How to Take Care of Your skin Pre & Post Workout

how to take care of the skin before and after workout
by Kali Kushner

When it comes to the gym, many of us have a love-hate relationship. After a good ole sweaty workout, we may feel great on the inside but how we look on the outside is a completely different story. Hair is a lopsided mess, favorite gym shirt is stained with sweat, and face is a splotchy red monster. And while I can't exactly help you out with your hair, I can recommend a few skincare tips to help keep your complexion in check after breaking a sweat.


pre-workout skincare

When it comes to working out, one of the questions I get asked the most is how do I take care of my skin? Can I wear makeup while working out? Should I wash my face after? Will sweat break me out? Well, it all really starts with what you're doing to your skin pre-workout.


does wearing makeup while working out cause acne?

First things first, if possible skip the makeup. I know, I know, some people wear makeup wherever they go and would never step foot in a gym without it. If that’s you, don't fret it won't wreak total havoc on your skin. If you don't feel comfortable without makeup completely, just go with the basics like a bb cream or a lightweight mineral powder instead of a full beat face. Plus, the debate is still up whether or not wearing makeup while working out will actually cause breakouts (but in my opinion it's better to play it safe than sorry with dirt, oil, sweat, heat, and makeup creating a petri dish on your face).

Going in bare faced makes it easier to take care of your skin pre and post workout too. Before you work out it's important to cleanse, tone, and moisturize, something that you can't exactly do if you're wearing makeup. If you already have a morning skincare routine and are planning on working out during the afternoon or night, that should be enough. If you're really concerned about it, just splash your face with water, pat dry, and moisturize before you work out.


is moisturizing important?

You would think that leaving your skin completely bare would be the most beneficial, however moisturizing prior to working out is actually a fairly important step. According to Renee Rouleau, celebrity esthetician, when you work out, your skin loses water due to evaporation through sweat, leaving it dehydrated. Dehydration can show in wrinkles, skin cells can slough off faster, and eventually pores can become clogged.



Other Tips:

Avoid touching your face during a workout. Probably goes without saying but most machines serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, so touching the machine and then touching your skin can lead to new breakouts or the spreading of old ones.

Keep hydrated before, during, and after a workout. You lose a lot of water from sweating during a workout so it's important to replenish your fluids. Electrolyte replacing drinks like Gatorade or Nunn tablets are the fastest way to replace re-hydrate the body.

Don't wear any tight-fitting clothing or accessories that may rub against your skin, trapping sweat and cause either bodily or facial acne. Make sure to wear loose clothing and tie your hair up and away from your face to prevent any sweat from getting trapped or irritating your skin.


post- workout skincare


Taking care of your skin after a workout is the most important thing you can do to prevent new blemishes from forming. At the very minimum I would recommend splashing your face with water a few times to remove any built-up dirt, sweat, and oil, then apply a moisturizer. You could also try using a micellar water to remove any gunk on your skin, then follow with a lightweight oil free moisturizer.

If you're really diligent or feel like bringing your whole skincare regimen to the gym, wash with a purifying cleanser like the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser, tone with an alcohol-free toner like the Banish Vitamin C Beauty Elixir, then follow up with a calming moisturizer like the Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Daily Moisturizer. Wala, just like that, you can have the confidence and the knowledge to conquer the rest of your workouts blemish free.


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