There’s more to becoming publicly-presentable after a workout than freshening your makeup and dousing yourself in perfume to mask the sweat-stench. To both look and feel your best, you have to take care of yourself properly to enhance the benefits of exercise instead of working against it. That includes caring for your skin, too.
We reveal the best after-exercise beauty tips to keep that summer glow looking gorgeous. And all it really takes is a few extra minutes.
Exercise Is Good for Your Skin, Too
“Enhanced blood flow can help skin cells regenerate and remove toxins more efficiently,” says Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, a New York City-based dermatologist. Blood and oxygen help the skin by drawing out toxins, including all the gunk that contributes to clogged pores. This enhanced blood flow helps to propel those toxins out. A good sweat session is sort of like a steam clean for your pores.
Cold Water Splash
After a workout, your face will most likely be red and flushed. You may continue to sweat for a long time after you think you’ve cooled off. Get a jumpstart on things as soon as your workout ends by splashing freezing-cold water on your face and wrists. Jeannette Graf, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City swears it will cool you and the redness in your face down.
Drink Plenty of Water
Have you ever heard of the Fountain of Youth? There’s really no such thing, but water doesn’t have to come from a special fountain to give you the benefits of beautiful skin. Staying well hydrated is the key to maintaining your skin’s youthful glow and healthy countenance.
Drinking plenty of water both before and after exercise is especially important. Start drinking before your workout even begins to help your body build reserves. Dermatologists advise you drink about eight ounces of water within 30 minutes of finishing your exercise routine to hydrate your body. Keep drinking even after you leave the gym. Because your body loses so much moisture during spin or hot yoga, you’ll need to keep hydrating after your workout to help your skin recover.
Get Rid of Sweat Quickly
While sweat helps to purge dirt and toxins from your pores, you must then get rid of the sweat to complete the process. Allowing all of that salty stuff to dry on your face is just asking for flare-ups, clogged pores, irritation, and redness. The combination of body fluids, dirt, and oil will affect your skin’s pH balance, too.
Wash away the sweat immediately after exercising, but be gentle on your skin. According to New York City Board Certified Dermatologist, Julie Russak, M.D., “being too aggressive with their skin,” is the number-one mistake people make after a workout.
To speed the shower process along, use a 2-in-1 body wash. The oil-based formula is hydrating, so if you really have to skip moisturizing after your shower (though you shouldn’t) in lieu of dodging back to the office, it won’t be such a tragedy.
“Even if you don’t have time for a full shower post workout, you should thoroughly cleanse your face. Otherwise, your skin will be susceptible to breakouts,” says makeup artist, Anna Nenoiu. Use a gentle cleanser to thoroughly wash your face. You’ll want to stay away from anything that’s overly drying. The idea is to get rid of the salty sweat with all of the dirt and sludge attached to it without irritating your skin. Use tepid water, and then end with a few splashes of cool water. Definitely avoid hot water, which will only add to the post-workout redness.
Spot-clean your hair in the shower with a combined shampoo and conditioner in one. Just rub it in where you need it most – your roots – and rinse. If you’re skipping the full shower step, carry a dry shampoo in your gym bag with you so you can quickly fluff up before you leave the gym.
Just pat dry until you’re almost dry. Especially if your face is already red from your workout, toweling off too vigorously could irritate it.
It may be hard to believe, but all that sweat did nothing to actually moisturize your face. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s essential that you moisturize now to help your skin replenish any water it lost during your workout. Use a light moisturizer to soothe inflammation before you reapply your sunscreen and makeup.
There’s no point in trying to go full-face when you leave the gym. You may still be damp with sweat for a while, so you’ll want to avoid the drippy-eyes look. In addition, your face is already flushed, so there’s no need to go full speed ahead with the bronzer and blush. Just keep things simple.
Fake the fantasy dewy skin look by covering red areas with pressed concealer and a finishing powder to reduce shine. If you insist on applying eye makeup, make sure to use smudge-proof products to ensure it stays put and don’t stress about trying to master the cat eye; just dot liner along your upper lashes for definition. Be prepared with waterproof mascara, though know that even that takes a while to dry so can still smudge the second your lashes touch your warm, sweaty skin.