If you’re a beauty babe who loves to workout, get excited because the latest makeup trend is geared towards y-o-u. Allow us to introduce you to ath-beauty AKA makeup designed to be worn while you sweat. Brands like Maybelline, COVERGIRL, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and Wet n Wild have all entered the new category with sweat-proof beauty products. But wait a minute: For as long as we can remember, dermatologists have told us that wearing makeup to the gym is an absolute no-no. To get to the truth of the latest craze, we asked the experts what they really think of ath-beauty and, more importantly, do they recommend sweat-proof products.

what is sweat-proof makeup?

Wearing a full face of makeup to a Flywheel class seems counterintuitive, but brands are debuting what they tout as new and improved solutions for those of us that want coverage during our workouts. “The fact of the matter is exercising and working out have become more and more of a social activity — not only shared with friends but also shared across the globe through social media,” Omer Ibrahim, a board-certified dermatologist in Chicago, says. “Gym selfies have become a norm, and many women want to look their best especially if they’re going to be posting a post-workout selfie on their story. So companies have started to invest more into makeup that can stand the test of a vigorous workout.” And considering nobody wants a foundation- and mascara-stained towel hanging over the handlebars of their bike, we can’t say we blame them.

But what makes ath-beauty different than your typical products? “Sweat-proof makeup is really just water-proof, oil-free, and non-comedogenic makeup,” Ibrahim says. “The ingredients might be slightly different across brands and over time — some are fortified with vitamins, some with SPF, and some with antioxidants. However, the concept is the same: water-proof to make it harder to rub off, oil-free so that it won’t get trapped in your pores or cause products to slip and slide, and non-comedogenic so it’s less likely to cause breakouts.” (Photo via Uwe Krejci/ Getty)

does it actually last during a workout without harming skin?

According to NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, wearing any makeup product (whether it’s meant for the gym or not) isn’t a great idea. “From a dermatological standpoint, makeup and sweat is never a good combination,” she says. “When you’re hot, your body naturally cools down by sweating. Sweat escapes through your pores, but if you have a layer of makeup, it can cause a blockage so now you have sweat, bacteria, and makeup trapped in a pore with nowhere to go, which can lead to pimples.” While she acknowledges that some products (like powder) work better with sweat, she remains firm in her belief that none are truly beneficial for your skin. “I think these new makeup lines are mainly a marketing tactic,” she states. (Photo via gradyreese/ Getty)

do you still need to wash your face?

Ath-beauty collections are designed to be worn with sweat, but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on cleansing immediately after your workout. “The sooner the sweat, bacteria, and makeup are off the face, the sooner the skin can breathe, and the less likely it is to break out,” Ibrahim says. (Photo via skynesher/ Getty)


To flaunt a sweat-resistant #MOTD, follow Ibrahim’s top tips. (Photo via Tara Moore/ Getty)

1. Prime your face. A quality oil-free primer gives a good base for sweat-proof makeup, allowing it to stay put more evenly, for longer. Brit + Co Pick: Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer ($39)

2. Silicone-based foundation is best. Just be sure to keep it light. “Heavier coverage foundation has more pigment, and is more likely to get caught in pores,” he says. Brit + Co Pick: COVERGIRL Outlast Active Foundation ($16)

3. Look beyond liquid foundations. Tinted moisturizers and BB creams tend to be lighter in nature yet still offer some coverage and powder-based foundations are light and don’t trap oil and sweat. Brit + Co Pick: Wet n Wild Makeup Locker – 3-In-1 Sheer BB Cream, Highlighter & Corrector ($9)

4. Opt for SPF on your lips. If working out outside, choose a lip tint, gloss, or balm with SPF (sun protection is important for the entire face; however we often forget the lips). Brit + Co Pick: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 ($24)

5. Set your makeup. Use a powder or an alcohol-free setting spray to lock your sweat-proof makeup in place without drying out your skin. Brit + Co Pick: e.l.f. Cosmetics Active Face Powder ($10)

6. Blot to keep sweat at bay. If possible, blot your skin and do not wipe vigorously. “When sweating, blotting is favored over re-powdering the face to prevent the excess moisture from smearing the makeup,” he says. Brit + Co Pick: Wet n Wild Pump On Your Matte Oil-Absorbing Blotting Papers ($5)

7. Wash your face as soon as you can after your workout. No ifs, ands, or buts. Brit + Co Pick: Wet n Wild Pump Next Level Cleansing Oil ($9)

Would you wear makeup to the gym? Tell us @BritandCo!

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