Wearing Makeup To The Gym – Good Idea or No Bueno?!

I know more than a handful of people who have been guilty of wearing makeup during their workouts at the gym, myself being one of them. Does it really matter if you wear makeup during a workout? Is it bad for your skin? To get answers to these very questions and more keep on scrolling!

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Is Wearing Makeup To The Gym Bad For Your Skin?

YES! When you workout at the gym it is a time for your skin to breath, sweat and filter out unwanted toxins. Makeup gives bacteria something to cling on to. Think of all the surfaces you touch at the gym: yoga mats, bicycle handles, weights, barbells dumbells, treadmills, stair steppers, bubblers, door handles, towels, disinfectant bottle, and the list goes on. I’m sure you touch these objects and then unknowingly touch your face.

What happens when you wear makeup during a workout?

Wearing makeup, especially foundation, is like a mask for your face. Why you ask? Because makeup is meant to be airy and not clog your pores; the whole point of it is to lay on top of your skin so you can have an even smooth finish. When you sweat the airy makeup mixes with your wet sweat; thus causing a barrier and your skin becomes air-tight, preventing your pores from breathing. This can lead to irritation, rashes and in most cases breakouts!

Holds In Your Toxins 

Not only does wearing makeup hold back your sweat but you’re forcing your body to hold onto harmful toxins. These toxins aid in the irritation, rashes, and breakouts but are a significant underlying issue of why you may be getting big pimples vs. regular acne like the kind you get around your period.

Did you know pure sweat doesn’t stink and is, in fact, odorless? When you smell BO, it is because your sweat is mixing with the bacteria found on the surface of your skin, also known as “scented” fatty acids.

Prevents You From Cooling Down 

When you sweet, your body is cooling itself off, sort of like an air conditioner. Forcing your body to keep sweat back is going to make you warmer. It is because of this reason you may notice your checks get redder than women who have a bare face. Sweating is how your body regulates temperature and when you prevent that or block it your body comes up with alternative ways to cool itself off.

Everyone sweats more or less in different parts of their bodies.  If you naturally are supposed to sweat from your face (specifically your forehead) and you have it blocked with makeup, it may cause dehydration. While this sounds extremely dramatic, cue the eye-roll, I know this experience from first hand. I sweat a ton on my forehead…I’m talking the kind of sweat that makes me have to run with a towel, or the sweat is continually running in my eyes. If I could wear windshield wipers on my eyelids I would. When I have the foundation on it is that much harder for my body to cool itself down and I find I drink a bit more water during my runs.

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Approved Gym Makeup

While most makeup is a big no Bueno for the gym, there are a few options still approved to wear.

Lip Gloss or Lip Stick – Can DO

Lip gloss or lipstick is an approved makeup staple for the gym. While yes your lips need to breath once in a while, it can be A-ok to use during your sweat sesh. A little bit of flair on your lips can be just what you need to feel fierce while keeping the rest of your face bare!

My suggestion is to look for something that is long-lasting, waterproof and lightweight.

My go-to gym favorites are:

MAC Lipstick Color”Capricious”

Everyone has their own color that suits them and for me, I prefer this one. It is a fun color that gives my lips some pop. I like to blend in at the gym not stick out, but I also don’t just want to get lost in the sea of boring. When you look good you feel good and when you don’t have to worry about looking good you focus on your workout more.

This mac lipstick is very moisturizing and hydrating which is great for any time of year!

Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Color Shine 5-Piece Lip Gloss

I love myself a great gift set! Anytime I can buy a bundle of products I always jump on it, because why have one option when you can have multiple.

This lip gloss set includes 5 different colors which is great for the indecisive people out there like me. The 5 colors in this set fit into each of the seasons which means this is a set that works all year round.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Lip Gloss, shade=Almost Pink

I LOVE this lip gloss becuase it is a perfect mix between a clear gloss and a slight ting of pink. Bobbi Brown is a makeup staple in my home and you can’t go wrong with any of their products.




If you are going the lip route, NEVER and I emphasize NEVER wear a lip product with a filler or plumper in it! You are asking for messed up lips for a few days due to the irritation and if it gets smeared across your face it will most likely make you irritated and could even cause a rash.

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Concealer – Can DO & Foundation – Don’t Do

While the foundation is a big NO NO it is okay to spot treat problems areas. You can do this in the form of a foundation(dabbing your foundation over 1 or 2 spots with your finger or brush) or the most suggested is using a concealer. It will last better, hold tighter and they are usually less greasy, which is perfect for sweating.

If you choose a concealer that is too runny or produces a dewy, luminous glow then it won’t hold up well at the gym and you’ll be looking like a hot mess.

