Many avid swimmers sneak in some laps in the middle of their day, which for women often means diving in while wearing makeup. Other women simply prefer going out in public with a little makeup on, and some just don’t want to bother removing it before hitting the water.
All of this raises a question, though: Should you wear makeup when you go swimming?
The Obvious Problem
Submerging your face in the water will mess up your careful application, of course. So, putting in the time and effort to put on cosmetics right before a swim doesn’t make much sense in that respect, and it’s probably a waste of money. But if you’re wearing makeup for hours before the swim, it’s much more justifiable.
There are waterproof makeup products that can increase the chances that you’ll emerge from the water face unscathed, though. As is always the case, some are more effective than others. For the best chance of choosing a winner, look for waterproof cosmetics made with volatile silicone oil, and pass on the cheap stuff.
Physiologically speaking, there is a reason to wear makeup when you swim. It creates a barrier between your skin and the water, and between your skin and the pool’s chlorine or the ocean’s salt. All of these elements have a drying, damaging effect on your skin, so makeup provides some protection against it.
If this is a particular concern for you, swimming with makeup on might be a good idea. And, just to help out, here are some other ways to prevent and treat dry swimmer’s skin. Also, if you swim outdoors and wear makeup with a sun protection factor (SPF), you have added protection against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, too.
If you wear makeup while swimming for extra skin protection, there is a catch. You can easily counter the benefits if you don’t wash your face and remove the makeup within a short time after swimming.
Chemicals and other compounds in the pool, fresh water, or salt water stick to foundation and other facial cosmetics. Even with the makeup acting as a barrier over your skin, you really don’t want all that accumulation sitting on your face for an extended period; it will eventually cause damage. Plus you’ll probably smell strongly of chlorine or the water.