Working out is great for you, with doctors recommending at least 30 minutes a day of cardio for a long life and healthy heart, but it can also wreck havoc on your skin.
Here are some simple tips for what to do before, during, and after a workout to ensure clear pores and an acne-free body!
Before a Workout
Remove Your Makeup
"The combination of sweat and wearing makeup can cause a buildup of excess oil," says David E. Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York. "Since pores open up while sweating, we don't want to block the skin's natural ability to breathe by clogging it up with makeup." Even if you're not wearing makeup, wash your face! Try packing moist towelettes in your gym back for a quick wipe at the gym.
Choose the Right Sunscreen
If you're exercising outdoors, you need your sunscreen. The tricky part is choosing the right formula. Look for oil-free products or face-specific formulas for a sunscreen that is less likely to clog your pores.
Go Light on Hair Products
Oily conditioners, hairsprays, mousses, etc are all going to get all over your skin when you work out. All of that oil and chemical residue will clog up your pores and make for a big breakout risk for your face and back. If you just can't ditch the hair products before the gym, at least using a sweatband to keep it from reaching your face.
During a Workout
Wipe Down Your Equipment
Ideally, everyone at the gym wipes down their machine after using it, but don't trust others to clean up after themselves. Just think about what touching a machine covered in a stranger's sweat and then wiping your own face will do to your pores. Ick! Use a paper towel and the provided cleaning products at your gym to take care of all that.
After a Workout
Wash Your Face Immediately
Just like how you washed your face before your workout, be sure to do the same right afterwards. Make it the first thing you do - even before you get in the car and drive home from the gym.
Hop in the Shower
It is too easy to get home from the gym, lay down on the couch, and just lounge there in your nasty sweaty gym clothes for an hour or two. Staying in your sweaty clothes can lead to some serious body acne, so schedule shower time immediately after you're done working out.
If you're really in a rush, grab more moist towelettes and target your sweaty areas—on the chest, back, and stomach.