Workouts are great for the body, mind and complexion, with a vigorous combination of cardio, weights and stretching bringing energy, strength and a rosy complexion. In the midst of striving for a buff bod, don’t neglect your skin; keep it clean, hydrated and moisturized before and after working out. Like warming up before exercising and stretching afterwards, pre- and post-workout skincare will pay off in the long run.
Before heading out to the gym, cleanse the skin with a mild, non-irritating cleanser, add a swipe of alcohol-free toner and protect with a light-weight, oil free moisturizer. Moisturizer is especially important because sweat evaporates water out of the skin, leaving it dehydrated unless protective steps are taken. The dangers of water-deprived skin includes premature death of skin cells, which can lead to clogged pores and accelerated aging. Outdoors, use a moisturizer with a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, remembering to protect neck, décolleté and arms as well as the face.
It’s human nature to want to look our best, even while working out; or else why would there be so much supremely stylish workout wear? However, when heading to the gym or out for a run, it’s best to let the skin breathe as much as possible, meaning no coverage heavier than a dusting of mineral-based powder, which is lightweight and sweat-resistant and won’t clog pores. Mascara is fine, though be sure it’s waterproof to prevent raccoon eyes after a tough workout.
Keep Your Face Safe
The machines at the gym may be great for your body, but the sweaty hands of your fellow gym rats mean that they’re also repositories of a lot of germs. Try to keep from touching your face when working out in public places to avoid spreading bacteria to the skin, where it can exacerbate breakouts or cause new ones. It’s a good idea to clean machines with antibacterial spray prior to use as well as afterwards.
To Bandana or Not to Bandana
Lots of ladies and a few gents wear a headband or bandana across the forehead to prevent sweat from dripping down the face, which certainly makes for a more comfortable workout. If you follow this trend, try to keep the band farther back on the hairline rather than directly across the forehead where accumulating sweat and oil can cause clogged pores, bumps or breakouts.
Post Workout Care
Though your skin will often feel sweaty and oily after a vigorous workout, try not to use cleansers that will strip the natural oils along with toxins and sweat. Instead, oily skins benefit from a non-drying gel or foam cleanser, while drier skins can be detoxed with a lightweight cleansing lotion. All skin types should rinse skin with water prior to washing and follow cleansing with an alcohol-free toner and a moisturizer. Lotions with chamomile or white tea can help de-stress skin that’s gets overly red after you exercise. Remember to bring two separate towels to the gym, one for the face and one for the body, to help prevent spread of bacteria.
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