If you’ve been following for awhile, then you know I’m all about healthy skin care. If you’re new to these parts, welcome! I’m all about healthy skin care. (Just want to make sure we’re all on the same page!)
It’s not just about the products you use, it’s about keeping yourself healthy inside and out. And that requires some exercise. All tissues in your body, including skin, need a steady stream of oxygen and nutrients, and the more you get your heart going and blood flowing, the better your system gets at delivering those nutrients to your cells. Not to mention the decreased inflammation and reduction of stress hormones that come with being physically active also benefit your skin.
So, along with a healthier bod, you can expect a healthier glow. And to help that sexy glow along, today I’ve got some great tips for your pre and post work out skin care. That way you can pair a great workout routine with a great skin care routine and have some dynamo skin!
BEFORE WORKING OUT
First, you may ask, do I have to remove my make up? Maybe yes, maybe no. If you’re doing something like light weight training or restorative yoga – you can probably get away with leaving the makeup on.
But if you’re planning on getting good and sweaty – yes, definitely remove your makeup. You want sweat and oil to be able to move freely to the surface of your skin, and not butt up against any foundation or cover up. For a great all natural way to remove makeup, you can check out this video right here.
Second, if you’ll be exercising outdoors for more than 15 minutes, apply a light SPF. Avoid anything heavy or greasy so your skin can “breathe” and allow that sweat and oil through. I always recommend using sunscreens that utilize zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient.
These are minerals, as opposed the chemical sunscreens like avobenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, and other words that end in –one or –ate. My current favorite sunscreen is Neutrogena’s Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, which you can find at most drug stores.
If you have a darker skin tone and don’t want to look pasty while you exercise, you’ll want to use a tinted product, as both oxides are white and sit on top of skin. (See step two below, under “In the afternoon” for recommendations.)
AFTER WORKING OUT
In the morning
If you’re exercising in the morning, you’ll want to get ready for your day after your workout. I suggest the following routine.
- Water rinse. I actually suggest not using a cleanser in the morning, even after a hard workout. That’s the opposite of most skin care professionals who religiously tout cleansing in the a.m. and the p.m. I don’t think your skin needs to be that clean, and over cleansing can lead to dryness, dehydration, irritation and breakouts. Try just lightly splashing your face with water. If you’d previously applied sunscreen, a light wipe with a damp washcloth is all you need.
- Tone. Toning is usually an overlooked step in skin care. But this can be a great way to get more umph out of your moisturizer by prepping your skin. Spritz your skin after rinsing with water. You can leave on your skin, or gently wipe off – but do not fully dry your skin.
- Moisturize. You always want to moisturize as quickly after cleansing, toning, showering, rinsing etc as possible. Skin should still be slightly damp. If you wait until your skin is completely dry, it actually dehydrates skin. That’s because as surface water evaporates, it takes water from inside your skin with it. Moisturizing while skin is still damp locks water in.
- SPF. Daily. Year round. Rain or shine. UVB rays occur more in the summer months, yes. But UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into skin, are about the same year round.
- Makeup. If you wear foundation, apply after your SPF. Though I do recommend going at least a few days a week without make up.
In the afternoon
If you’re getting your workout in during your lunch break you probably don’t have time for a full skin care ritual. I suggest keeping it simple with these two quick steps.
- Tone. Rather than doing a full cleanse, use a cleansing toner or an astringent. Spritz generously, and gently wipe off (if at all possible, avoid using disposable cotton rounds. Not only are they no bueno for the environment – but they can actually pull moisture from your skin. Try using reusable rounds, or a clean soft wash cloth.)
- Combo moisturize. Look for a tinted moisturizer that has an SPF of at least 20. That will get your moisture, sun protection and a bit of color all in one step!
You can find a great list of tinted SPF moisturizers right here. Though be aware that some of them do contain octinoxate, which I don’t recommend. Just be sure to check the ingredients, which are listed with each product.
In the evening
If you’re getting your sweat on at the end of the day, and don’t plan on needing to look made up afterward, I suggest doing your full evening skin care routine immediately following your workout.
- Cleanse. Use a gentle cleanser. Note that you should never use a cleanser that leaves your skin feeling tight. That’s too clean and is stripping your skin.
- Tone. Follow with a toner suited to your skin type. A few spritzes are all you need. You can leave on your skin, or gently wipe off – but do not fully dry your skin.
- Moisturize. Finish with your favorite moisturizer. You don’t need to use a thick night cream, or a special eye cream. Just a good moisturizer suited to your skin type. And remember to apply when skin is still damp.
With a combination of a healthy lifestyle and adequate skin care, you can look forward to both feeling and looking your best your whole life!