Sweat-Proof Your Makeup: 10 Tips to Keep You Looking Fresh

sweat-proof makeup

Does your makeup fade away with your perspiration in the middle of the day? Do you find yourself wanting to take an extra shirt to work to change into after lunch? Do you tend to break out more in the summer months?

If so, you’re likely dealing with the negative effects of excess sweating. Here’s more about the condition, and what you can do to help keep your makeup in place.

What causes excessive sweating?

Everyone can find themselves sweating more than they’d like to in warm or stressful situations. Trouble is, these are often times when sweating is definitely not welcome.

Unlike your aerobic work out, an office presentation, interview, first date, or important speech isn’t the time for the appearance of drops of perspiration on your temples, or worse, ruining your eyeliner.

Excessive Sweating Can point to a Medical Issue

Some people have an even more severe condition called “hyperhidrosis,” or “excessive sweating,” in which even a five-minute walk can leave them sopping wet. Though the level of sweating varies from person to person, if you’re sweating profusely even in mild temperatures when you’re just watching a movie, it may be a sign of a medical issue that needs your doctor’s attention.

Symptoms of hyperhidrosis include localized sweating in the hands, armpits, or feet that is so profuse it interferes with daily activities. For example, a person with hyperhidrosis may have a hard time holding onto things because her hands are so moist, or may stain her clothes soon after dressing. Treatment can be difficult, but some topical medications, herbal remedies, and even surgeries may help.

Other Causes of Excessive Sweating

Even people who don’t have a medical condition, however, can suffer excessive sweating at inconvenient times. The following can all contribute to the problem:

  • Menopause and other hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Other diseases like Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain medications, including psychiatric drugs (like antidepressants), blood pressure meds, antibiotics, and some medicines for dry mouth
  • Smoking—nicotine can cause excessive sweating
  • Caffeine—particularly hot, caffeinated drinks
  • Synthetic fabrics like polyester and acrylic
  • Spicy foods like hot peppers
  • Sunscreen—some sunscreens create a barrier that makes it hard for sweat to break through, causing the body to heat up
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Excess weight

If you feel like you sweat more because of any of these factors, adjusting your lifestyle routine may help even out your body temperature.

10 Tips for Keeping Makeup in Place

Whatever may cause the excess sweating, it can be embarrassing. If you’re finding yourself a little overheated this summer, try these tips for “looking” cool, now matter how you may feel!

1. Skip the powder

Toning down shine with powder can create a chalky look that only exaggerates fine lines and wrinkles. Use blotting papers instead to absorb excess oil without messing up your makeup.

2. Cool off before application

Do you apply makeup fresh out of the shower? It’s better to wait at least 10 minutes for your body to cool down. Applying makeup to warm skin makes the skin absorb the ingredients more readily, which can cause breakouts later, and is likely to result in a less polished appearance.

Wait until the skin is completely cool. If you’re in a rush, splash your face with cold water a few times before starting your makeup routine.

3. Carry a facial mist

If you’re traveling and find it hard to refresh your makeup, take a facial mist along with you. As long as the pump delivers a fine spray, you’ll end up cooling your skin, which will make your makeup last longer. Tip: Try our Rosemary Toning Mist to cool down on the go.

4. Use a primer

Primers are made to help makeup cling to the skin a little longer. They can cut also down on shine later in the day. Apply before putting on your foundation, but after your moisturizer. Make sure whatever product you use is oil-free.

5. Avoid heavy foundations

Heavy, full coverage foundations are more likely to melt and slip on hot, sweaty skin. In the warmer months, switch it up to a lighter product that is oil-free and won’t be heavy on your skin.

6. Switch from powders to creams

Powders can cake in the heat, which is super unattractive. During the summer, if you’re noticing cakiness, switch to cream blushes and eye shadows. Use an eyelid primer if you find your eye makeup running.

7. Go water resistant

Mascara that’s water resistant or waterproof is better able to withstand summer sweating. Liquid eyeliners also last longer than pencils when your lids are moist.

8. Avoid dark colors

If you’re going to be out in the sun, stay away from smoky eyes, dark blushes, and the like. These are a bit harsh in the bright summer sun, and are also more likely to be noticeable if they drip or smudge. Look for softer colors, particularly for the eyes.

9. Drink!

Keeping your body cool from the inside out is the best way to keep your skin dry. Carry a stainless steel water bottle with you, and sip frequently. Add ice often to keep it cold. This can also double as a neck and face cooler when you need it!

10. Use less

Too much makeup in the hot summer sun can make you look unnatural. If you’re going out in the heat, stick to the essentials.

Conceal the dark spots and under-eye circles, freshen your face with blush, consider a light BB cream or foundation, and apply a bit of bronzer to the cheeks, nose, and chin. Finish off with a waterproof mascara and a light cream eyeshadow and you’re good to go.

…or none at all!

Sweat-proof makeup can be hard to achieve! Why not try forgoing makeup altogether?

If you're thinking about skipping your complexion perfecting make up products like foundation and cover up, our Citrus Stem Cell Serum can help even out the look of your skin tone. Finish off with Sun Love which is tinted for a bit of color!

Do you have other tips for keeping your makeup looking good in the hot summer months? Please let us know.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Brindusa Aurora says

    The skin is a very important organ of our body. We have to take care how to maintain it healthy. Pollution, extreme weather or our general health condition can affect the skin aspect. It is essentially choosing a natural makeup or at least, makeup with less chemical substance.

  2. Pam says

    I use an electric floor fan on ” Low Speed, Blowing the air Behind Me ” . This circulates the air in the room, keeping it cooler.

    • Tessa Minton says

      I wholeheartedly agree. Humidity is a killer when applying makeup and blowdrying, especially when you are right out of the shower…even after waiting, if you have hyperhidrosis. Sadly, my hyperhidrosis is limited to my face and scalp, making me a hot mess even in winter.
      Nothing works better than a fan, along with hitting the air conditioner for a few minutes to remove excess humidity from the air. Otherwise, I have to go without makeup and blowdrying my hair is pointless.

  3. ragini says

    it is always better to apply ice cube on face before make up. this will help to block the skin pore temporarily results in long lasting make up.
    another way is only do eye make up along with a perfect lip color. this will help u to highlight only your beautiful eyes and lips. this can be use when you are out n no time for applying ice cube.

  4. B Stott says

    I don’t agree that powder cakes or turns chalky. It depends on how you apply it. If makeup tends to sweat off your face, a light dusting of translucent powder over primer and light foundation DOES work.

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