A plank is a core exercise that involves forming a plank shape with your body
A plank is a core exercise that involves forming a plank shape with your body

Wearing foundation when exercising can damage skin health by changing the size of pores and the release of sebum, according to new research.

The study involved 43 college students – 20 men and 23 women. They had to wash their faces using cleanser before researchers analysed skin variables on their faces, including pore size and the production of sebum.

A single layer of foundation was then applied to either the cheeks or the forehead of the participants before they took part in a moderate 20-minute workout.

Afterwards, the researchers repeated the skin analysis and found that sebum production was reduced in the areas covered by foundation compared to the areas with no make-up.

The researchers said: “This is a gleaming example of the deleterious effects of make-up use during exercise. In this study, make-up use clogged the pores, which led to a negative sebum score.”

The study, conducted by Sukho Lee and his colleagues at Texas A&M University, San Antonio, found that pore size increased in areas without foundation whereas there was no change to pore size in areas covered by foundation.

Findings suggest that the make-up restricted pores from enlarging and prevented sebum and sweat from being released.

Although these outcomes may not significantly impact people who exercise for short periods of time, the researchers wish to investigate further to discover the effects of wearing make-up during longer exercise periods.

To fully analyse the effect of our skin when wearing make-up during exercise, Shari Lipner, from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, believes that the researchers should have studied all areas of the face because skin and its characteristics vary depending where on the face it is.

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