I'm of the belief that sweating is one of the best things you can do for your body, skin included. It's a primary form of detox, and it means your body is filtering as it should. That being said, because of some major skin care mistakes people are making at the gym, sweat is often assumed to be the main cause of breakouts and irritations.
In reality, though, it actually all comes down to the fact that after a workout, the combination of heat and sweat leaves your pores wide open. This means that any bacteria from your equipment, residue from your makeup, or even chemicals from your skin care products can settle right into those pores and cause pimples and inflammation. Your skin is especially vulnerable right after the gym, so now more than ever, it's important to be gentle with it.
As always, I'm all for natural products that won't upset my skin's balance, pH levels, or ability to detoxify itself. Rather than stripping my face with harsh ingredients and rough fabrics, I opt for healthier options with gentle ingredients that nourish my skin. Believe it or not, after switching out some of my post-workout staples, I've found that my skin actually looks clearer and healthier after a particularly rough workout, rather than blotchy and irritated.
1Too Much Friction Leads To Protective Callousing
According to skin care expert Sharon Dzialo, sweat isn't the villain here. The real problem is excessive friction from rubbing your face, which registers in your brain as irritation and leads to protective callousing. Gently blot your face with the Kalahari sports towel, which is made with bamboo and therefore is infinitely softer and lighter than other fabrics. It's also naturally antimicrobial, super absorbent, and won't irritate your skin nearly as much as all-cotton towels.
2Make Sure All Your Makeup Is Gone Before You Work Out
It's really important to make sure that all your makeup is removed before your workout, so your sweat can filter freely out of your pores. Oil cleansers are gaining tons of popularity, because the oil actually bonds to sebum, dirt, makeup, impurities, and residue to pull it all out. This Killing Star oil cleanser is made with natural hypoallergenic oils, and has reviewers saying things like, "I use this to cleanse my face twice a day, it is gentle enough on my sensitive skin, and it cleanses wonderfully. My skin went from breakouts every couple of days to almost breakout free in about two weeks of regular use."
3Stop Choosing Skin Care Products That Further Irritate Your Skin
Stripping your skin with a harsh cleanser post workout isn't doing your face any good. When your skin is blotchy, you need something that'll soothe it. InstaNatural rose water facial toner is made with imported Moroccan rose water instead of fillers or alcohol. Because it comes in a convenient spray bottle and cleanses, tones, hydrates, and calms all at the same time, it's a must-have in your gym bag.
4If You Can't Get To A Shower, Wash Your Skin With Healthy Ingredients
If you can't get to a shower, it's important to choose cleansing products with healthy ingredients that won't further irritate your skin. Giovanni Refresh organic grapefruit splash towelettes have incredible plant-based cleansers like aloe and lavender to gently wipe away sweat and build-up. They come in individually wrapped packages that are soft as a cloud for a quick refresher after the gym.
5Don't Wait Until You're Home To Wash Your Face
Your pores are wide open after a workout, and it's important to gently cleanse your face before they close around the sweat and grime. This Belif The True Tincture cleansing stick balances, cleanses, and soothes skin with ingredients like chamomile, and because it's in a convenient stick form, it won't leak all over your bag.
6Sanitize Your Equipment With This Non-Toxic Spray
Because of the perpetually wet and dark conditions, everything in and around your gym bag is a breeding ground for bacteria. Mind Over Lather lavender mint cleaning spray uses eucalyptus and tea tree (both of which are antibacterial and antiviral) to clean your equipment without causing damage. It smells fresh, comes in a travel-friendly bottle, and helps to stop germs from getting on your skin.
7Quit Clogging Your Pores With Aluminum
Sweating is a form of detoxification, but your average antiperspirant will clog up your pores with aluminum and stop the outward flow of toxins. Dom's lavender rosemary deodorant, on the other hand, uses only 100 percent natural ingredients to inhibit bacteria odor and nourish skin. It's got a fresh essential oil scent, and "it's very effective even for a very active, heavy sweater," says the reviewer who's tried them all.
8Always Have Your Skin Care Essentials On Hand
If you're showering at the gym to save time before work, you might be settling for lesser skin care products just because they're travel friendly. Make any of your essentials travel-friendly with the 7 Senses hanging toiletry bag. It's spacious, has multiple compartments for all your things, and folds up in a stylish ergonomic design for easy travel. It's also got a durable hook, so you can hang it up anywhere.
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