Gym proof make-up and why you should skip it altogether

There have been a lot of advertisements lately about “gym-proof” make up that cater to an “active-lifestyle”. It’s upsetting to think about anybody wearing makeup – women or men – while working out. I suppose it’s slightly more understandable if you’re an Olympic Athlete performing a routine on a world stage, but even then I’m still not 100 percent convinced that it’s necessary.

I see so many women at the gym whose faces are bedecked to the max with a full array of make-up. The works: including concealer, eye liners and shadows, lipstick, blush, with the kicker being perfume.

Don’t peg me for the kind of person who doesn’t believe in a good appearance. I espouse personal hygiene and taking care of yourself no matter who you are. In fact, I’d say that even if you’re a hippy living off the grid and gardening with your bare hands on a daily basis, that you should still take the time to trim your nails and clean the dirt from your nail beds. Even if you never plan to meet or greet another human soul again in your life, it just comes down to self-respect. Take care of yourself like you would anything else.

Let’s loop back around to people and make-up while working out. Is it really necessary? When you work out, you’re respecting yourself by doing something extremely good for body. And you don’t need to look good during this operational phase of training. You’re there to grunt, moan, sweat your behind off, get the heart and blood pumping.

Workout basics mean that the body temperature rises while working out. Like a giant cooling system your body perspires to help regulate the temperature by allowing heat loss through evaporation. The pores of your skin open wide and inadvertently become like giant sponge receivers. Particles of any sort, if present, will clog your pores. If you’re wearing a concealer or foundation on your skin while working out, it’s essentially like putting saran-wrap over your skin. The pores will be blocked by the make-up. If this happens once, twice, or even a few times you might not notice anything detrimental. But do this over the long run and you’re likely to experience breakouts or even worse – permanent spots and uneven skin texture.

People say the first thing they notice is smile, teeth, and eyes, but I’d venture to say skin health too. Sweaty make-up becomes like the gel-base of a petri dish, ready to cultivate bacteria over the laboratory of your face when activated.

With all the effort and money people pour into maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance, the best thing you can do for your skin before any workout is to clean it. Let it breathe, maybe apply a light moisturizer at most. If you find yourself outside, then applying a mineral sunscreen with a high SPF often is non-negotiable (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are better than synthetic versions).

Do yourself a favor, save your skin, money and time by leaving the “athleisure” line of products and “sports makeup” sold by companies such as Tarte, Eyeko, Sweat, and MAC + Puma for professional photo shoots or gym goers whose primary interest is to socialize and not exercise. For those who say it’s all about lifestyle, I say that the lifestyle transformation can wait until after your workout.