So you’ve got your exercise in check, been eating super healthy and you feel fantastic, but all those sweaty gym workouts have taken their toll on your skin. Nothing quite puts a damper on your new healthy lifestyle than a major skin breakout. Whilst exercise is great for our bodies, all that excess sweat and oil is problematic for our skin. With a background in beauty, and many hours in the gym, I’ve got a few secrets up my sleeve on how to keep my skin clear and glowing, so I don't get any of those annoying post-gym breakouts.
1. Ensure you remove your makeup before working out
Sweating whilst wearing makeup is not a good idea. This will cause a build up of excess oil on the skin and will often result in a breakout. Because your pores open up when you sweat, you don’t want to inhibit your skin's ability to breathe, by clogging it with heavy foundation. I always cleanse my face before a workout, even if I’m not wearing makeup. Cleansing your face removes any bacteria from the skin and will help prevent those annoying pimples.
2. Fix your hair
Before a workout, I always get my hair off my face. That’s because there is a lot of oil and/or hair product that can drip down onto the face when sweating. This then clogs the pores, again leading to skin breakouts. Always remove as much of your hair off your face, and then use a sweatband or cap to prevent any sweat and hair products dripping down.
3. Wipe down equipment
Don’t think that everyone wipes down the equipment after they use it. With so many people using the equipment at gyms, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If your skin touches it, you now have that bacteria on your skin. Always wipe down the equipment and use an exercise towel where your skin makes contact with the machine. This will not only help keep your skin clear, but it's also better for your personal hygiene at the gym.
4. Wash after a workout
This sounds pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised at how many people stay in their gym gear for hours after a workout. As soon as you finish, cleanse your face to remove any build-up of bacteria on the pores. As tempting as it is to stay in your gym clothes all day, to prevent breakouts on your body it's important to get out of your sweaty gym clothes, as soon as you can. If you can’t get to a shower, then use cleansing wipes on the body, where sweat builds up the most: chest, back and stomach.
5. Look at your stress
Believe it or not stress can be one of the biggest factors affecting the health of our skin. Skin is the body’s largest organ, so it’s no wonder that when we are under extreme stress, it can take its toll. Not only does stress contribute to premature ageing, it can also be a major cause of dermatitis, pimple breakouts and other skin conditions like Rosacea. If you experience troubling skin conditions, look at ways to reduce any stress in your life. Try things like deep belly breathing, yoga, meditation or a simple bubble bath, as these can do amazing things to help de-stress.
6. Go natural
I’m big believer in using all natural skin care products. Conventional skin care products are filled with chemicals made from petroleum and other harmful additives. Because the skin is our largest organ, it absorbs everything we put on it. So if you are putting a lot of chemicals onto your skin, then they are going into your bloodstream and increasing the toxic load on your body. This can lead to skin problems and all sorts of other health problems. Natural makeup is also very breathable, which makes it perfect to use post workout when the skin needs to breath and cool down.
7. Eat nutrient dense skin-boosting foods
So much of what we put in our mouths affects the health of our skin. To keep skin clear, you want avoid all processed sugars and packaged foods. Just as food can make our skin go bad, there are also foods that can help our skin deal with breakouts and enhance our natural glow. Foods like avocado, flaxseed, blueberries and oily fish are all powerhouses of nutrients for our skin. So stay away from packets and fill up on these whole foods instead.
Just follow these pre and post gym tips and you should see those pesky, sweat induced pimples clear up in no time. Then, you can have a healthy body and glowing complexion at the same time.