When you’re riding high on post-workout endorphins, your skincare routine at the gym is probably the last thing on your mind – if it’s on there at all?
A quick clean up after a powerful workout doesn’t need to be complicated but if you want your skin looking as good as your biceps, it has to be done.
Biggest Gym Skin Problems? Breakouts + Athletes Foot
Working out is actually great for your skin. All that sweat clears out the pores and gets the blood pumping to your skin helping it look fresh and firm.
But problems happen when you let sweat and dirt stagnant on your skin for hours after the workout – this is what leads to breakouts and blackheads. Not just on your face but your chest and back too.
If you’re already prone to acne, it’s especially important you nail a good skincare routine in the gym.
After your workout, oil and bacteria can seep into the pores, causing this blockage and trapping hair beneath the surface. This leads to skin irritations, which can be itchy and can cause redness, swelling, and pain.
Athletes Foot or also known as Tinea Pedis is another very common skin condition commonly associated to the gym.
It is caused by the tinea fungus growing on your feet and its symptoms include red itchy irritated skin surface on your feet normally caught in wet areas like the Gym showers / Locker Rooms.
To protect yourself from Athletes foot, wear flip flops in the shower or wipe your feet with santisier after leaving the shower of just before putting your own shoes on in the locker room . If you end up with athletes foot, try an over the counter product that can provide relief.
A Simple Skincare Routine For The Gym
Shower ASAP after a sweaty workout
Hitting the shower as soon as possible after a workout is the most important part of your skincare routine for the gym.
Use the gym showers if you won’t have the chance to take a shower at home within 30 minutes after your workout. This will keep your skin clean and avoid those breakouts and ingrown hairs.
Prone to jock itch? Make sure you completely towel yourself dry before getting dressed.
If you have to postpone the shower then at least make sure you change out of your sweaty gym gear and put on some fresh clothes.
Sweaty gym clothes trap bacteria, germs, and fungus, not to mention the eyebrow raising odor for anyone within smelling distance!
Wash your face
Ideally, you should be cleansing your face before and after your workout.
Not cleansing beforehand means you’ll be sweating up against all of the oil, dirt, debris on your face which increases the chance of clogged pores.
We know a pre-cleanse might be a bit tedious and this is where face wipes come in.
Grab a pack to stash in your gym kit and opt for high quality, natural face wipes with skin-friendly ingredients.
They’re no substitute for washing your face but handy for a quick once-over before working out – save the deeper cleanse for afterward.
The post-workout cleanse doesn’t have to be complicated either. Skin can be more sensitive and flushed after exercise so keeping things basic is the way to go.
Choose a natural cleanser suited to your skin type and use cool or lukewarm water on your face. Hot water will only dry your skin out.
Don’t forget to follow with a quick application of a natural moisturiser with calming ingredients to help cool a red post-workout face.
BYO body wash
Developing back acne (bacne) and breakouts in places other than your face is also a gym skin hazard if you don’t shower quickly after a workout.
Plus, a hard workout session is going to strain the skin and cause your body to feel fatigued.
Choose a natural body wash or soap with ingredients that will go the extra mile to give tired muscle and skin a boost plus antimicrobial properties for a deep cleanse.
Alpha hydroxy acids from lemon and grapefruit fight breakouts by removing dead cells and excess oil.
Peppermint oil invigorates your body, relieves sore muscles, and leaves a great scent.
Eucalyptus oil has a cooling effect on muscles and reduces pain and inflammation.
Sandalwood oil smells good and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to manage breakouts.
It’s best to bring your own body wash than rely on the stuff your gym supplies.
Always take 2 clean towels to the gym
Workout towels are the ultimate bacteria traps.
Every time you use one you transfer your germs, sweat and any other grime from your skin onto the surface of the towel.
This is why it’s important to always bring at least two gym towels to the gym with you – one to wipe down while you work out and another for after you shower. Who wants to be wiping a freshly washed face with old gym sweat?
Nailing your skincare routine in the gym is about creating a system to make things easy and convenient. Keep an extra set of the basic face and shower products you use at home in your gym bag. If that’s where they live permanently, you won’t forget them.
Pack a natural hand sanitiser too to wipe down equipment and hands after giving your gym buddies that High Five, and remember to bring a bag for the dirty stuff to keep your sweaty towels and clothes separate.
Make your skincare routine at the gym a basic habit and your skin – all of it – will stay smooth, clear healthy.