How to Wear Makeup When You Exercise

How to Wear Makeup When You Exercise

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We’ve all been there. You know it’s not the greatest idea to wear makeup during a rigorous workout, but you do it anyway.You may not have time to wash your face in between work and the gym, or perhaps you have a job that causes you to perspire to some degree (hello, Pilates instructors!). Maybe you just want to look picture perfect while you exercise—hey, we’re not here to judge.If you don’t select the right products, though, you could wind up looking like a hot mess, your date-night palette smeared on your face at the end of your workout. Experts agree it’s not advisable to wear makeup while exercising. If it’s not designed to withstand perspiration, it will come off, and when you sweat you create an ideal environment for breakouts (sweat plus makeup equals a breeding ground for zit-causing bacteria).

MORE: The Best Makeup for Your Face Shape

But we know many women would rather die than go to the gym without their blemishes and dark spots covered. So if you’re in that category, follow the experts’ guidance. Your complexion will thank you.

Makeup advice from the pros

YouBeauty Cosmetic Chemistry Expert Ni’Kita Wilson says when shopping for cosmetics that can take the heat of a vigorous workout, “look for the most transfer-resistant makeup possible; it has a better chance of surviving your workout or physically demanding job. Pick a makeup with light coverage. Heavier coverage makeup has more pigment and is more likely to get caught in your pores, causing breakouts.”Silicone-based foundations are best suited to exercise conditions, according to makeup artist Kevin James Bennett, a cosmetics expert for the International Esthetics Advisory Board of Leslie Baumann, M.D., dermatologist and author of The Skin Type Solution.

The cosmetic silicone molecules are too large to penetrate or become lodged in pores and are naturally water resistant,” he says.Rae Cosmetics (a line of makeup designed for active women) Founder Rochelle Rae says makeup worn during exercise should be oil-free, allowing the skin to breathe.“Oil-based cosmetics trap the sweat under the makeup, forcing it [to smear],” she says.Another buzz kill: The American Academy of Dermatology says if you’re prone to breakouts, oil-based moisturizers and makeup can cause acne, whiteheads, and blackheads. To avoid looking like a pizza-faced teenager, the organization recommends selecting products that are “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.”

MORE: Makeup Tips for Your Unique Skin

Block those rays

Get Gussied Up

Try these natural-look makeup application tips from Rae Cosmetics Founder Rochelle Rae:

  • Lighten up your makeup routine. Skip the heavy foundation and opt for a lightweight, oil-free tinted moisturizer.
  • Apply a primer first. Primer provides a smooth, matte surface for makeup application and helps keep makeup from sliding off.
  • Protect your pout. Lip products with SPF, such as Rae Cosmetics Lip Shade SPF 15, protect your smackers and prevent chapping. Rae recommends choosing pinks and corals for exercise. “The lighter shades look less messy if you have to wipe the sweat off your upper lip,” she says.
  • Blot. Blotting papers are essential. Rae suggests pressing a sheet or two on your skin to get rid of shine. “You can dust on a bit of powder if you need it, but always blot first to keep the powder from caking, leaving you with a nice glow,” she says.

Bikers and hikers take note:

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