The Dangers of Exercising With Makeup On

There's nothing glamorous about working out, unless you're a Kardashian. For the rest of us, finding the time to workout can be a struggle. Most of us have to resort to squeezing in a workout after a long day at work. This time crunch, often leads to getting through a workout with full face of makeup. Now some think that working out in full face can't be all that bad, if you wash your face after a workout. The question remains, does a full face during a work out really cause acne?

The Science of Makeup

As common as makeup usage is, there is a lot of controversy surrounding it; like questionable ingredients, animal testing and its effect on young girls' self esteem. For most women in the workforce, wearing makeup, even the most minimal can make them look more qualified for their position. Sociology aside, the ingredients used to create makeup include: strong (sometimes toxic) chemicals, heavy oils and parbens to create strong bonds to adhere to skin.

Although most makeup products promote themselves as “oil-free” or “fragrant free” there are still traces of ingredients that can react negatively with skin. This is why there are multiple steps needed to fully remove product. Methods such as double cleansing promote the practice of using oil to remove oil. The fact is that, a water based cleanser cannot fully remove makeup because oil is hydrophobic and will not cling onto the sulfates in a cleanser.

Wipes Fall Short

We're all guilty of using makeup wipes, the convenience and time saved is hard to resist. There are so many textures and brands to choose from when it comes to makeup wipes; which, makes it even easier to throw it in your shopping cart. The problem with wipes is that they give the illusion that they are “removing makeup” when in actuality they are simply smearing it around.

For starters, makeup wipes contain very little nourishing ingredients; rather, they contain ingredients that strip away essential facial oils. The action of wiping coupled with the pressure needed to “effectively” remove any traces of makeup is harsh to skin and can lead to the formation of wrinkles. The tugging action can lead to pre-mature Crow's feet and hyper-pigmentation.

If that wasn't enough to convince you otherwise, the spreading of makeup, dirt and oil causes these particles to set on the surface of skin. Imagine washing a dish with solely water and then leaving the grime to soak in the dish, that is what a wipe is to your skin.

Cardio And Acne

At this stage, you've forgotten or didn't have time to clean off makeup properly. It almost seems that as soon as your workout is completed, you spot a zit forming (in most cases its a whitehead). Now what is it about working out with a full face cause acne? The answer lies within the pores of the surface of skin. During a workout, makeup acts as a physical barrier that literally covers pores and fills them with comedogenic oils. At the same time, in an effort to cool down sweat glands go into overdrive to regulate your rising body temperature.

In this case, your body is trying to cool down; but, the makeup prevents your body's ability to release sweat and toxins. Rather than having sweat released, it becomes trapped underneath the surface of skin and mixes with bacteria. This cocktail of sweat, makeup and bacteria creates the perfect opportunity for acne to form. Once the sweat has become trapped, it becomes difficult for it to be released unless you cleanse with water and soap.

Prevention Tips

In an ideal situation, you'd be able to fully cleanse your face before a workout; but, for those times when its near impossible, here are some simple prevention tips that can help the formation of acne.

  • Keep a towel handy: Its better to wipe off excess sweat with a clean towel during a workout rather than using your hands that can be full of bacteria.
  • Powders over liquids: Liquid foundations are much heavier formulas in coverage and texture when compared to powder foundations. For your everyday makeup, choose loose or pressed powder rather than heavy foundations.
  • Wash post-workout: Just because you didn't wash before a work, doesn't mean its too late. The sooner you wash, the better. Something as simple as bringing a gentle cleanser with you to use at the gym can save your skin from a breakout!
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