THERE'S NO NEED FOR A SMOKY EYE ON THE TREADMILL: For The Sake Of Your Skin, Take Your Makeup Off At The Gym

This is for those of you who roll into boot camps, yoga classes and spinning with an entire face full of makeup and then leave it all on bleached towels like the floor backstage after a drag queen smackdown.
Publish date:
April 25, 2013
makeup, skin care, gym style

I have a complaint: Women who won’t remove their makeup before exercising? You’re skeeving me out.

OK, look, I know that most of us are racing to the gym from work and we’re got maybe that tiny window of time to work on our fitness. But if you’re not grabbing a face wipe and removing your BB cream/layers of foundation, the damage you’re doing to your skin? Es no bueno. Please, please stop.

But I look dead without a little bit of makeup on, you say. I understand tiny coverage where it counts, okay? A touch of concealer here and there if you need to? Fine. Waterproof mascara? If you must and only if your eyes disappear into your head like Casper the Ghost without it.

But those of you who roll into boot camps, yoga classes and spinning with an entire face full of makeup and then leave it on bleached towels like the floor backstage after a drag queen smackdown, I feel it’s important to tell you what you’re doing to your face:

You’re Smothering Your Skin

Girl, your pores are in there, longing to be free, but if you sweat with a layer of makeup over them, you’re essentially suffocating your face. Let’s also add to the fact that I have seen some of you put on MORE complexion makeup before a sweat session.

Please don’t do this. The beautiful glow you get from a workout is because there’s all sorts of oxygen heading to your cells, that the sweat you’re producing helps your skin excrete surface oils and dirt. If you add more, when they gasp for air, your pores get a mouthful of makeup. The next time you get blackheads and acne, check out what you’re “feeding your face” when it should be breathing (this goes double for those who sleep in complexion coverage.) Your pores need some air. Give it to them.

Wiping Your Face = Utter Disaster

Let’s see a show of hands of the gals who can report to daintily dabbing their face like they’re at high tea in the middle of an intense sweat session. Anyone? If you’re just wiping your face in any random direction with sweat pouring down, you’re pushing makeup and surface dirt even further into your face, AND you stand the risk of wiping disintegrating makeup into your eyes, which can cause infection and can blind you during your workout.

Also, your workout towel now has makeup all over it, which you will only wipe BACK into your face later. All of this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Your Face Is Melting

OK, look, I know it says waterproof, but even waterproof formulas can only take so much, so it won’t “melt” but it may eventually move. If your waterproof lid color is on your cheek and your lipstick is smeared across your face, this look can be a little tough to pull off.

You Will Have to Undo This Damage Later

Finally, let’s talk about the bigger, long-term effects of smothering your skin when it’s supposed to be breathing: wrinkles, sagging and skin conditions.

Look, it’s really simple: when you create an aerobic condition, your cells demand more oxygen and operate at peak health, which means turning over new cells. That’s what healthy skin does. If you’re purposely suffocating it, your skin starts to suffocate and break down, which is when you get sagging, wrinkles and a dull, lifeless complexion - all of which you then have to take corrective measures to fix.

Gravity is a BITCH, so don’t help her. Just take the makeup off, sweat it out and then reapply later. There’s no need for a nighttime smoky eye on the treadmill. Just put it on later when, you know, it’s time to go out. At night. When people can appreciate it.

Also, those of you who have skin conditions or “sensitive” skin should really, REALLY consider moving your complexion makeup products before working out. Give it room to breathe and let the sweat do its job. Your skin may actually feel BETTER when you workout bare-faced.

I Don’t Know Anyone Who Wants to Marry The Kardashian On The Treadmill

This is particularly for people who apply more makeup before you work out. If you find the person who thinks the full-on Kardashian makeup look works when covered in sweat is hot, please introduce them to me (actually, don't).

Some lashes, concealer (make it medicated if you suffer from breakouts so it’s doing some actual good) and gloss? Awesome. But the last time I checked Sephora wasn’t sponsoring spinning classes, so take it down a little. Let your skin breathe and focus on your workout. If they’re going to pick you up, let them be attracted to the sweaty face they’ll want to see post-orgasm in the morning, not the one they may or may not pick up in a bar. There’s beauty in vulnerability. Try it.

Honestly, at the end of the day, this is a PSA for you to use the gym as an insecurity-free zone when it comes to your makeup. Bring a pack of cleansing wipes and just swipe one across your face before you sweat (LOVE the Simple Skincare Cleansing Wipes so much I’m a Brand Ambassador.)

Like I said, if you have to add a little just so you don’t freak, go for a good medicated concealer on certain spots, clear mascara (Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara is the BOMB) and maybe a touch of gloss (currently obsessed with Bliss Fabulips -- a touch of softening color with breath-freshening? YES, please. You will be amazed at what that little bit can do for you, and the people who have to work out near you (and clean up after you) will be so thrilled.

But, let’s chat in the comments section. Do you sometimes forget to take your makeup off in your race to get to your workout? Are you a full-face makeup girl who adds a little more complexion before a workout and is proud of it? Do you ever wonder about people who have to work out in a full face? Which side of the workout makeup debate are you on? Give me a full face of it down in the comments below.