It’s scientifically proven that working out reduces anxiety, helps with sleep, and energizes the body — those are all reasons I turned to exercise in the first place. But, through the myriad of benefits I’ve found, there’s one thing I’ve struggled with: All the heat and sweat can really mess with my skin. When I go out running, I arrive home with a face the color of a ripe Roma tomato, and if I don’t change out of my sport’s bra immediately, I’m stuck with a strip of acne down my back. All that is to say that I’ve devised a post-workout beauty routine to combat the one negative I’ve found around my exercise habits.
Last year I shared the products I make room for when I’m headed out on a camping or backpacking trip, but for short workouts close to home (or even in my living room), my routine — and the holy grail products I use to achieve it — is less about short-term survival and more about making sure I’m caring for my skin for the long term by protecting, moisturizing, and being thoughtful about which chemicals or products I use regularly. Below, I break down my post-sweat regimen step-by-step and share the products that help me avoid breakouts and to stay hydrated internally and externally.
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Post-Workout Beauty Routine: Get Clean Immediately
This first step is inevitably the most difficult for me, which is sad being that it’s literally the most basic and straightforward thing a runner (or spinner or weightlifter) can do. I’ll be much better off if I resist my post-workout laziness, strip off those sweaty clothes, and hop in the shower as quickly as possible. A two-minute sudsy rinse is all it takes to avoid the dreaded breakouts. I prefer a simple body wash like Neccesaire’s — a little bit goes a long way. When my skin is flushed and sweaty post-workout, I avoid any harsh scrubs or masks and just keep things gentle and simple. On my face, I use a light cleanser like Dr. Barbara Sturm’s and I make sure to clean along my hairline and my neck since those areas are easy to miss (which can in turn lead to breakouts). I don’t wash my hair after most workouts because it’s so long and thick, it would take forever. Instead, it stays in a bun for my quick 120 seconds under the water, and once I’m toweled off I just let it air dry.
Post-Workout Beauty Routine: Refresh The Skin
Then it’s time to care for my skin. Before any outdoor workout, I make sure to put sunscreen on my face, usually Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen. But, after my workout, I go through a more complete routine. Post-shower I always moisturize my body since my skin tends to be on the drier side and constant showering can leave me ashy. On my legs and arms, I use thick body butter. While my skin is still damp, I’ll slap on a vitamin C serum if it’s in the morning, otherwise, I’ll make sure to moisturize my face and re-apply my sunscreen, even if I’m going to be sitting indoors working from home.
Post-Workout Beauty Routine: Keep Makeup Simple
Since workouts leave my skin feeling refreshed and glowy, I prefer to keep my makeup choices simple. Mascara, a bit of highlighter or cream blush, a brow brush, and something moisturizing for my lips. Any blemishes can be dotted out with a concealer (I swear by Fenty), but I prefer to let my skin breathe after getting sweaty — that glow is one of the benefits of working out, after all.