Working out has numerous proven benefits for both your mind and your body, but what about your skin? Unfortunately, working up a sweat is not so great for your complexion and can cause acne flareups, clogged pores, redness and irritation. This is especially true of people who leave the salty residue on their faces to dry, which, according to research, most people do. If you’re part of the majority who do not shower after a workout, you should, at the very least, alter your routine to include face-washing post-gym. You should also take certain measures pre-workout. Dedicating a little more time to your facial care regime both pre- and post-gym can do a world of good for your complexion.
A lot of people exercise in makeup, which is a huge skincare no-no. As you work up a sweat, your pores open up. When you begin to cool down, your pores close again — right over the makeup residue that fell into them. Your skin should be able to breathe when you’re working out. Wash your face clean of makeup before hitting the treadmill or going through the sun salutations. With makeup remover cloths available in just about every drug store, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to attain a bare face even when you’re pressed for time.
Your hair contains a ton of oils, not to mention hair product. To prevent those oils and products from clogging your pores, tie your hair back pre-workout. If you wear a sweatband, make sure to thoroughly wash your face post-workout, as though sweatbands can be good, they trap sweat and other bacteria on a concentrated region of your face.
When you use your own gym towel you can both use the right gym towel and have peace of mind that it was cleaned with products of which you approve. As for the towel itself, you want to be sure to pick one that is not super thin but not overly plush either. It should also be porous, as a towel that has too many nooks and crannies can easily hide bacteria. Ideally, you should buy a gym towel infused with silver, as silver has antimicrobial properties.
As soon as you’re done working out, wash your face. You should do this in the gym, studio or wherever you break a sweat, and you should never skip this step. Failure to wash your face immediately post-workout can cause dirt, oil and other bodily fluids to cling to your skin and clog your pores. If you prefer to break a sweat in the great outdoors, bring cleansing wipes along with you. If you forget your facial cleanser, even just a quick splash of cold water to the face can go a long way toward removing all the oils and bacteria that have the potential to wreak havoc on your complexion.
You may think you don’t touch your face often, but one study suggests that the average person touches his or her face 2,000 to 3,000 times a day. The hands contain, on average, 150 species of bacteria, but after being in the gym, that number is far greater. Though it’s difficult to retrain yourself not to touch your face, concentrate extra hard on not doing so both when you’re in the gym and until you’re able to shower.
The right skincare products can go a long way toward keeping your complexion clear and glowing. Shop our cleansers, moisturizers, peels, masks and more to build an effective pre- and post-workout regime.