Keeping Your Skin in the A-Game at the Gym
Let’s talk about those annoying breakouts you get after you've worked out - I call it “gym face”. You know what I’m talking about, right? You go get your sweat on in your cycling or boot camp classes, and your skin rewards you with pimples and bumps on your face and...elsewhere... afterwards.
Here’s your mantra: cleanse, sweat, cleanse.
You want to remove the sweat and bacteria from your skin as soon as possible so it doesn't clog your pores or keep bacteria trapped in a swampy part of your gym clothes.
So, be sure your gym bag contains the following:
First things first, don’t sweat the makeup. Wearing foundation or powder already creates a barrier on skin. Combine that with perspiration and oil from exercise, and you’re looking at the perfect recipe for blocked pores and blackheads. If you don’t have time for a complete pre-workout face wash at the sink, use facial cleansing cloths to remove makeup.
Keep broad-spectrum face and body sunscreen in your gym bag, so you’re ready to add a layer of sun protection when you take your workout outside. Better yet, opt for a non-sticky, water-resistant formula so you can sweat (or splash around) worry-free—and remember to take breaks to reapply periodically.
Carry a clean towel to wipe your brow and a separate one to place on machines or mats. (This was a huge a-ha for me as a Spinning instructor. I used to use the towel on the handlebars to mop my entire face….gack!) Gyms are not just a battleground for building muscle, they’re also a hotbed for bacteria. Clean equipment with wipes and sprays before using handlebars, free weights and yoga mats, not just bike seats or back rests. As always, avoid touching your face during a workout and wash your hands afterwards.
Washing your face and the rest of your body after working out is essential. Sulfur-based cleansers are great for oily or acne-prone skin, since they can penetrate clogged pores while reducing the appearance of redness. Exfoliating cleansers can also remove the build-up of sweat, bacteria and oil while drawing impurities from pores—just resist the urge to scrub too hard. And don’t run errands in your sweaty gym clothes if you can avoid it. If you can’t, grab another facial or body wipe and mop off your sweatiest bits….
Don’t let humidity fool you. Swimming, sun exposure and extra showers all create the perfect storm of dehydrating factors that can strip skin of its natural moisture barrier, leaving it dry, chapped and sensitive. While steam baths feel great on sore muscles, turn down the temperature to spare your skin irritation. Then apply moisturizing lotion while skin is still damp to seal in moisture.
Whether you’re cardio kickboxing or getting your yoga flow on, aim to start and finish your routine fresh-faced. Remember, taking care of your whole body by exercising, eating well and keeping your biggest organ healthy is a beautiful thing.
My Skincare Story:
Like most of us, in my teens and 20s, I gave very little thought to skin care. I was banking on youth and good genes and Bain de Soleil 4 SPF. In my early 30s, after moving to Los Angeles and doing long, long runs in the Southern California sun while marathon training, I started to pay more attention to sunscreen and moisturizers. Today, I am all about taking care of my whole self, including my face! It may have been something about having a baby at 41 and suddenly looking like I’d aged from 35 to 45 overnight and developing splotchy brown spots on my face and hands, or it could have been growing up in the Florida sun with my fair skin and coming from a long line of family who’ve had various skin cancers. Whatever the combination of frustrations and realities, I was grateful to have been introduced to Rodan + Fields after I’d had a small pre-cancerous patch taken off of my forehead about 3 ½ years ago. For the first time, I had a system to use and didn’t have to piece meal a bunch of different products together, not ever knowing if they were the right products for my skin, which tends to be sensitive, reactive and somewhat dry. I started out with their Reverse line for sun-damage and combined it with Soothe for my sensitive skin. I experienced an extraordinary change in the texture and radiance of my skin right off the bat.
My phenomenal results prompted me to take a good look at the company, the doctors behind the products, and the business opportunity to help women just like me. I became a consultant within six weeks of using the products. Now, I use the Rodan+Fields Redefine line and Reverse alternatively throughout the year, and my skin has truly never looked better.
If you are looking for a skin care line that you can bank on to take care of your aging and sometimes complex skin issues, I’d love to help you. Easiest place to start is to find out what Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields would prescribe for your skin by taking their super quick Solution Tool here: Email the results to yourself, I will get them, too, and we can talk about what’s right for you. What I absolutely love about the brand: everything is 100% guaranteed to make you delighted or you get your money back. You have a full 60 days to give the clinically proven products the proper amount of time to work.