If you schedule your workouts after work, you may be tempted to skip out on washing your face to get rid of all traces of makeup. After all, it’s only going to be just that extra one hour of gym before your post-workout shower. And you never know if that hot guy from last week’s going to be there. Or if you want to take a celebratory #gymfie for surviving the week and the gym session.
But deep down, you know you shouldn’t, what with all the Skincare 101 tips you’ve read from your favourite magazines and websites. So here’s a refresher on why you shouldn’t wear makeup to work out.
1. Your skin is a breeding ground for bacteria
Here’s the science: If you’ve ever done an experiment to find out how much bacteria there is on your skin, you’d be horrified. But before you freak out, you need to know that this is not bad news. The bacteria, or microflora, on your skin is naturally occurring, like your gut microflora. They feed on your dead skin cells and sebum, and there are increasing studies as to why keeping a good balance of skin microflora is key to healthy skin.
Now, when you work out, you sweat. The extra sweat and sebum become a buffet spread for the bacteria, and can cause the healthy balance to go out of whack – especially if you have on makeup which traps dirt and grime and everything that is bad on your skin.
So the bottomline is, removing makeup allows your skin to breathe better, and for your perspiration to evaporate faster from the surface to help you cool down and prevent bad bacteria from thriving.
2. Your sweat glands and pores open up
Perspiring is your body’s way of bringing down your temperature because you get hot when your engines get going. To perspire, your sweat glands and pores open up. If a layer of makeup is preventing them from breathing properly, it leads to congestion which come in the form of breakouts, blackheads and irritated skin.
3. Even sweat-proof or makeup applied on places without sweat glands, like your mascara, can clog up your pores
Sweat-proof makeup just means that it doesn’t budge when you sweat, which is potentially worse than something that runs once your perspiration comes into contact with it. And that is only going to be more pore-clogging because of its ability to stay on sweaty skin.
Even mascara should be removed, despite our eyelashes having no sweat glands. If the mascara’s formula is not great, or if you accidentally rub your eyes during your gym session, the mascara may run and cause milia seeds to form around the eyes.
Related article: Eight Best Highlighters For Glowing Summer Skin
So it’s best to keep your makeup remover in your toiletry bag. We like makeup remover wipes, for the convenience and mess-free use. Here are five of our favourite ones:
1. Nivea Professional Micellar Wipes, $10.90 for a pack of 20 sheets, from Watsons
These makeup wipes help remove stubborn and waterproof makeup without leaving a greasy after-feel.
2. Mamonde Micro Cleansing Oil Tissue, $18 for a pack of 50 sheets, from Mamondeboutiques and counters and Sephora
The tissue is embossed with a pattern to help effectively remove makeup. It uses a botanical cleansing oil so skin doesn’t feel dry afterwards.
3. Bifesta Oil In Cleansing Sheet, $3.90 for a pack of 10 sheets – $14.50 for a pack of 40 sheets, from Watsons
We like the generous size of the cleansing wipe. It also has squalene to keep skin moisturised and enforce its barrier functions.
Related article: Eight Best Mattifying Foundations For Oily Skin
4. Bioré Cleansing Oil Cotton Facial Sheets, $3.90 for a pack of 10 sheets, $15.60 for a refill pack of 44 sheets, $17.90 for a pack of 44 sheets with a dispensing tub, from Guardian
The Soothing & Refreshing variant is great for pre- and post-workout cleansing. It also has helps remove excess sebum from skin, and is colourant- and alcohol-free.
5. Sephora Collection Cucumber Cleansing Wipes, $10 for a pack of 25 sheets, from Sephora
The wipes’ two sides have different textures to help remove makeup and impurities effectively. We recommend the cucumber variant, which feels refreshing after a long day.
Related article: What Is Gluten-Free Makeup And Why Is It A Thing?