One of my favorite DailyBurn instructors, Anja Garcia, loves to say “Leave it on the floor” as we jump, jack, squat, roll, and dive through the workout. Until I discovered her Inferno series, I thought she meant leave the stress we carried. Exercise is great for kicking stress to the curb, after all. Nope. After 2 weeks in the Inferno program, I’m convinced that’s not what she is referring to. Every day, after I finish a workout, I am actually standing in a pool of my own sweat! I realized soon enough that I needed to figure out some better skin care routines if I was going to work like this.
Gross, I know, but sweating is good for your skin. It opens the pores and helps the body clear toxins. It also helps rid the body of viruses and bacteria, so may prevent you from becoming ill as often. I know that since I started working out, I rarely get colds anymore. All that sweating must be working for me.
However, without proper skin care (and I don’t mean slathering on anti-aging cream), your skin cannot do it’s job properly. After a good workout like that, it’s imperative to immediately take care of your skin. While all that sweating does your skin good, leaving sweat sit on your skin can actually breed bacteria, cause rashes, and aggravate skin conditions. Not to mention, letting sweat sit causes odor.
Proper Skin Care
If you want your skin to keep on doing all the neat things it does, you have to take care of it before, during, and after exercise.
- Skip the glam at the gym. Sorry ladies. I know you hate to go out in public without makeup on, but remember what I said about sweating opening up the pores? All those cosmetics will just get into those newly opened pores and clog them up!
- Sunblock. Wearing SPF 30 or higher not only helps prevent skin cancer, but it may also stave off those dreaded crow’s-feet. Absolutely wear it during outdoor activities, but also consider slathering it on indoors. Windows are not 100% UV blocking.
- Cover Up at the Gym. Your sports bra and shorts probably look cute, but do you really want to lay your bare back on the same spot 20 other people just writhed in their sweat? Yoga mats and weight benches can harbor acne-causing bacteria. Wear a top that covers your body, or put a clean towel beneath your naked skin.
- Drink Lots of Water. All that sweat is water leaving the body. You have to put it back in. It’s good for all the organs – including your body’s biggest organ – the skin. Gulping down 8-10 cups a day doesn’t seem so bad if you realize that water can help stave off dry skin, fight fine lines (by plumping them up), and keep your skin from looking sallow.
- Shower immediately after working out. While sweating can rid the skin of bacteria, sweat becomes a breeding ground for bacteria if you don’t wash it off right away.
What are some of your favorite post-workout skin care tips?
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.