After inevitable indulgence over the Christmas period, many of us will be donning our workout gear this month and embarking on a new exercise regime for the new year; whether it’s heading to the gym more often, going for a regular run or starting a new yoga class. And whilst exercise does wonders for our body, mind as well as our skin, the process of sweating and dehydration can cause a multitude of issues and breakouts if not managed correctly with cleansing and moisturiser. To keep your complexion healthy and glowing post-workout, it’s important to work your skin care as much as your body before, during and after exercising.
The Warm Up
The number one rule – cleanse before exercising to remove any makeup. When combined with sweat, makeup breaks down and clogs up our pores which can lead to breakouts and acne. Using a light facial cleanser such as a micellar water to take off your makeup pre-exercise will help to significantly reduce that risk. A micellar water is highly effective at removing dirt and oil without drying the skin, and is ideal for giving yourself a refresh and wake up before you embark on your workout.
If you’re heading outdoors, whether it be for a run or class or competitive sport – use a lightweight SPF moisturiser to protect your skin from UV rays. And, don’t be fooled by overcast weather; even if it’s cloudy outside, your skin is still accustomed to sun damage at long exposure.
The gym is a breeding ground for bacteria – it settles on workout equipment, yoga mats, door handles, everywhere and when we exercise our pores are open making them a welcome attraction for damaging dirt and oil. Wipe down any equipment with anti-bacterial spray or wipes before and after use. Also avoid touching your face and use a clean towel to pat dry sweat as this will prevent the transfer of bacteria which can lead to further breakouts.
Sweating is brilliant for detoxifying the skin of impurities but when we sweat our skin rapidly loses hydration which can strip it of essential oils, causing dryness and can also increase surface lines, leading to premature aging. Ensure that you continue to drink water throughout your workout session to maintain a healthy, plumped and hydrated complexion.
The Cool Down
Although it might be tempting to linger in your workout gear on the journey home, remove any sweaty clothing within 30 minutes of exercising to let your skin breathe and prevent any dirt and oil settling in your pores. Washing your face and body goes without saying, but resist the urge to stand in a steaming hot shower and opt for a tepid wash instead, at least on your face. This won’t strip your skin of essential oils and will close your pores after they’ve dilated during exercise.
Your skin will be more sensitive after a workout so opt for a gentle, facial cleanser such as a cleansing milk or oil like our Micellar Cleansing Oil with Rose Petals. Follow this with a a calming toning lotion or face mist to help close your pores. Avoid any intense exfoliating, anti-acne and anti-aging treatments and save these for your pre-bed routine when your skin will be in a hardier state. Towelling can also be an irritant, so rather than rubbing, gently pat your face dry.
Whilst topping up on water afterwards is important for restoring hydration, after applying cleanser and toner your skin will also need help from a rich, nourishing moisturiser. Also try applying a soothing body oil to hydrate and moisturise the rest of your body and relax your tired muscles.
Keep these tips in mind to keep your skin looking and feeling fabulous pre, during and post workout and a better reflection of your new and improved self this new year.