Incorporating some exercise into our routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle is becoming second nature, whether it be a gentle walk in the evening or a sweaty hot yoga session. After all, exercise is beneficial for both our mind and our body and is one of the keys to having healthy, youthful-looking skin.
If you exercise regularly yourself you may have experienced redness in your face after working out and looking flushed – this is perfectly normal. The reason for this is because during exercise your heart rate goes up, your body temperature increases and your blood circulation is improved as the blood vessels expand and pump more blood around your body to the muscles and the skin’s surface, causing you to sweat. This impacts the appearance of your skin as more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to keep it healthy. Any damage caused by free radicals or toxins is carried away. Whilst all this is going on collagen production and new skin cells are being promoted.
Did you know that sweat is good for the skin? Sweat plays an important role in our immune system as it contains dermcidin – an antimicrobial peptide which acts as a defence against harmful bacteria. Our pores also open up naturally when we sweat which allows the skin to breathe, it maintains body temperature by cooling it down and it is packed with salt so acts as an exfoliator, removing any toxins in the body. However, sweat can negatively impact our skin if mixed with a build-up of dirt, impurities, dead skin cells, sebum (the skin’s natural oil) or make-up. While sweat doesn’t cause acne, if it’s not washed off straight away after exercising, the natural bacteria and yeast on the skin will start to ferment, clogging pores, causing irritation/redness and skin will dry out.
Many people go to the gym or other workout sessions straight from work, change into their exercise clothes but some, unfortunately, don’t think about their skincare. So below we’re sharing our top skincare tips to make sure your skin is protected, before and after exercising.
OUR SKINCARE TIPS FOR BOTH INDOOR OR OUTDOOR WORKOUTS
- Our number one tip is to not wear any makeup whilst exercising, including eye make up. The sweat may cause products to get into your eyes, and if the skin is not clean before doing exercise, you are risking having a breakout.
- Ideally cleanse your face before you exercise, even in the morning if it is the first thing you do. Apply your favourite skincare products – we love using our face oil because the heat from exercising helps it absorb into skin, nourishing it too (you can also do this if you are a fan of hot yoga)!
- Tie long hair back. This stops hair getting in your face so you can avoid touching your face to brush your hair away. It also prevents dirt and oil clogging pores. Likewise not wearing makeup, don’t put products in your hair as these can run down your face when you sweat.
- If you exercise at lunchtime or in the evening, then you still need to remove make-up or the day’s grime before exercising. Why not try one of the Best Natural Makeup Removers And Face Cleansers?
- SPF should be applied when exercising outdoors, even swimming outdoors. If you are exercising indoors by a window, you’ll also need to apply SPF. Apply over your face oil if you are using one and don’t forget to apply it under the eyes Wearing a hat will also protect skin from sun exposure but the best thing to do is to try to avoid exercising outdoors during peak sun-time.
- If you are a swimmer then adding a layer of face oil seals in moisture and provides a barrier to protect your skin against the chlorine in the pool water.
- There is no reason not to exercise if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or rosacea but a build-up of sweat combined with toxins can cause the skin to flare up. There are calming serums available if this does happen. As someone with sensitive skin herself, our founder, Sofia, particularly enjoys swimming as the water keeps her skin cool, yoga as it also helps her to practice mindfulness and going for a walk in nature when the temperature is more comfortable such as in the evenings.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is vital to replenish the moisture you are losing through sweat. In doing so you are keeping skin hydrated and also washing out any toxins.
- Exercise equipment in gyms or mats used in workout sessions is a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s not easy to do as it seems to be a natural instinct to do it but try to avoid touching your face. Take your own mat along with you to yoga and pilates sessions or other workouts. Invest in a naturally-derived anti-bac spray like method to keep your mat free from irritants.
- Once you have finished exercising, change out of your exercise clothes immediately and have a short, lukewarm shower, so as to not strip skin of its natural oils. You need to cleanse your face again to remove any sweat or grime which may have transferred to your skin from your hands, a towel or yoga mat. (Again, use your own towel!). One final tip, do not use cleansing wipes before or after a workout. Not only are they not sustainable products, they also don’t do a great job of cleansing skin. Instead, opt for micellar water with a muslin cloth.
- A toner can help cool the skin down or you can splash your skin with cold water to close your pores before applying the rest of your skincare products after that. You will probably find you don’t need much makeup with your skin and eyes glowing following a workout.
As well as having a dose of the happy hormone, endorphins after exercising which will help you feel good and more energised, you will also be left with clean, healthy, glowing skin.
WHAT IS YOUR PRE AND POST EXERCISE SKINCARE ROUTINE?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!