Hitting the gym or perspiring in a sauna to release toxins are great self-care rituals. According to research, exercise helps maintain healthy levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone which can wreak havoc on your body and skin if imbalanced. Exercise also releases endorphins, i.e. your happy hormones!
But if you’re not careful, the sweat, heat and bacteria can have the opposite effect on your skin. Here are some do's and don'ts to make sure it’s you and not your skin getting a workout at the gym!
For real, finding the time to change into workout gear before you leave work can be a struggle. As for your makeup, you’ll wash it after the gym anyway, right? Ladies, please, no. Our baby-faced days are numbered. Products like creams, concealers, SPF, and foundation will combine with your sebum and dead skin to clog your pores.
Even eye makeup is a bad idea, especially mascara, even if it is waterproof. Mascara tends to dry up and run when we sweat so it could get into our eyes, or on our eye area where it could cause infections. The best thing you could do for yourself is cleanse with a gentle cleanser to remove all the makeup before you work out.
DO make glycolic acid your friend
Pre or post workout, sweep on our Glow Toner containing a gentle 3% of glycolic acid along with tons of calming botanicals. The glycolic acid will prevent the bacteria and sebum from clogging your pores, while soothing botanicals like aloe and chamomile make sure your skin stays calm through the heat and sweat.
DON’T leave your face dirty!
It is absolutely crucial that you wash your face after a workout. It could be right after your yoga session, the gym, spin class, the local park or anytime you tend to sweat. This is one of the holy grail rules of skincare- never break it. Right after an intensive workout, your face is a mixture of oil, dirt and germs that cling on to the skin, clogging pores, causing inflammation and affecting its pH levels. Nasty, right?
Primary tip: Make sure your cleanser is free of sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates so that it doesn’t dry out your face.
DON’T wipe your face with a towel
First off, never put common-use towels found at the gym on your face. They’re disgusting! They can deposit more germs on your freshly cleansed face, causing an array of infections. After a workout, you might notice that your face is flushed, red, and blotchy. This is because it is overly sensitive after a workout session due to the heat. Sometimes, toweling off can irk the already irritated skin. Its best to not dry your face completely and allow it to air dry for the most part. If you must, use a clean tissue to dry.
DO hydrate your skin
After you wash your face, you strip it of all the dirt, sebum and moisture. Sweat, heat and exposure to air-conditioning can also dehydrate the skin. Your face might start to feel tight and dry. Make sure to provide that extra layer of hydration that your skin is crying out for! For this, we recommend our Jasmine Dew face mist - the holy grail product for dehydrated skin. It is combines hyaluronic acid with powerful botanical extracts such as green tea, glycerin, and aloe vera. These natural ingredients provide a boost of moisture to the skin while simultaneously calming the inflammation. It helps retain moisture, providing a youthful plump and glow to your skin that lasts all day!
DON’T stay in your workout clothes
While the crop top and dusted pastel tights may look super cute, they should definitely go into the laundry right after your workout. The smart thing to do would to change out of your tights and top, hop into a shower and change into clean, fresh-smelling clothes. When you’re at the gym, you attract germs from the weights or yoga mats that you touch there. Combined with the sweat, this can cause cystic body acne, bacterial or fungal infections. Furthermore, beware of gross sneakers! Bacteria and fungus normally breed in warm, wet environments, causing your feet and shoes to smell. It is advisable to spray your shoes with an antibacterial or antifungal spray post-workout.
DO wear sunscreen
Do not walk out into the open without sunscreen. You need SPF even if your workout class is indoors, since windows do not block UV rays! Make sure to use a reliable sunscreen - experts say that you should choose one that has at least SPF 30 or higher and says broad spectrum on the label. Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays that lead to skin cancer and premature aging.
Save the serious skincare routine and acne spot treatment for nighttime. These basic do’s and don’ts will leave your skin feeling as great as you do after your workout!