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BN Beauty: 5 Reasons Why Wearing Makeup to the Gym is Bad for You!



BN Beauty - BellaNaija - May 2015

There’s a chance we’ve all done this – you’re heading to the gym and decide not to take your makeup off because of that cute guy that loves to lift weights, or you just can’t muster up the strength to wash your face – especially if you’re heading there from work. So you head to the gym with a full face of makeup. Seems harmless enough right? Well it’s not.

At the gym you’re going to sweat and work out your body, and makeup can hinder that process and restrain you from getting the full benefits of the workout.

From your pores getting clogged to actually lifting bacteria and dirt, here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t wear makeup to  the gym.

1. Clogged Pores
One of the leading causes of breakouts is clogged pores. When you apply makeup on your face and leave it on for many hours, it restricts your skin from ‘breathing’ and excess oil can’t get out from the skin. Now, if you add sweat to that equation, you get a really harmful result.

While working out, you sweat; and this sweat is removed through the visible pores on the skin’s surface. If those pores are blocked by makeup, it will hinder the sweat from leaving the skin and it could lead to the accumulation of excess sweat and dirt, plus oil from the skin. This will ultimately lead to breakouts on the skin.

2. Irritated Skin
Sometimes, when your sweaty skin rubs constantly against your gym clothes due to the exercises you do, it could lead to irritation on the skin’s surface. Adding makeup products to that mix will lead to even more skin damage.

It could lead to bumps, acne and other skin inflammations that would make even the most simplest of tasks uncomfortable.

3. Dirt
As wonderful as makeup and the gym can be, it can sometimes be a minus when it comes to hygiene.

At the gym, the chances of you touching your face is extremely high. If you have a full face of makeup on, it is very easy to transfer dirt from the workout equipment to your face and other areas of the body. Why? Because makeup products like foundations, matte powders etc can easily stick to dirt and moisture. So, getting dirt and other substances from people around you is risky for your skin and general hygiene.

4. Dirty Gym Clothes
Remember when your makeup would run from your face to your clothes on those sweaty days? Well, imagine it at the gym. While working out and sweating, there is every chance your makeup will become mobile and get on your clothes and workout equipment. This can be unhygienic for you and other working out in the same area.

It can also be very unflattering if you have a face that seems to be melting off. Not cute!

5. Hinders the Detox Process
Sweating is a great way to detox. When your body releases sweat, it acts as a cleansing process for your entire body, leaving you feeling more refreshed and lighter. Referring to the first point, if your pores are clogged, then the sweat can’t leave your body thus hindering the detox.


Do you wear makeup to the gym? Share your reasons why!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Hongqi Zhang

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at) or style(at) | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle


  1. mystique

    May 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Why would someone wear makeup to gym? If you are heading there from the office use facial wipe!

    • MzChar

      May 6, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Girl you must not have seen some of these girls out here in full blown contoured makeup, even touching it up before hitting the gym floor. They consider it a prime place to meet a man. I sometimes wonder how they manage to spend an hour there and not break a sweat :/

    • Fitnessqueen

      May 6, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Rubbish! Your mouth like facial wipe. come and clean it, is it your face? Why should i wipe my face even when I’m coming from the office ? Do you know how much makeup cost and yes I’m aware how much a skin regime is. Also What if I wanted to stop by somewhere after my workout?? And no not in my workout clothes, So I’ll put a stamp on my forehead saying i’m just leaving the gym Huh??
      As long as I am getting my workout in and seeing great improvement and you are clearly not getting yours in because you are too occupied judging people. I am satisfied.

    • Bolu

      May 7, 2015 at 1:47 am

      @Fit……. You sound extremely silly its unbelievable LOL. Why so must attack on a simple comment. Just take a deep breath and chillax or better still u could have ignored the comment since there was some atom of truth in it which obviously applies to u. Hugs dearie 🙂

    • emeraldish

      May 7, 2015 at 10:37 am


    • Ada Nnewi

      May 7, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      I couldn’t believe the silliness in your comment..You must be one of the “thirsty” babes at the gym…smh

    • MC

      May 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      What if you wanted to stop by somewhere after your workout!? Really!?!
      So not only are you refusing to wipe your makeup off before working out….you then sweat…and then insist on going to meet a mate with your sweaty face/makeup ….WOW

  2. @edDREAMZ

    May 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Never been to gym b4 though….

