acid sinks into the follicle and dissolves congestion and helps prevent breakouts,’ she said.

Dr Cook added that you could use cleaner but not over do it with products using beads or foam.

‘Double cleanse firstly with micellar water followed by a gentle non-foaming cleanser,’ she said.

‘Reapply your AHA / BHA product to minimise the risk of occlusion in the follicles and thereby minimising breakouts.’

She said if you’re prone to sweat pimples you should have a shower and use a combination of Cetaphil and Benzac wash, which you should leave on between 30 and 60 seconds.

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