Remember, when you wear concealer to dab with your towel at the gym and don’t do a wiping motion. Doing a wiping motion will take your concealer off and defeat the purpose of wearing it in the first place.

L’Oréal Paris Makeup Infallible Full Wear Concealer

I love this concealer because it has a larger wand which is great for under my eyes. I get real heavy bags and dark circles so I need something that can really spread and get the job done. I don’t’ have time to deal with baby brushes.

It comes in over 25 colors so there is sure to be one for you! It provides full coverage which is great for people like me that deal with dark undereye circles.

Did I mention this is also waterproof! 

Revlon PhotoReady Concealer


This has medium and buildable coverage.

You can glide this concealer on directly from the application wand and you don’t need to scoop it out.

Glide it on and blend it in! You’ll be set to go.


Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer Makeup

This little concealer has the product and applicator sponge already built into it!

It’s called instant age rewind because it covers up under circles and wrinkles while also working as a spot treatment type of product.

This is super concentrated which means it is going to provide you with some of the most coverage. It contains goji berry and Haloxyl which instantly brightens and illuminates your face.

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Eyebrow Tint – DO

The best way to wear eyebrow tint or filler is to do so in a permanent way. What does this mean you ask? They sell DIY kits at home to tint your own eyebrows so you don’t need to fill them in every day with pencils or other eyebrow tinting sticks and powders. Doing a more permanent brow coloring process is going to be waterproof and save you time, money and effort in your morning routine.


This kit comes with everything you possibly need to permanently color your eyebrows at home. The kit includes:

  • Hair Dye
  • Oxidizer
  • Mixing brush/application brush
  • Glass dappen dish

You will mix the hair dye and the oxidizer in a 1 to 1 ratio. You only need 2 or 3 drops of each. I suggest applying this for 2 min, wipe it off with face wipes or a wet cotton ball and do another 2 min process if you wish to have them darker or fill in missed spots.

Less is more here people and you will want to do a little bit at a time or you will look like a cartoon character.

Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil (Ultra Fine Brow Defining Pencil)

If you aren’t up for coloring your brows with professional color, then you can choose to do more of daily day wear!

This is one of the top-rated defining pencils became it is ultra-fine and will last you over 12 hours! This one is easy to sharpen and you just twist up to get more brow pencil out.

You will find an eyebrow brush at the end of the other side which is beneficial in taming and combing your brows down BEFORE you apply the pencil.


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Mascara + Eyeliner – DO on a lift day

If you don’t wipe your eyes that much from sweat, or if you know you are only going to be lifting that day then go ahead and wear things like mascara and eyeliner. If you sweat then count on both of them running down in some way leaving you to look like a raccoon, which is never an attractive look. Opt for a waterproof product and try to make sure its smudge-proof.

Better Than Sex Mascara 

To be honest I DO wear this when I run because wearing mascara works as a shield protecting my eyes from dust or bugs. I swear when I run bugs are on a mission to suicide bomb into my eyes in the hopes of just ruining my entire run. Nothing is worse than having a bug in your eye you can’t get out until you can see it in a mirror.

This mascara works wonders for my lashes and has a cult following to back up its legacy.

It comes in full or a mini size and is available in a waterproof formula.

4D Silk Fiber Lash Mascara

4D mascara is as smooth as silk and is excellent for sensitive eyes. The formula is waterproof and you only need one application to get the results you want.

Works best if you use an eyelash curler before you apply the actual mascara. 4D silk fiber makes your lashes look fuller and longer without worrying about your application style, meaning it won’t clump easily like other mascara products.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

If you are over the age of 20 you need to learn how to use liquid eyeliner! It looks better, stays on better and is easy to apply once you practice it a few times.

Waterproof eyeliner like this one stays put if you accidentally wipe your eyes which is most likely to happen while you work out.

I like that this tip is connected to the applicator and you just have to shake and press for the product to come out! This comes in a few different colors so if you want to be more playful and do a blue or green you can find those colors as well!

Final Thoughts

Wearing more makeup on days you know you won’t sweat as much, such as lifting only days, is going to be better than choosing to wear full makeup on days you know you will be sweating profusely, like on cardio days. If you sweat no matter what type of exercise you do ( no judging, I sweat as soon as I walk into the gym) then play it safe and go bare face! If you are in a rush and forget to take your makeup off, no worries! Simply use a facial cleansing wipe or makeup remover as soon as your done at the gym and you will be good to go. Wiping your face off AFTER a workout is just as beneficial and wearing no makeup during a workout.

My favorite Makeup Wipes:

Neutrogena Face Wipes 

Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths 

Burt’s Bees  

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes for Sensitive Skin, 

Retinol Facial Cleansing and Gentle Make Up Remover Wipes 

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