The gym often tops the list of New Year's resolutions. As we embark on fresh starts, fitness frequently takes center stage, impacting all aspects of life, including skin health. Notably, working out can transform your skin – for better or worse. To ensure positive changes, adapting your skincare routine is crucial to maintain healthy, radiant skin as your body evolves.
Glowdega experiences its busiest times from late January to early February, a surge linked to new gym memberships. The gym culture, with its pre-workouts, protein shakes, diet changes, and, of course, sweating, often leads to skin breakouts. Many clients notice skin changes after starting their fitness journey, mainly due to unchanged skincare routines. This post outlines an ideal gym skincare routine, explaining why adjustments are necessary for gym-goers.
WHY SHOULD I CHANGE MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE FOR THE GYM?
When you exercise, your body sweats, which is great for detoxifying, but it can also lead to clogged pores if not properly cleansed. This is especially true for those who engage in outdoor activities, where your skin is exposed to environmental pollutants and sun damage. A revamped skincare routine should include a gentle, yet effective cleanser to remove sweat, dirt, and bacteria post-workout, along with a high SPF sunscreen for protection during outdoor activities.
Increased physical activity can lead to hormonal changes which might affect your skin’s oil production, potentially leading to breakouts or dryness. A balanced skincare routine, tailored to these changes, can help in maintaining the skin’s natural oil balance. Hydrating products that don't block pores are essential, as they help to replenish moisture lost during intense workouts.
Lastly, as your body requires more nutrients and hydration when you’re active, so does your skin. Products enriched with vitamins and antioxidants will help in repairing and rejuvenating your skin. They combat free radicals produced during exercise, reducing signs of aging and giving your skin a youthful glow.
PRE-GYM SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Whether you work out in the mornings, mid-day, or evenings, you always want to wash your face before you start working on your gains. The reason for this is we want to remove any debris or product that can cause irritation when introduced to sweat. This can lead to feelings of stinging or burning and the development of rashes. Your pre-workout cleanse can be super gentle, like Calming Cleanse.
After cleansing, you want to keep the skin hydrated. If you're a person who showers in the morning before going to the gym, then this tip is going to be true for your body as well. Keeping your skin hydrated externally (while hydrating internally with your preferred water source) will improve your skin elasticity and barrier function. We have found that many clients skip this crucial step when working out because they figure they will just sweat it all off anyway. But to keep your skin glowing and you embark on this physical glow up, you've got to keep the skin externally hydrated. We recommend using a simple aloe vera gel (as long as you aren't allergic to aloe) or a light baby lotion.
Lastly, you want to keep your skin protected if you plan on hitting the gym in the daylight hours. Using a stick SPF is great for preventing the sunscreen from running into your eyes if you sweat. (Those of you who workout during the evenings can skip this step.)
POST-GYM SKIN CARE ROUTINE
We'll start with those who work out in the middle of the day and then go back to work/school/life. This is the most unique challenge for many of our clients that are still in school. Not everyone is willing to carry a full skin care routine with them throughout the day so here are a few tips: keep a travel size cleanser, toner pads, and SPF at all times. These three items can often fit in a small ziploc bag together and will fit inside most bags we carry from purses to backpacks. If you are working out in the middle of the day, you want to ensure your post-workout includes a cleanse, a swipe of toner pads across the face, and SPF. Pro-tip: most SPF works perfectly fine as a moisturizer so you will not need both.
If you workout in the middle of the day and have access to a shower, we recommend washing your face and body post-workout with a salicylic or mandelic body wash. We find that salicylic washes typically are too drying for daily use because most people simply are just not as oily as they think. However for those who really go for a sweat during their workout (or those hitting the saunas or steam rooms afterwards), can greatly benefit from use a salicylic acid cleanser. It washes away any sweat and excess oil that may have accumulated during your workout. Circadia's Cleansing Gel with Salicylic Acid is great for face and body. You'll follow up your midday post-gym facial cleanse with any antioxidant, hydrating, or exfoliating serums and SPF, assuming there's space in your gym bag for all of these items. For the body, you can use a heavier moisturizer post-gym.
For those who workout at night or at the end of the day, your post-gym skin care routine will simply be your night routine. Easy!
When you exercise, your skin reaps the benefits of increased circulation, but it also faces challenges. Sweat, though a sign of a good workout, can mix with the natural oils and bacteria on your skin, leading to clogged pores and potential breakouts. Immediate skincare intervention is essential. A routine that includes a gentle yet effective cleanser will wash away sweat and impurities, preventing clogged pores and maintaining your skin’s pristine condition. Knowing when to apply your active, exfoliating serums can help prevent irritation. And keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized both during and after your workouts are key to keeping your skin glowing all over. Moreover, this post-exercise care helps in restoring the skin’s natural pH balance, which can be disrupted by sweat. This timely attention to your skin fortifies its natural barriers, keeping it as healthy and vibrant as your body, reflecting the efforts of your fitness journey inside and out.