The sweatier the workout the better, we often say. Not only does sweat mean you were pushing yourself to your limit, but it shows your body was doing its job regulating your body temperature and clearing out toxins. But as useful as sweat is, you shouldn’t leave it sitting on your skin for long, as it can cause skin flare-ups like you wouldn’t believe. To ensure your skin stays healthy after your workout, follow this simple skincare routine.
Wash Your Face with a Gentle Cleanser
It’s imperative to wash your skin after a workout. This is especially true if you wear makeup, but still applies true if your skin is bare. Sweat is incredibly important for your skin, but you shouldn’t let sweat stay on your skin for long. Sweat releases toxins and opens up your pores, meaning that bacteria and debris your skin is exposed to can enter the skin if it isn’t cleansed.
As the gym is an area with a high amount of bacteria, it’s doubly important to wash your face when you leave. If you touch your face at any time to wipe off sweat, move your hair or for any other reason, you risk exposing your skin and body to this bacteria. It’s advisable to promptly wash your face right after a workout: before you leave the gym, go home from the park or in any other place.
Be sure to use a gentle cleanser to avoid skin irritation. If you can’t immediately wash your face after working out, use a facial wipe in a pinch. If that’s not an option, splash your face with some cool water for a bare minimum cleanse.
Some people need more frequent exfoliation than others, so be sure to listen to your skin and not exfoliate if it’s feeling raw or sensitive. However, after sweat has cleared out your pores after working out, it’s a good idea to gently exfoliate your skin to thoroughly remove blockage from your pores preventing acne. Be careful not to scrub too hard or too often though, as over-exfoliating removes the outer barrier of protection from your skin, which can lead to increased sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins.
Pat Your Skin Dry
When drying your skin after washing or exfoliating, gently pat your skin. Try to leave a little moisture on your face to help preserve your skin’s natural texture. It’s tempting to rub your skin harshly after a workout because your skin feels like it needs it, but this can lead to other problems. Harshly drying your skin can dry
out the top layers of your skin, which leads to dry, flaky skin that can create clogged pores and prolonged redness. This also disturbs your skin integrity, which can further expose your skin to bacteria that can enter your body.
Moisturize your skin to help keep it healthy. Drying out your skin will cause excessive sebum production, which exacerbates acne and can cause sebaceous cysts. Acne, in turn, can cause a blockage from toxins exiting the body. Also, sweat that is trapped in the pores with bacteria and other substances can cause rashes and other issues.
Let Your Skin Breathe
After you have thoroughly washed your face, exfoliated, dried and moisturized your skin, wait awhile before applying foundation or other makeup on your skin. Your skin’s pores release sweat in an effort to cool the body and release toxins, but they may not be finished when you have washed your skin. Having makeup on the skin before, during or after a workout can get in the way your skin’s ability to breathe, which causes blockages of toxins, sweat and sebum. At the minimum, it’ll cause acne in the form of blackheads, whiteheads or pustules. More severe forms of acne can occur too. Wait until your skin calms down and you have cooled off before applying makeup.
If you have sensitive skin, you need to be extra careful with your skin. Try using anti-inflammatory toners or serums to calm down delicate skin. Take some time to relax too.
Don’t forget, you work out to take care of your body, allow yourself to take care of your skin too!