Regular exercise can benefit both your skin and your overall health, as increased blood flow rids your body and skin of toxins. It can also aid your skin by combating the negative impact of elevated stress, ultimately decreasing physiological reactions like inflammation, acne and hives.
In order to fully reap these benefits, however, it’s important to take good care of your skin before and after a workout. The best way to do this consistently is to establish a pre- and post-workout skincare routine.
A few universal skincare tips you should always keep in mind include:
- Bring makeup remover wipes to clean your skin before your workout. Cleanse off makeup or existing dirt your skin may have built up before you start sweating.
- Avoid touching your face during a workout, especially when using shared workout equipment. Chances are, there is leftover dirt, sweat and germs from people who used the equipment before you on the handlebars, weights, mats, water fountains and other surfaces you touch in the gym. Instead, bring a soft and clean towel to blot your face when necessary.
- Apply sunscreen before going outdoors. Too much sun can cause a lot of damage to your skin over time, which can lead to premature aging, wrinkles and more serious problems like skin cancer.
- Pull your hair back away from your face. Touching your hair during a workout can actually stimulate the production of oils. If you have any product in your hair, such as hairspray, serums or hair gel, those substances can run along your skin and scalp when you sweat. This can block your pores and lead to breakouts.
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated retains your skin’s elasticity, which lowers your risk of wrinkles and lines.
Implementing these tips for each workout will help to keep your skin clean, refreshed and looking brilliant; however, the order in which you do these things also matters. That’s why we’ve put together an essential step-by-step pre-and post-workout skincare routine to help you maintain clear, healthy-looking skin.
Pre-Workout Skincare Tips
Step 1: Cleanse and Remove Makeup
Because dirt, oil and product on your skin can block your pores, it’s important to always begin a workout with a clean and bare face. Makeup may sound appealing anytime you leave the house, but it won’t do you any long-term favors when you’re sweating at the gym.
Your pre-workout skincare routine should always start by removing makeup and any other dirt or debris that may have collected on your face since the last time you cleansed it. Retrouvé’s Luminous Cleansing Elixir is a great product to use prior to a workout. It not only starts you off with satin-y smooth skin – it also uses water-free avocado and humectant-rich balm to maintain a protective layer of moisture.
Step 2: Tone and Freshen Up
Once your skin is clean, it’s time to tone. Face toner helps to remove any remaining impurities from your skin so you don’t sweat or wipe them into your skin during your workout. Toner also helps to tighten your pores, which can prevent dirt and sweat from getting under your skin.
We recommend applying our Conditioning Tonic with Chamomile to prep the skin before moisturizing. To apply, saturate a clean cotton pad and glide it across your face and neck in gentle, upward strokes, being careful not to get it near your eyes. The product will also help keep your skin soft, as it purifies and conditions your skin as it hydrates.
Step 3: Apply Sunscreen (If Working Out Under the Sun)
Regardless of whether you’re working out or just lounging outdoors, you should always apply some type of SPF to protect your skin from the sun. This is true even when it’s cloudy, as harmful UV waves from the sun can still poke in through the clouds. Some dermatologists even recommend wearing sunscreen indoors when you’re working out near a sunny window.
Things to consider when choosing and applying sunscreen include:
- Look for sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or above.
- Make sure it covers every exposed part of your body.
- Apply it generously to ensure lasting protection.
- If you’re still outdoors two hours later, reapply, as most sunscreens don’t last longer than two hours, regardless of their SPF.
- You should also reapply after swimming or intense sweating.
Retrouvé’s Dynamic Nourishing Face Cream works great with sunscreen to keep your skin healthy and radiant. We suggest using mineral face creams, as they help prevent moisture from leaving your body to keep your skin soft.
Post-Workout Skincare Routine
Step 1: Shower!
Now that you’ve had a great sweat sesh with prepped skin, it’s time to begin your after-workout skincare routine. First things first: Shower! For the benefit of you and everyone around you.
A post-workout shower should always be the first part of your skincare routine after a workout. Showers help clean off all the sweat and grime your body accumulated while exercising, and they can also help cool you off!
Leaving sweat on your body after a workout is not helpful for your skin, as it allows it to build up and can cause breakouts, especially on areas like your back and chest. You also need to remove the free radicals produced during exercise that can actually damage the skin.
Step 2: Cleanse Again
Cleansing is an essential part of both your pre- and post-workout skincare routine. Use a hydrating cleanser to wash any new buildup of dirt from your face.
Your cleanser should be gentle enough that it won’t over-dry your skin. We recommend choosing a cleanser that is derived from natural ingredients like avocado because they’re less likely to irritate your skin than alcohols or strong surfactants (soaping agents).
Step 3: Gently Exfoliate
The next step in your skincare routine after a workout is to exfoliate your skin. Gently glide an exfoliating wash across your skin to completely remove lingering dirt, sweat and grime from your complexion.
Step 4: Consider a Serum
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, using a face serum can help target specific areas of your skin that are more likely to have breakouts. Serums offer a little extra hydration and help to brighten your skin after cleansing.
Whether you’re a frequent serum advocate or have never used it, Retrouvé’s vitamin-infused Nutrient Face Serum is a great product to try.
Step 5: Moisturize
The final step in your post-workout skincare routine is to seal your skin with another layer of moisturizer. This application helps you to regain the water your skin lost during your workout to avoid skin dehydration.
Having a pre- and post-workout skincare routine gives your skin what it needs to stay clear, healthy and glowing. But, choosing the right skincare products is just as important as using them. Check out Retrouvé’s Face Collection for comfortable and hydrating skincare products to use before and after a workout.
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