In my quest to lose the baby weight, I’ve been working out a lot. (Because, let’s face it, it’s easier to work out than it is not to eat! Also, because my husband will gladly watch the baby for an hour if I go work out, and it’s really nice to have some “me time.” …Yep, I said it!)
And I’m not alone. Studies show that women are working out more than ever before (Huffington Post). But what does all of that working out do to your skin? Here are the 3 best tips I have for keeping your skin looking youthful post-workout:
1.) Be Careful When Using Cleansing Wipes.
We all love a fast solution, but cleansing wipes may be exacerbating skin issues if you’re not using them correctly.
“It’s not the wipes,” says Dr. Ranella Hirsch, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. “It’s the fact that nobody is using them properly. People just swipe superfast. You need to allow what’s impregnated into the wipe to do its work.” Hirsch, who favors really damp, creamy wipes like those by Simple and Pond’s, instructs wipers to close their eyes and let the cloth sit on top of them a moment. “Then gently rub it back and forth,” she says. “It will do the job of taking the makeup off for you.”
My best tip? Check your watch, and if you’re not wiping for at least 2 minutes, you’re simply smudging sweat, oil, and debris around on your face. If you want to do it right, take your time!
2.) Wash Your Skin Immediately Afterwards.
“A good workout can make you feel invigorated,” says dermatologist, Mona Gohara, MD, “but it may not be so great for your skin.”
Dr. Gohara explains that when you work up a sweat, you are releasing impurities and salt from your pores. “This can have an unwanted drying effect unless you take steps to re-balance your skin.”
Dr. Gohara advises taking a shower after a workout and paying special attention to your face by using a gentle facial cleanser. She recommends the Theraplex® Gentle Cleanser, a soothing, natural cleanser that lifts away impurities released while working out and is gentle enough for use on sensitive, delicate skin.
3.) Change Your Clothes Immediately Afterwards.
Believe it or not, clothes that are washed and air-dried can be at risk for carrying MRSA (Journal of School Nursing). It is best to always change your clothes immediately after you sweat in them. (Sorry, athleisure brands!)
Also, make sure you wash and dry clothes in a standard dryer, as the high temperatures can help destroy bacterial membranes. Better yet, replace your most-used workout clothes every year or so — it helps to ensure your clothes are not carriers for potentially harmful bacteria!
Your skin is going to detoxify itself during and after a workout, with water and salt being released from your pores in the form of sweat. But if you don’t wash properly, it’s just going to be smudged around and re-dried on your face and body (yuck!) For your best skin, make sure you take post-workout hygiene seriously.