New Study Exposes the Harm of Wearing Makeup While Exercising

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We’ve been told that wearing makeup while exercising isn’t good for our skin and can result in breakouts and other issues. However, we hadn’t seen many studies on it until recently. New research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology expands on why makeup and working out don’t mix well.

What the study found

The study was sparked by the growing amount of people wearing makeup while exercising and the gaps in knowledge on how this might impact skin. The study specifically looked at the effects of foundation cream on skin during physical exercise. The foundation was applied to half of the face, the forehead and the upper cheek. Then the other half of the face had no makeup serving as the control. The moisture, elasticity, pore size, sebum and oil of the skin were measured before and after a 20-minute treadmill exercise.

The size of pores increased in the skin areas without makeup but did not get significantly larger in skin with makeup. This may point to makeup blocking the pores. Oil levels increased in areas without makeup and decreased in spots with makeup. This suggests that ideal oil levels are difficult to maintain while wearing makeup and exercising. The study looked at 20 men and 23 women.

Bottom line: don’t wear makeup while exercising

“The findings suggest that using foundation cream during aerobic exercise can reduce skin oil, causing dryness. Additionally, makeup can clog pores and increase sebum production. Therefore, wearing makeup may not be recommended for people with dry skin conditions based on the results,” says the study. “This research offers important insights to the public, encouraging them to consider the possible consequences of using makeup while exercising.” Based on the findings of the study, corresponding author Dongsun Park, PhD says, “For skin health, it’s best to exercise with your makeup removed.”

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