Breaking a serious sweat feels good. In addition to all the obvious fitness benefits for our bodies, working out also releases stress and lets go of toxins, which is great news for our skin.
We’re not crazy germophobes, but there is a good deal of bacteria involved in the whole affair, from city grime on our skin to our sweat to what’s on the workout machines to what melts down from our hair product.
All this means breakouts and blackheads can be easier to come by. But a few tips can help make sure all of that look-good-feel-good sweat doesn’t leave your skin falling short in the look-good department.
- Start with clean skin. Especially if you’re prone to breakouts or blackheads, it’s important to gently cleanse your skin (and remove makeup) before your workout warms and opens your pores.
- Rock your best ponytail or topknot. Whatever the trick, get your hair out of your face. It’s not uncommon for hair product to be a source of those forehead breakouts. What we put in our hair easily travels on to the face when we sweat (and sleep). Let your workout gear look great instead of your hair. Which leads to…
- Skip the cap. Try a bandana or a throwback sweatband. Wearing your favorite classic baseball cap every time you work out tends to leave classic forehead breakouts. They build up major bacteria and press it all into your skin. Whatever headwear you choose, wash it regularly.
- Think ‘tap it back’ for sweating. Pat your face with a towel rather than wipe it. Sweat is a natural defense for your skin and leaving a bit on the skin is how your skin regulates itself.
- Watch where your towel goes. This is an easy one. If you’re on the weight floor, grab two towels – one for the machines and one for your face. If you’re on the yoga mat, put something between your forehand and the floor during child’s pose. Namaste.
- Take 60 seconds to cleanse. Whether you shower at the gym or wait until you get home, a quick cleanse post-workout should never wait. Rinsing with water feels refreshing but doesn’t clear away residual bacteria and salt from sweat. Keep a gentle facial cleanser and moisturizer in your gym bag and use them. It’s 60 seconds that can make a huge difference.
- Rehydrate inside and out. Reach for moisturizer after that cleanse just as naturally as you reach for the water bottle. Your body needs both and you can cleanse to kingdom come and still end up breaking out (or breaking out worse) if your skin doesn’t have the hydration it needs to be healthy.