A Healthy Routine for Your Skin When Exercising
We all know that exercising is good for both physical and mental health. But while we exercise, our skin experiences sweating and this has its good and the not so good effects. If you regularly go to the gym, you do have a good understanding of how gross it can be.
On one hand, there are a bunch of sweaty folks sharing the same equipment and then touching everything from dumbbells to lockers and water faucets, without disinfecting their hands. On the other, there is a chance you will touch your face and potentially spread germs and bacteria from other people’s sweat onto your skin.
Don’t get it wrong, we are not suggesting that working out in the gym will harm your skin or that you shouldn’t go there at all, but there are a couple of things to remember for the well-being of your skin. And so we present the essential measures to take, during and after your exercise.
Remove your make-up
A golden rule of gym skincare is to remove all your make-up before you start training. A full face of make-up clogs up your skin pores as the products mix with the accumulation of sweat. Still, there are those who aren’t comfortable going to exercise with a bare face. If that’s the case, a non-comedogenic makeup that won’t clog the pores or simply a sunscreen can do the trick because they are not too heavy.
Clean your skin
This goes back to the make-up thing – you will want to wash your face and give your skin a good cleanse before hitting the treadmill. Use a mild, non-drying cleanser followed up with an alcohol-free toner, which is gentle as well as suitable for sensitive skin. Finish by applying an oil-free lotion, which can also help prevent excess redness from your exercise.
Moisturize and protect your skin
If you are going to exercise outdoors, apply a light moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from UV rays. Make sure the product is lightweight so as to avoid clogging pores further.
During the actual workout
Take a pack of anti-bacterial wipes with you particularly if you are susceptible to breakouts. You will use them to clean gym equipment such as spinning bike handles. In so doing, you will reduce the risk of transferring germs and sweat from others to your own skin.
One thing you will have to avoid by all means is touching your face, especially when using cardio and weightlifting machines. Most gym equipment are breeding grounds for bacteria so it’s only sensible to keep your hands off your skin upon contact with the machines. If you are sweating a lot and have to pat your face dry, use a clean towel instead.
And because you’re losing body moisture through sweating, make sure to stay hydrated throughout your workout so as to replenish it.
Remove your sweaty clothes ASAP
There is no denying that workout outfits look super cute during your training session, but they are not good for your skin afterward. Such clothes are usually tight and moisture-wicking but not breathable. This allows them to trap oil next to your skin for as long as you sweat, creating the perfect room for irritations or even breakouts. So make sure to get off your workout clothes as soon as possible to allow your skin to breathe.
Take a shower
While there is the temptation of jumping into a long, hot shower after your training, hot water can actually remove vital, essential oils from the skin as well as reduce cell turnover and skin regeneration. Instead, take a short lukewarm shower to rinse your body and this should be done not immediately but shortly after your workout. Then at your skin dry with a towel to help provide extra nourishment.
Pay attention to your face too. You will want to use a facial cleanser to help remove sweat, debris and oil from the pores so as to prevent breakouts. If you suffer from acne, applying Shea Butter or Coconut oil when you get home is a great way to treat your skin.
Rehydrate your skin
It is crucial to rehydrate your skin after all your hard work. So feel to use a moisturizer that suits your skin type. For instance, go for an oil-free moisturizer if you are prone to breakouts. For dry skin, use a light cream because it easily absorbs into the skin. You may also want to check out the best essential oils for dry skin for your daily use.
Above all the products, there is water – the most important source of hydration. Drink as much after your workout to prevent your skin from dehydration.
But is sweating really a bad thing for the skin?
Sweating can be annoying, but it actually healthy. Sweat is vital for your body’s ability to regulate temperature and rid the skin of harmful substances. Ideally, if you are not sweating, you are exercising at all. That said, here is a primer of why sweating is good for the skin:
- Sweating gives you a sign that the warm-up period is over and you are starting the performance zone. Upon entering the performance phase, sweat regulates your body temperature and stimulates your body’s ability to hydrate.
- Sweat expels bacteria, oils, impurities and dirt from the skin. When you sweat, the pores on your skin open and lets out built-up gunk that sits right underneath the skin. It is the same grime that usually produces pimples, rashes and irritated skin so sweating cleanses your pores naturally.
- Sweating while working out keeps your body from overheating. The sweat evaporates to cool down your body, especially when you’re involved in HIIT exercises that are certain to make you sweaty.
Look on YouTube and you’ll find loads of HIIT based workouts which are claimed the be the best way to reduce body fat quick, but what if you want to exercise without sweating too much? A good option is to lift weights.
Lifting weights makes the body work for up to 48 hours afterwards burning calories while it recovers from the intensity of the training session.
It’s easy to lift weights without sweating. Just take longer breaks and lift heavier weights for fewer reps at a time. For example, here is a 3 day split workout you could try.
Working out is good for your body and mind, but it can cause trouble for your skin if you don’t take good care of it when exercising. Thanks to the above pre-, during and post-workout skincare tips, your skin no longer has to feel irritated but rather stay healthy, glowing and beautiful even on the toughest days.
Working out is good for your body and mind, but it can cause trouble for your skin if you don’t take good care of it when exercising. Thanks to the above pre-, during and post-workout skincare tips, your skin no longer has to feel irritated but rather stay healthy, glowing and beautiful even on the toughest days at the gym.