How To: Take Care of Your Skin Pre-Workout
Since I got engaged in August 2015, I’ve started taking things seriously. By that, I mean actually showing up in spin class, doing barre, practicing yoga and all that. And one of the things I’ve noticed, other than gaining strength and getting more toned (I think I did anyway), is what the exercises are doing to my skin.
Sweating is one of the greatest ways to get clearer skin, but without properly preparing your skin before hitting the gym, you may just be back-stabbing your own skin. So in order to ensure you maximize the benefits of this “natural sauna” for your skin, here are my tips:
Work out with a makeup-free, clean face!
I know we want to look pretty all the time, especially if the cute boy in the gym might be around. However, one of the most, most important (yes, you read two “mosts”) to-do steps prior to a workout session, let it be cross fit, hot yoga or Zumba, is to clean your face — and I mean spotless clean!
When we sweat, our pores open. Imagine a door, when one has access to leave (sweat), another can enter, too (makeup). Not only will makeup block pores, giving them a hard time to breathe in fresh air, but the mix of sweat and makeup can also become a muddy residue that gets “stuck” on your skin, giving black heads and pimples the best environment to blossom. And surely, those are the last things you want on your face.
When I leave home and go straight to a class, I would always wash my face right before I leave and put on a thin layer of day cream that has at least SPF 30. If I’m going after work or whenever I have makeup on, I would bring a pack of makeup remover wipes and a travel size face wash in my bag to use, and then apply moisturizing cream. I like to think of it as preparing my skin before going to bed.
Sometimes I would use a cleansing face mask at home before I leave for a workout for an extra clean boost! And I would never forget to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize (and yes, you read it three times) right after.
Bring your own towel
I’ve gone to many considerate studios and gyms where towels are provided. But it is actually best to bring your own, especially when it is for your face. The hot yoga style microfiber hand towels work best for me, because they are soft to touch, absorbent and extremely lightweight to carry around.
When sweating in an air-conditioned space, the cold air sometimes dehydrates the skin, even though it may not seem like your skin is feeling thirsty, which is why I put a moisturizer on. Wiping sweat off your face helps, too.
Just be sure to use a gentle dabbing motion, and not abrasively, like scrubbing something off a table. Rough motions may increase chances of creating fine lines and wrinkles — and those are also not welcomed!