Whether you’re taking on a 10K, a spin class or stretching it out at yoga, working up a sweat can feel great, but what can you do to take care of your skin post-workout?
Our partner FOREO, the Swedish wellness and beauty tech brand, has some great tips to keep you looking fresh-faced and glowing.
What happens to our skin when we exercise?
Before we get to the solution, it’s good to know what actually happens to your skin when you sweat.
Clogged pores: leaving sweat on your skin leads to clogged pores, which make skin susceptible to breakouts.
Blemishes: Sweat is an activator for blemish-causing bacteria to thrive, grow and settle into pores.
Dehydration: The sodium in sweat dehydrates skin, which can cause irritation.
Photo sensitivity: When sweat is present on the body, you are 40% more susceptible to UV rays and sunburn, compared to when skin is clean and dry.
A Handy Mid-Workout Tip
To prevent picking up any nasty bug and protect your skin at the same time, be sure to keep your hands away from your face during your workout.
Catching The Afterglow
If you want to achieve that radiant glow, the first thing to do after you finish your workout is to rid your skin of dirt: “Washing your face immediately after the workout should be non-negotiable,” says Rachel Nazarian, M.D., Mount Sinai Hospital, Department of Dermatology.
But the splash-and-dash technique will not rid your face from the viruses and bacteria that may have climbed into your sweaty pores: “You should do more than gently wipe your face dry after class,” says Elizabeth Hale, M.D., NYC dermatologist and co-founder of Complete Skin MD.
“Bacteria and oils also accumulate during a workout, and when they linger on your skin, you may be more prone to breakouts,” she added.
Choosing a Proper Face Wash
Adding a face wash that’s suitable for our skin is just as important. For a post-workout boost, celebrity aesthetician and skincare expert Renée Rouleau recommends choosing a mild gel cleanser, “as this will help thoroughly remove oil, toxins, and sweat.” She also cautions us to “avoid cleansers that contain Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These ingredients will pull water out of the skin’s cells, leaving it dehydrated.”
As tempting as it may be to jump straight into a hot shower, it’s important to avoid making the water temperature too high. Hot water can dry out the skin, especially when it’s already warm from your workout. Pat your skin dry when you’re done washing your face, as too much rubbing can irritate it.
Getting your kit right
Something else to keep in mind is what to clean your face with. Do you go old-school with a washcloth? Use your hands? Or maybe, you go for something a little more specialist. One option is FOREO’s LUNA face cleansers and massagers, which made a huge splash when they burst onto the scene a few years back.
Combining a cleansing brush and anti-ageing massager, it’s been expertly designed for post-workout skincare, gently removing 99.5% of dirt, oil, bacteria and sweat. With ultra-soft silicone bristles, it caters to sensitive post-workout complexions by being gentle on the skin. Even better, these bristles are up to 35 x more hygienic than cotton towels or nylon bristles.