Can You Wear Makeup to the Gym?

“Why does she wear makeup to the gym?? She must be soo insecure.”

“Why do you put on makeup if you’re just going to sweat it off?”

“Who cares what you look like at the gym. You should be focused on working out.”

“Omg you’re going to get so many breakouts!”

For whatever reason, there’s SO much negativity around wearing makeup to the gym. Everyone has an opinion and most of the time that opinion is “no”, you absolutely should not. Now I understand that side of the argument because I used to think the same thing, but the last few years I’ve had a change of heart on the topic.

As a frequent wearer of makeup to the gym, I’m going to tell you why I think it’s okay to wear makeup to the gym.

Why would anyone wear makeup to the gym?

For those curious, let’s first address why anyone would even want to wear makeup to the gym.


First of all, a lot of people head straight to the gym after work, so they’ve already been out in the world with their makeup on before hitting the gym. It’s more of a hassle to bring all kinds of makeup remover with you to work so that you can remove it before you start working out than it is to just drive to the gym and not worry about what’s already on your face. And if you don’t have sensitive skin that breaks out at every speck of dust that comes into contact with your face, then it’s not that big of a deal to just leave it on.


Another reason women might want to wear makeup to the gym is because they feel more confident with it on. Personally I never used to wear makeup to the gym, but a couple years ago I developed pretty severe melasma under my eyes along my cheekbones. It looks especially dark when I’m sweating and working out, so when I don’t have concealer on it legitimately looks like I got punched in the eyes or have dirt smeared on my face. Wearing makeup helps me focus more on my workout because I know people aren’t looking at me. This in turn leads to a much better session.

Even if you don’t have any special circumstances like this but you just feel more confident in general wearing makeup, then do it! It’s not hurting anyone and ultimately if the confidence makes you hit the gym harder, then I’d say it’s worth it. It’s just like buying a cute new gym outfit. Sure, it doesnt serve much functional purpose, but it makes you feel happier which will then lead to a better workout.

The case for not wearing makeup

Honestly the only argument I’ve seen for not wearing makeup to the gym is that it could cause breakouts and clogged pores. Personally I don’t sweat much since I’m usually just going to the gym to lift weights. If you’re going to do cardio, a hot yoga class, or some activity that causes you to sweat a lot, then maybe skip out on the foundation. But even then, if you follow a good skin routine, take your makeup off after the gym, and stay hydrated, then it probably won’t be a huge deal if you do occasionally keep your makeup on while you workout.

I live in a hot dry climate, so if I didn’t wear makeup whenever I knew I would be sweating then I’d be bare-faced for more than half of the year.

At the end of the day, do what makes you happiest. If your desire to wear makeup outweighs the chance that you could temporarily clog some pores, then do it! Ultimately when you’re happier and more confident you’ll be getting a better workout than the people wasting their time side-eyeing you for what you have on your face.

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