How To Best Take Care Of Your Skin After A Workout

Maintaining an active lifestyle is vital for our physical and mental health. Whether you rise and run, take a midday trip to the gym, or sneak a yoga class in after a day at the office, experts agree that prioritizing fitness is essential for a happy life. Regular exercise improves your mood, your energy level, and your outlook (via the Mayo Clinic). But could your workout routine be hurting your skin?


The benefits of a healthy life far outweigh the negatives; however, if you aren't taking proper care of your skin, you could be creating a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Makeup, dirt, sun, and sweat can stir up trouble for our complexions. If our blood is pumping and our heart rates are elevated, sweat is sure to make an appearance. Battling nasty sweat pimples, dry patches, and occasional break-outs are common for those who choose to work out, but there are easy steps you can take to ensure you are taking care of your face while you are taking care of your body.

Cleanse and moisturize first thing in the morning

The two most important times to cleanse your face are first thing in the morning and just before bed. This even applies if you exercise early in the morning. Experts recommend purchasing a mild cleanser that will pull out any toxins in the skin but that will also not leave you with dry skin. If you prefer to work out midday, consider adding a cleanse after that, too (via Cardon). Purchasing the correct cleanser for your skin type is also important because it will aid in your skin hydration.


After prioritizing a clean face, apply a light moisturizer. If your moisturizer doesn't have a built-in SPF and you're planning to exercise outside, make sure to apply sunscreen made specifically for your face before your run or walk. Consider investing in an SPF moisturizer that works best for your skin type and allow it to soothe any itchiness or redness that may come from your workout (via Today).

Remove any makeup before your work-out

Many of us do not like to leave our homes without a thin layer of foundation or some mascara, but experts recommend leaving the makeup at home. The dirt, oils, and makeup will clog your pores and increase your risk of breakouts (via Holland & Barrett). If you must wear makeup to your workout, make sure it's light and free of minerals. If at all possible, leave your skin free of any chemicals, allow it to breathe while you work out, and embrace your natural glow.


Consider air drying after shorter showers

Post-workout showers are essential for optimal hygiene, and dermatologists will tell you to try to cool down before stepping into your shower stall. It's also good practice to keep your post-workout showers short. By waiting to shower, you will assure that your heart rate has lowered enough to stop sweating, and your body will have an easier time regulating its temperature (via NBC News).


While it's not always possible, experts say you should air dry any time you can to give your skin the time it needs to dry, and this will make it easier to apply moisturizer (via Cardon). When air drying isn't feasible, consider using a towel to gently pat your face instead of harshly drying it. This will dry your skin enough so that it can absorb the moisturizing properties of the lotion, but it will also protect your face from the damage that a rough towel can do to your skin's natural oils. 

Shave and exfoliate in the evening

While many people choose to shave their face in the morning, experts recommend waiting to shave until the evening. According to Lovely Skin, our skin is extra "puffy" in the morning because blood has gone to our heads. Throughout the day, then, it redistributes like a steak's juices while resting after cooking. Enter the magical properties of exfoliating. Dermatologists recommend that you exfoliate at least twice a week, and doing so at night instead of the morning will allow the healthiest and brightest skin cells to rise to the surface (via Cardon).


Give your skin a chance to recover

Athletes know the importance of muscle recovery, but it's important to give your face the same TLC. After a day of working, working out, and other activities that can put stress on your skin, getting good rest and letting your skin repair is essential. Give yourself permission for a silk pillowcase and treat your skin with hyaluronic acid or a sleep mask (via Healthline). To help skin recovery, hydrate during the day and give your skin the rest it needs to repair from the elements (via Cardon). When you wake up the next morning, repeat the cycle again to ensure the health of your skin.


It is true that working out is an important part of our routine, but there are actions we need to take to keep our skin happy. By taking these simple steps, you'll not only be able to maintain a strong mind and body that you'll appreciate internally but your care for yourself will also be noticeable in your complexion.