We all know that exercising is good for you – there is certainly no disputing that. Although we love the toned muscles and endorphins it provides, there are negative aspects that are impossible to ignore. Don’t start cancelling your classes just yet, though, because they are definitely outweighed by the benefits. In addition to downfalls like piles of stinky laundry, exercise can certainly cause some skin care issues. Lucky for you, they are all totally treatable. Keep reading for tips and tricks to put your workout skin care woes at bay… once and for all!
Andy Bosselman is not only the founder of skincare company Arithmetic, but an avid-exerciser himself. He understands people’s concerns about exercising contributing to clogged pores and acne. However, Andy feels that the advantages far exceed the risk of breakouts since “a solid workout also increases blood flow to the skin, helps to erase stress, and often enhances sleep.” Here are Andy’s top acne-fighting tips for his fellow gym rats:
- Wear clean, moisture-wicking clothing
Cotton holds moisture close to the skin which can cause chafing. Aside from the ick factor, wet, sweaty clothes increase the time pores are exposed to dirt and bacteria.
- Drink water before, during, and after your workout
Your skin cells are made up of more than 60% water, and hydration helps to keep them functioning at their best and looking great.
- Use a clean towel for sweat
Keep several clean ones around so that you have a fresh a towel every time you sweat.
- Wash or wipe your face after workouts
Since working out allows bacteria to flourish and sweating opens up your pores, pick up some gentle face wipes (try First Aid Beauty Gentle Cleansing Wipes) to keep potential problems at bay if you don’t plan to shower at the gym.
- Practice good skin care habits, even at the gym
The three basic steps of good skincare are cleansing, protecting, and treating. Both men and women should use a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer with SPF sunscreen protection (we like CeraVe AM). If you get breakouts, keep a spot treatment like Arithmetic’s Acne Control Complex around. If you shower at the gym, keep a kit with your favorite products handy so that you can be consistent with your routine when on the go.
When exercising outdoors, sunscreen is a non-negotiable. Although we understand the importance, sunscreen dripping into your eyes is not a good look (no pun intended). Not to mention the fact that it completely negates its purpose! Thankfully, tennis champion and co-owner of Supergoop! Maria Sharapova was willing to share her sun care strategy with us. Now, if only Maria would share her tennis strategy…
“As a professional athlete who spends most of the time outdoors on the court, having a strong UV defense regimen is critical. I had always struggled to find UV products that could not only endure long tournaments or training sessions out in the sun, but that also felt comfortable on my skin. Supergoop!’s Everyday SPF 50 is a product I can depend on each and every day – it’s so emollient and easy apply, has a nice (non-beachy) scent, and most importantly, because it’s water/sweat resistant it doesn’t irritate my eyes so I can focus on my game. It is an absolute must-have in my daily routine!”
In addition to sweat, sunscreen can be a real nuisance if you like to exercise on the beach or even in the water. Holly Thaggard, CEO and Founder of Supergoop!, recommends their Antioxidant Infused Sunscreen Mist SPF 50 for those situations.
“The fine, even mist makes it easy to apply a high level of UV protection, and its unique formula cuts right through water and sweat so post swim or sweat reapplication is super convenient and efficient. It’s also non-aerosol, so you aren’t releasing any destructive chemicals into the environment or on your skin!”
Regular exercise is proven to help you live longer. No question that is the biggest payoff. That being said, our secret egomaniacs wouldn’t mind looking good while we’re at it. Most people have heard the horror stories about working out causing signs of aging – sagging from running, wrinkles from scrunching your face while lifting heavy weights, etc. Dr. Katie Rodan, Co-Founder of Rodan + Fields, gave some insight on this topic. “Regular exercise should be an important part of every anti-aging skincare program because it increases circulation, which ensures that vital nutrients are delivered to skin cells. Constant exercise has also been shown to reduce stress, and this, of course, is beneficial to skin.” Remember that some fat is a good thing, since too little can cause a face to look gaunt and older than it really is.
Even the thinnest and most fit people can suffer from much-dreaded cellulite. Dr. Rodan explains that “certain people are genetically more predisposed than others to cellulite.” Another thing to thank our parents for! Although there is no cure per se, she recommends “topical anti-cellulite products containing caffeine and sunless tanners to improve in the appearance of dimpling on the skin.” While there is no cure, you can definitely disguise it. To do this, try Sunday Riley Liquid Diet paired with Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer.
Casey Sharbaugh is a New York City resident who works in the fashion industry. In her spare time, you can find Casey working out, writing, trying new beauty products, or browsing the city for the best ice cream cone or green smoothie (not simultaneously). Check out her personal blog www.comfortablycasey.com