During the course of a week, healthy adults should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, as well as doing strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice according to recommendations by the Department of Health and Human Services. Making exercise a part of your daily routine supports not only cardiovascular health, but your skin too. Increased blood flow naturally nourishes skin cells, provides oxygen and carries away waste. Prepping skin before and after exercise will support this natural process and enhance the overall look of your skin.
Cleanse skin before and after exercise
Whether you get moving in the morning or evening, cleanse your face before your exercise regimen begins. Many natural DIY face wipes can be easily made at home and transported in your bag. Starting your workout with a fresh face means removing makeup, especially heavy foundation. Your skin’s pores open up while sweating and allow it to breathe. With makeup on, sweat and oil may clog the pores. That said, makeup on the eyes and lip are okay. For those who never leave home without wearing a foundation, a light weight tinted moisturizer will work. It helps your skin retain water.
Wash your hands before and after a workout. Bacteria is left on workout machines as well as other gym equipment including matts. Avoid touching your face while exercising. At a gym, always use clean towels after washing your face and hands.
Post workout, wash your face to remove oil, toxins and sweat. Your fresh face may be a bit rosy because of increased blood flow. You may even see a natural glow.
Hydrate skin before and after exercise
Skin loses water through evaporation. Dehydrated skin causes premature death for skin cells and increases wrinkles. Drinking fluids is important for the body but research shows a more efficient way to hydrate the skin is through a topical moisturizer. Adding a hydrating body cream and hand cream before working out helps skin retain water. Applying moisturizer after exercise restores water levels in skin.
Misting can help but only if you apply a moisturizer to seal the mist in. Without a moisturizer, misting will draw water out and dehydrate the skin.
Protect skin during outdoor exercise
Apply a light moisturizer and protect your skin from sun rays with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Tie your hair back and away from your face. Avoid headbands which can trap skin oils and bacteria while sweating. Don’t apply hair products that can drip onto your face and clog pores.
Workout clothing that’s good for the skin
Wear breathable, moisture wicking clothing. These clothes help evaporate sweat away from the skin and help regulate body temperature. They are good especially for acne prone or oily skin. Dark color dyes and synthetic fibers can irritant skin. Loose fitting clothes can irritate the skin because it rubs against the skin while you’re in motion. Natural fabrics are best.
Most fabrics are treated with chemicals so wash them before wearing. Turn workout clothes inside out when washing. Inside is where workout clothes hold sweat, dead skin cells and oil. Fabric softeners tend to lock in odors and damage stretchy fabrics so avoid using them. Air dry clothes outside if possible. Sunshine has anti-bacterial properties, gives a fresh smell, doesn’t shrink clothes and is energy efficient.
Finally, at least once a week, take time to notice and admire your skin in the mirror. Commend yourself for keeping your skin healthy and vibrant.