The more time and energy you spend at the gym to burn off the calories, the more your skin is prone to infections,
dryness and breakouts. Sweating is good for your skin since you are clearing out your pores, but only if the skin is taken care of properly. If like me, exercise is part of your weekly routine, you should know how to take care of your skin before, during, and after exercise.
Here are some tips to help your skin from working against your fitness regime, divided into 3 segments viz before, during and after.
1. Before hitting the gym:
- Bring your own towel – The ones available at the gym are washed in really harsh detergents and bleach and that is going to create havoc on your skin.
- Take off your makeup – Makeup + sweat + dirt = clogged pores. Remove every trace of your makeup before heading to the gym.
- Moisturize – The harsh AC inside the gym can cause the skin to go dry. Plus the sweat overload coming off your skin. Apply a very thin layer of a really light moisturizer.
- Tie up your hair – Hair falling on your face and neck can cause hair sebum, sweat and grime to trickle down and block your pores. And for your bangs, use slides or a thin headband.
- Avoid head bands – Headbands across the forehead can cause oil and sweat to get compressed in the pores instead of flowing out causing tiny clogged bumps if your skin is prone to breakouts. If you must wear one, keep it further back in your hairline and not directly across the forehead.
- Wear fresh clothes every time – There are a lot of people who repeat gym wear *cringes*. It’s not only stinky for your gym mates but also is a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Use breathable fabric – Gym wear made of airy cool and sweat proof material will help your skin to breathe. You don’t want to look like you used sweat to stick clothes onto your body 😛
2. During/in between the workout:
- Sanitize your hands – You are touching the equipment that’s been touched by hundreds of people. Most gyms have sanitizer pumps on walls. If not, carry your own and use it after every equipment switch.
- Avoid touching your face – Use a towel to absorb sweat but avoid all chances of direct contact with your hands.
- Keep sipping water – As you sweat, you are dehydrated which will almost immediately show on your skin. Keep drinking water in small sips throughout your workout. Don’t wait to feel thirsty.
3. After your workout:
- Change your clothes – Sweaty clothes as said before is a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to all sorts of infections ranging from pimples and boils to folliculitis.
- Wash your hands with an anti-bacterial hand wash – This should be done before you proceed to wash your face. You don’t want to transfer any trace of infection onto your face.
- Wash your face with a good cleanser – Get rid of all the sweat and grime as soon as possible to help your pores stay clean.
- Apply a gel or cream to suit your skin type – Use a salicylic acid based gel to unclog your pores, anti-bacterial gel to prevent infection or just a mild moisturizer if your skin is not acne prone.