The benefits of exercising are too numerous to mention. Improved mood, metabolism, and energy level are just a few. The pros far outweigh the cons, but there are still some lurking cons that may keep you from working out as frequently as you’d like.
Breakouts. Acne. Blemishes. They’re one in the same. Women are often prone to these dreaded bumps that can spatter across faces, necks, chests, and even backs. Typically when I go on one of my workout binges I have to suck it up and accept that the resulting pimples will inevitably occur. I just hold my breath and cross my fingers that it won’t be quite as bad as the last time. But the absurdity of leaving the health of my skin to chance finally took its toll on me.
Whether you’re working out during your lunch break, after your 9-5 job, or on the weekend, chances are you have some type of makeup on. Even if it’s just a dab of blush or light foundation, all of these chemicals can clog your pores. Even the mildest of facial lotions can contribute to the overwhelming number of blemishes that can pop up. Best advice? Wash your face before your workout. This may seem silly, but it’ll considerably reduce your chances of breaking out. Whether you wash your face with soap and water or use something a little more cutting edge like makeup-removing towelettes, you’ll notice a change instantly. Not only will you feel refreshed before your workout, but your face won’t have that sticky feeling. Also, you won’t have to worry about that running concealer either!
Luscious locks are coveted by nearly all women. Avoiding the damaging effects of heating tools is a daily challenge. Unfortunately, those hydration masks and leave-in conditioners could actually be playing a part in your breakout blues. Sweat isn’t just localized to your face or chest, it actually starts from the scalp. So as your pores open and sweat is exuded, all of those moisturizing hair care products are slowly dripping down your forehead. A lot of times you may notice an outbreak of pimples along your hairline or closer to the center of your forehead; this is due to all of those moisture-rich products.
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice hair hydration just because you have an active lifestyle. That’s where the age-old salon rule comes into play: Place conditioner from your ear down. The ends of the hair are what typically become dried out, as natural oils have farther to travel the longer the hair strand. So next time you work out and your scalp begins to sweat it’ll just be natural sweat as opposed to sweat mixed with hair products.
Sunscreen is a health product from the gods. “When in doubt, just add sunscreen” is something we’ve all heard from dermatologists. Just because sunscreen may be wildly beneficial doesn’t mean it’s actually healthy for your skin, however. Some sunscreens are oily, while others have a matte finish. When choosing a sunscreen be sure to find one that’s oil free and dermatologist approved. This will be light on your face, moisturizing, and chemical free, so if you go for a beach run you’ll be protected from sun rays and those dreaded blackheads.
If you’re a gym-goer you know that it’s proper etiquette to wipe machines down after use. However, not all of us are quite so diligent. I’ve been guilty many a time of not wiping down the bike or dumbbells. It’s actually quite disgusting when you stop to think about it. How many times do you touch your face while working out, whether to wipe sweat from your brow or scratch an itch? Now just imagine everyone else doing that while they work out. No wonder our faces feel so gross after a gym session. A way to prevent this inevitable cycle of shared sweat is to not only wipe down your equipment after a workout but before too. That way you are ensuring clear skin safety for yourself.
Another helpful practice is bringing a fresh sweat towel. I typically wipe my face with the bottom of my shirt, but it’s usually drenched in sweat by that point, creating a cyclical problem of sweat and dirt. Toting around a small towel is a great way to keep your skin fresh. But make sure it’s a clean towel. It may be tempting to use the same one several days in a row, but that would defeat the purpose of using a clean towel.
Showering is the ultimate bacteria and dirt remover. The quicker you can hop in the shower and soap down the better off your skin will be. Also, the steam from the shower keeps your pores open, so the soap will be able to effectively flush out the areas that typically become clogged.
Sometimes jumping in the shower immediately after a workout isn’t an option, though. What better way to get fresh than turning to cleansing wipes again? Wiping down your face and other acne-prone areas with baby wipes or another cleanser is a good substitute. It’s not as beneficial as the real deal, but it still makes a huge difference.
Whether you decide to implement one or all of these tips you can rest assured that you’re doing the best you can for your skin. Personally, I’d rather have a few blemishes and a toned body than smooth skin with no definition.
Comment below with your skin-saving tips for before, during, and after your workout.