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Can Working Out While Wearing Makeup Cause Acne?  

Written by on August 9, 2022

Should you go to the gym with full-on make-up? Dermatologists Dr Joshua Ziechner and Dr Hadley King are setting the record straight on whether wearing foundation while you work out can lead to breakouts.
Can Working Out While Wearing Makeup on Cause Acne? 

Looks-obsessed New Yorkers even wear makeup to the gym

If you’ve become accustomed to applying a full face of foundation before working up a sweat, it may be time to reevaluate for the sake of your skin.
“Sweat and oil can combine with makeup to form a blockage in your pores and make it more likely for you to break out,” says Dr Zeichner.
“This type of occlusive breakout commonly appears as a sea of whiteheads and pus pimples, but if you’re acne prone, you’re more likely to develop larger bumps or even deep cysts.”
Dr Hadley adds that in addition to makeup trapping sweat and bacteria, heavy sweating also means you’re prone to wipe your skin and rub makeup, dirt and oil into your pores.
To prevent the onset of irritation and acne, both dermatologists recommend cleansing your skin and removing all traces of makeup before heading to the gym.
And while a makeup wipe may be the easiest option, a true cleanse with face wash is always better and more effective. “Makeup wipes can sometimes leave a film that could also contribute to clogged pores,” says Dr King.
What’s more, it’s important to also take off any lingering mascara, eyeliner or eyeshadow because even though it doesn’t coat your skin like foundation, sweat can cause the products to drip down onto your skin. “Eye makeup can also clog pores, mix with sweat, oil, dirt, breed bacteria and contribute to breakouts,” says Dr King.
I Forgot to Remove My Makeup. Now What? 
If you didn’t have time (or simply forgot) to remove all traces of makeup before your workout, listen up. “The sooner you can wash the oil, dirt and makeup off of the skin, the less time there is for a potential breakout to occur,” says Dr Zeichner.
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