If one of your New Years resolutions this year was to get healthier and more fit by exercising more, we applaud you. Whether you decided to hit the gym, exercise at home, do some yoga or take those running shoes you bought last Christmas for a spin, you must ensure that your skin is workout-ready.
Taking care of your body is important for your physical health, but you can’t neglect your skin in the process. Skipping your pre and post work-out skin care routine can lead to poor skin health, plugged oil glands, acne and dull appearance. It’s no secret that workouts can lead to your biggest breakouts, there is a way to prevent or reduce the effects by following a few easy steps:
Pre work-out skin care routine
- Lose the make-up – This should be a no-brainer, but it’s important to make sure your skin is free of any makeup prior to working out. This way your skin will be able to breathe, and you will avoid clogged pores, which are one of the main causes of breakouts.
- Apply a moisturizer – When you exercise, you lose a lot of water. (A lot – so don’t forget to bring your water bottle with you). This water-loss leaves your skin dehydrated and in need for a moisturizer. To combat this, make sure to use a lightweight moisturizer, which will help to retain the water in the skin. Dehydrated skin increases surface lines and causes skin cells to die prematurely, leading to premature aging. Dry skin also leads to building up of dead skin cells, which cause pores to clog further leading to breakouts – the exact thing you want to avoid. If you’re exercising outdoors, be sure to use a very light moisturizer with a sunscreen.
- Consider showering or washing your face – Contrary to the popular belief, shower is not only for after the workout. A good cleanse before exercising is to ensure that the sweat that builds up during your workout is clean. Otherwise, you risk developing acne. If you don’t have the time to do so, a thorough washing of your face will do the trick.
- Dress the part – You should try to make sure that your skin touches as little gym equipment surfaces as possible. That way you won’t have to be worried about triggering any breakouts or redness. Also, you can bring a towel with you to put it over the equipment before you use it.
- Get hair off your face – Sweat can cause oil and dirt to accumulate in hairline areas, and can also cause hair products to transfer to your face. Various hair products can cause your pores to clog, thus leading to breakouts. Be sure to wear a sweat band or at least withhold from using unnecessary hair products before hitting the gym.
Post work-out skin care routine
- Shower – We feel like we don’t need to emphasize this too much, but it’s worth noting that a refreshing shower with warm water will help in detoxing your skin. A moisturizing sope or shampoo, enriched with almond, cucumber or honey works best to gently remove all the dirt. Make sure to wash your face thoroughly, as it is one of the areas where sweat accumulates the most.
- Baby powder – You can use baby powder, especially on the more sensitive areas like chest and back, to absorb all the excess oil from the surface of the skin and combat post-workout perspiration too.
- Cleanse, tone and moisturize – The cleansing-toning-moisturizing routine will help prevent a possible breakout. Follow a routine that suits your skin type. If you have dry skin, opt for a hydrating face wash with natural ingredients like aloe vera or cucumber which cleanses, tones and softens the skin. For oily skin, wash it with an oil-balancing face wash – lemon is a great ingredient to find in your face wash as the astringent properties help lighten the skin and control excess oil secretion. Avoid using alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip your skin from its essential oil.
- Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate – Always remember to apply a moistruizer after your bath, while the skin is still damp. This way you’ll be certain that the moisture will be sealed to your skin, and this way you’ll boost your skin’s resistance to any dirt it may encounter. Aloe vera, cocoa butter, as well as anything with vitamin E is an excellent ingredient in lotions.
- Do a facial – Give your face a weekly treatment. Your skin will benefit from regular facial steams, which open your pores (try our DIY tea steam). Also, you can try some DIY facial masks (take a look at our DIY avocado ones). Indulging in a 15-minute enriching facial mask will do wonders for your skin.
Have your own pre and post work-out routine? Share it with us on our Facebook page.
Interested in more personalized skin care, lifestyle and product recommendations? Check out OKU.