Dermatologists all over the world may be unsettled just by the title of this article, but we know that going bare faced to the gym, for some, is just not realistic. Although the best thing you can do for your skin when you're getting sweaty is to keep it uncovered, it's not impossible to have your cake (hopefully not referring to your makeup) and eat it. We've done our research and have put together a guide for all of you gym goers to maintain healthy skin without having to sacrifice your go-to 'I woke up like this' gym look that you've worked so hard to perfect.
Cleanse & Tone
If you are going to follow one step only, this should be it. The most important step in any skincare routine to maintain healthy skin is proper cleansing to keep pores clear and dirt free. Sweating opens up the pores, making it easy for impurities and build up to get in and cause breakouts. Therefore it's important to make sure to both cleanse away any existing dirt before working out, as well as removing any build up afterwards, especially if you have been wearing makeup.
Before exercising (or applying your gym makeup) cleanse the face with a Salicylic Acid cleanser, then tone to close the pores, before applying an oil free moisturiser.
After your workout wait until you have stopped sweating, then repeat this routine. This time feel free to use your normal moisturiser as there's less risk of oil getting into the now closed pores and creating blackheads or blemishes.
In contrast to the advice you may receive from trainers, we advise you keep it lightweight in the gym. We're not talking dumbbells or boxing, but your face makeup. Heavy and oil based makeup is as bad for your skin as poor form is for your back when it comes to gym coverage and can easily block and fill the pores, making you more likely to wake up to breakouts the next day.
To avoid this, use a lightweight, oil free foundation or BB cream to allow the skin to breathe whilst you get out of breath. If you can, try a powder foundation instead of a liquid one to avoid completely coating the skin. Try and keep heavy concealer to a minimum and only use on those areas that you really need the extra coverage. Most importantly, always remove makeup after a workout and reapply to ensure you're only gaining muscle from your workout and not a new stubborn spot.
When it comes to eye makeup and the gym, we have one word: waterproof! Save the streaky faced look for the girls night in watching the notebook and invest in a mascara that will stay strong.
For the brows, opt for a clear gel to brush them into shape without the risk of panda eyes when you get sweaty. Can't live without the colour? Set your makeup with a sturdy setting spray to make sure that you don't end up with panda eyes the moment you walk into the spin studio.
Not only is it unbelievably annoying to have your hair in your eyes and sticking to your face when you workout, it's also unhygienic for your skin. Your hair holds a lot of natural oils, and can spread dirt and sweat from one part of the face to another when it keeps coming into contact with it throughout your workout. To prevent breakouts, try and keep the hair away from the face with a bobble or hairband.
When it's time to letting your hair down after the gym (both literally and metaphorically) there's not always time to do a full wash and blow dry before you have to rush off to work. To make sure you're not stuck with sweaty hair for the rest of your day, try using a dry shampoo to absorb excess oil and moisture and leave your hair looking and smelling fresh.
Unless you're one of those annoying super-humans that eases through a HIIT class without even loosing your breath, when we workout sweat is inevitable. Whether it's expected or not, nobody wants sweat patches, or moreover to smell. Use a deodorant or anti-antiperspirant that balances out the odour causing bacteria for the best, patch free results.