Anyone who works out regularly knows the value of taking care of yourself. Exercise helps us be the best version of ourselves that we can be, keeping us looking and feeling energetic and youthful.
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The exact same concept applies to skincare — so while you’re up in the gym taking care of your body, don’t forget to take care of your skin as well. After a workout, excess oils and sweat can build up on your skin, leading to clogged pores, breakouts, rashes and a slew of other skin problems. Follow these simply tips to have a breakout-free workout and to keep skin issues at bay.
It may be tempting to put on a bit of concealer on before checking out that cute guy in your yoga class, but this is a no-no. When you sweat, your pores open up, which makes them especially vulnerable to getting clogged by residual oil or residue, and can lead acne and rashes. This is why it’s important to remove all traces of makeup before you start your workout. A convenient way to make your pre-workout routine easier is by carrying make-up removal wipes in your gym bag. These cleansing wipes are disposable and portable. Just give your face a quick once over before you begin. Even if you are not wearing makeup, cleansing the skin before a workout can prevent oils and dirt from the day from mixing with your sweat and seeping into your pores as bacteria.
Wipe Down Equipment
If you work out in a gym, pay attention to the equipment you’ll be using. Bacteria breeds on gym equipment, and you can’t always trust others to clean the machines after they’ve finished. If you touch you face after using these, the bacteria can travel to your skin and cause nasty breakouts.
Antibacterial wipes can come in handy in this scenario. Make sure to wipe down each surface with antibacterial wipes before using, and avoid touching your face unnecessarily while you’re using gym equipment.
Once you are done with your workout, resist the urge to wipe away sweat from your face with your hands. This can introduce dirt and bacteria into your pores, causing breakouts. Instead use disposable wipes and carry a clean gym towel. Use this to pat your skin dry. And don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly after you’re done your workout, too.
When you’re finished with a workout, immediately remove any sweaty clothing to avoid clogged pores and body acne. Cleanse your face with a high-quality cleanser as soon as possible. Many of us are tempted to jump in the shower and scrub ourselves vigorously from head to toe after a grueling workout, but this may make some skin conditions worse, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. Instead, use gentle cleansers for both your face and body. Once your face is cleansed, follow up with a toner and a moisturizer to rehydrate your skin.
Skip The Hot Water
After a strenuous workout, your muscles will be sore, and it may be tempting to take a long, hot shower. But, while this may soothe your muscles, it can also strip your skin of vital oils, leaving your skin dry and cracked. Frequent hot showers can lead to dry, itchy skin or even rashes (f your skin appears red following your shower, your water is definitely too hot!).
Instead, use a gentle cleanser and take a shower with lukewarm water. Follow up with a blast of cold water to tighten pores and refresh your skin. A cold water shower also stimulates your immune system, accelerates metabolism and helps to reduce inflammation.
Rehydrate Your Skin
Moisturize your skin as soon as you get out of the shower, as this is when its most receptive to hydration. Putting lotion on after bathing is a better way to moisturize, because your skin is saturated with water. The oil in the lotion prevents the water from evaporating, thereby locking in the hydration.
Pat your skin dry and take a few minutes to apply a generous amount of your favourite moisturizer all over your body. Follow up with a higher-quality moisturizer dedicated for your face. You can take this a step further and give yourself some aromatherapy benefits by choosing a moisturizer with an invigorating scent.
Always Use Sunscreen
If you are exercising outdoors, be sure to apply an even layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen before stepping out, ideally with an SPF of 30 or higher. It is important to choose a sunscreen that is right for your skin type. If you have oily skin, a heavy formula can cause acne by clogging pores. Using a lighter formula can help make sure that you are not dealing with any skin problems later.
Protect your precious skin from the elements, even when it is cloudy or in the wintertime. And don’t forget to protect your lips with an SPF-containing lip balm.
If you work out indoors, be sure to apply a sunscreen as part of your post-workout skin care routine. After this, you can apply your regular makeup. Opt for a foundation that will not clog pores and lead to acne. For tips on choosing the right foundation, check out this list of the 10 best foundations for acne-prone skin.
While exercising can give you a radiant complexion, it can also trigger breakouts if you don’t maintain a proper skin care regimen. The sweat and dirt accumulated on your skin during a workout can clog pores leading to blackheads and acne, which could kill all the confidence you’ve worked so hard to build up with your workout regimen.
Fortunately, by following these pre and post-workout skin care tips, you can keep your skin looking clear and bright, even after a workout.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, don’t forget about nutrition. For luminous radiant skin, avoid caffeine and alcohol, choose nutritious, vitamin-rich foods and drink plenty of water. Hydrated, gorgeous skin starts from the inside out.