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Is post-workout skincare really necessary? Exercise and sweating are good for your skin so it may perplex you when skin starts breaking out or looking blah after your exercise routine.
Dr. Margarita Lolis, a New Jersey board-certified dermatologist explains, “When exercising, we release toxins from our skin, opening up and clearing out our pores. However, if you miss one important step when it comes to exercising and skin, you’ll start to notice your skin going downhill.”
Dr. Lolis shared some post-workout skincare pointers to help your skin look its best. People who work out several times per week seem to experience similar skin problems. So, Dr. Lolis, came up with this list based on her own patients’ common issues.
1. Use disposable body wipes or medicated/herbal wet tissues right after a workout. This helps remove excess oil from your skin.
2. Carry a hand towel to wipe the excess sweat.
3. Avoid touching your face with bare hands to keep bacterial infections and acne at bay.
4. Use a foot deodorizer.
5. Skip the tanning bed. Opt for a self-tanning lotion or simply work out with SPF to give you a natural glow.
6. BYOT (Bring Your Own Towel!) Do not use towels already used by someone else. The sweat of other people can cause acne on your skin. Cleaning your skin should be hygienic.
7. Wear fresh clothes after showering. Also, avoid wearing gym clothes after washing. Gym clothes will be sweaty and grimy; they may cause acne and other skin-related problems.
8. Avoid close contact. That hug to your trainer or gym buddy can end up triggering a breakout. Other people’s sweat can cause skin acne, pimples, and other related problems.
9. Skip the hot water. Sure, your muscles are sore, but hot water strips skin of vital oils, leaving you with dry, itchy, dull skin.
10. Reduce the redness. Calm a flushed face with your own redness-control remedy made up of iced green tea in a spray bottle. It cools down your skin and adds a few extra anti-oxidants in the process.
11. Rehydrate your skin. After enduring a good workout and cleanse, it’s critical to re-establish the natural moisture and oils that have been removed from your skin. When it comes to your face, invest in a high quality, fast-absorbing, nutrient-rich product that includes vitamins A and E and the super-ingredient hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring compound that is expert at restoring moisture to your skin and has also been shown to stimulate collagen production. If you’re exercising outdoors, a moisturizer with anti-oxidant ingredients is important to help repair damage caused by UV exposure and other environmental factors.
12. Go bare. Morning gym people: there’s no need to apply makeup. If you work out after work, consider taking a face wipe to remove dirt and make-up, which may blend with sweat triggering breakouts. You want your skin to be able to breathe while working out.
13. Wear a hairband. Hair should always be pulled back from your face, not only because of sweat, but because of your hair products, too. If you are seeing breakouts on your forehead or hairline, mousses, gels, or other hair products could be to blame. An elastic headband worn behind the ears about an inch from the hairline keeps stray hairs off the face.
14. Wear gloves when working out. In addition to protecting hands from rough calluses, gloves also prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses like warts and staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause impetigo. Impetigo is a common skin infection that can be easily transmitted at the gym and result in blisters and sores. If you choose not to wear gloves during a work out, disinfect your equipment with a wipe or spray.
Dr. Margarita Lolis, M.D. is a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon with over 20 years of experience. In her practice, she addresses common skin concerns such as acne prevention and treatment in both teens and adults, sun-damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, changes to skin texture and loss of volume. On the medical side, she is a trusted expert in melanoma and over-all skin health. Dr. Lolis prides herself in honoring facial symmetry to deliver a natural look to her clients. She always recommends a healthy skin care regimen plus lifestyle habits that are aligned with her holistic approach to beauty. Dr. Lolis is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society of Anti-aging. Her practice, Skin, Laser, and SurgerySpecialists is in New York City and Bergen Country, New Jersey.