  3. Thatgidigirl

    May 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Whatchu talkin’ bout BN? When we’re trying to use one stone to kill 2 birds? We would contour sef 😐

    • dooshima

      May 6, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      hahahaha……..especially girls at Bodyline Gym in Abuja…BN this post is F9…babes are trying to sell their market..they can wash their faces and detox at home..after he asks for their number *wink*

    • Ada Nnewi

      May 7, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      But i don’t wear a stitch of make up at the gym and the men still approach me to get my number…I think the major reason is cause they know i’m not at the gym for them, i’m at the gym for a mean workout…Dear Ladies, thirstiness is not ATTRACTIVE…

    • BunmiAmara

      May 6, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      LOOOL,its you type they are talking to.chai.

  4. miss Pynk

    May 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Make up to the gym? Women oh why!

  5. Miss Kay

    May 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Speaking from personal experience:

    When i go to the gym after work, I usually have me make up on from the work day. Sometimes I use wipes to take it off before working out but at other times, I don’t.

    I’m not sure people leave their houses with make up on JUST to go to the gym though :s

  6. Sisi

    May 6, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Lol, use a facial wipe on your face but leave your brows though.

  7. BunmiAmara

    May 6, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Even lip balm i dnt wear, when u see me in d gym and outside on the street you wont recongize me, lol my wig on fleek and lips on fleek.but in d gym i resemble house gal.

  8. fleur

    May 7, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Bella will probably censor my comments because all your contributors are your best friends and have to always look good (sigh), but I will say this to Jennifer anyway — your article is poorly written, not because of grammar but because you lack knowledge on the topic and it showed. Here is why I am disappointed by this article.

    1)Irritated Skin – the one place that most people wear makeup is on their face. Please explain how clothes will rub against this part of the skin with a frequency that is significant enough that it will create the type of problems you are talking about. Now, if Nigerian girls now wear body makeup on a routine basis, I withdraw my comment.

    2) Dirt: You claim that it is easy to “transfer dirt from the workout equipment to your face and other areas of the body.” This is a two way thing and if you are using cream makeup like a MAC brand, I think the gym equipment is the one at risk here. You are going to leave a lot of makeup on the equipment if you touch your face enough times. Also, because foundation is like a layer, if you transfer dirt or germs to your makeup, the dirt is technically sitting on a layer that is covering your skin. Depending on the consistency of the foundation, germs moving through that layer to your skin is something that I’d like to see unfold in the laboratory. Also, you talk about “matte powders” sticking easily to “dirt and moisture”. You should be saying the reverse, which is that dirt and moisture stick more readily to powders because it is scientifically more accurate

    3) Dirty Gym Clothes: I read this and thought “really”! How much makeup and sweat do you need to create a river that would flow down your clothes? Mobile makeup? You should be worried about peoples MRSA bacteria (and this has nothing to do with makeup) being transferred to your skin. Trust me, MRSA and other flesh eating bacteria do not seek out made up faces. You just have to be a carrier and touch equipment, which will then serve as the vector for the bacteria. It is not about your makeup literally melting off as described in your write up.

    4)Hinders the detox process: This one caused me to question my years working in the lab on dermal tox testing. Seriously? Your skin will sweat when your brain tells it to sweat. Remember you talked about makeup sliding off? Well, that is why the makeup slides off. You open the pores when you exercise and you will sweat. The makeup has to be some nanoparticle wonder that has the chemical property of constricting your pores in order to do what you are suggesting.

    Let me end here. Please do your research before you publish and if you dont have the right information its okay to not write.

    • Ada Nnewi

      May 7, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Jennifer missed the mark when explaining the irritated skin bit but she’s not completely wrong…Now i don’t know what your workout schedule is like at the gym but mine is intense and the days i tried it with my work make up still on my face, my face burned so bad i needed to keep an ice pack on my face to cool it when i got home..Now if you workout schedule is light, then please go ahead and pile on the makeup, but my proflex ladies that really work out know better than to wear make up.

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