Whether your workout routine involves asanas at sunrise, 3 miles on an inclined cross-trainer, or hardcore, body-breaking high intensity training, one thing you can’t forget to consider is the effect on your skin. When getting your daily exercise regimen on the calendar, it’s important to build in some smart and healthy choices for your skin in your pre- and post-workout routine. We’ve pulled together some of the top dermatology tips for before and after you hit the gym to keep your skin looking fresh and clean.
Start with a Clean, Makeup-Free Face
We get it. You want to look your best even when you break a sweat, but keep this in mind: exercise opens your pores. You don’t want makeup and dirt clogging them up. Use a mild cleanser to rid your face of anything that will create a home for bacteria. For a quick clean, pack a micellar water and cotton pads or pre-soaked cleansing pads in your gym bag.
If you really can’t bear to go completely bare faced, use a makeup that won’t clog your pores. A non-comedogenic product will do the trick.
Apply an SPF
While you are at it, either choose a moisturizer with SPF or apply sunscreen, especially before heading outdoors. Even if you work out indoors, a window-side machine will still put you at risk for irreparable damage caused by harmful UV rays. Don’t skip this step.
Don’t Touch Your Face
You know those machines aren’t cleaned nearly enough. If you can remember, wipe down anything you touch before diving in. And if you can’t, be sure to avoid wiping sweat with your hands. Use a clean towel that you’ve brought from home. The towels at the gym may be cleaned with detergent that your skin is sensitive to. Then, be sure to wash the towel between uses. It’s easy to forget it in the gym bag, but that bacteria isn’t doing you any favors.
Also, be sure to tie your hair back and keep it off your forehead, if you can. This will prevent oils and any hair products from clogging your pores. Be wary of headbands that harbor sweat and product residue. You’ll need to wash those too.
Cool Down Care
Make sure you cleanse after your workout. Use a toner wash to gently clean away any sebum, sweat, or oil to keep your skin acne free. You can either bring pre-soaked cotton pads with you or a few cleansing wipes. A shower is also a good idea. Just make sure to moisturize afterwards to lock in hydration.
Did we mention you should moisturize? When you sweat, all of that salt along with a loss of skin hydration can make your skin dry, accentuating fine lines. Use a hydrating serum and a moisturizer with HA to rehydrate. And don’t forget to reapply that SPF. Your workout may be over, but you’ll be seeing the sun again soon enough.
Also, remember to drink plenty of water. Hydration begins from the inside out.