We’ll cut to the chase on this one: Yes, you should always wash your face before working out. In fact, skipping cleansing your face before the gym is straight up gross. It can actually have major negative effects on your skin. Think about it: When you’re at the gym, you’re most likely sweating up a storm. This sweat combines with the oil, dirt, and makeup that’s on your face, which can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.
You might think you can get away without washing your face pre-workout if you aren’t wearing any makeup. However, this isn’t the case. Even if your skin is makeup free, it’s essential to wash your face before the gym. Dirt, debris, and oil can still mix with sweat and clog pores. This is especially likely if you wipe your face with your hands or a towel while your exercising. According to our friends at StyleCaster, this can push oil and dirt into your pores, which can result in larger pores and breakouts (gross).
However, contrary to what you might think, sweat is not the enemy. On it’s own, sweat is mainly just salt and water. It’s when sweat mixes with toxins on your skin that it can cause problems. Wearing makeup while you exercise is the big culprit. The mixture of sweat and makeup can cause a buildup of excess oil which can result in acne. If you wash your face before the gym, there’s less toxins on your face for sweat to mix with, which will help keep your skin clean and acne-free.
If you always forget to wash your face before going to the gym, at the very least you should keep a pack of makeup cleansing wipes in your workout bag. Keeping them in your bag will serve as a reminder to use them before working out. You can quickly wipe off your face in the locker room before hitting the gym. The philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths ($15) are great because they quickly swipe away dirt, makeup, and oil. This way you can get fit without worrying about clogging your pores.