The Do's and Don’ts of Sweaty Skincare
There are times when navigating the world of skincare can feel more confusing than the training program for your first marathon.
There’s a lot of contradictory advice out there —some say oil is bad, others say you can use it to cleanse your skin!—and it only gets more complicated when you add sweat to the equation. The questions can be endless. What happens to your skin if you work out while you have makeup on? Is it actually possible to wash your face too much? If you’re consistently getting your sweat on, what’s the best way to take care of your skin?
To set the record straight for good, Reebok sat down with Dr. Roshini Raj and Alisa Metzger, two of the skin gurus behind Tula Skincare, to debunk the common myths about pre-and post-workout skincare.
Am I more prone to acne if I work out while wearing makeup?
Roshini : Unfortunately, the answer is yes. A layer of makeup acts as a barrier when you work out, locking in sweat and bacteria, so you’re creating a breeding ground for acne, blackheads and blocked pores. Mixing makeup with perspiration, oil and bacteria prevents your body from efficiently sweating, which can cause congestion and irritation. Just like you’d remove all your makeup before going to bed, you should have a simple and quick pre- and post-workout skincare routine.
Are facial wipes the best way to quickly clean my face off before I hit the gym? If not, what should I use?
Metzger : Facial wipes can leave a residue on the skin’s surface that can cause irritation, so a quick wash with a purifying cleanser is an ideal way to prep skin for a workout! If you don’t have access to a washroom prior to a workout, a face wipe is better than heading into spin with a full face of makeup.
If I wash my face before and after a workout, am I washing my face too much?
Metzger : To prevent acne and other skin issues, it’s essential to wash your face with a gentle cleanser before and after you work out, removing make-up and bacteria sitting on your skin. Post-workout, your skin tends be more sensitive, so to avoid over-drying, it’s best to only use gentle products that nourish and hydrate.
What should I know about cleaning off gym equipment before working out?
Roshini : Communal workout equipment is a common spot for nasty bacteria, so it’s always best to use an antibacterial wipe on anything you will be touching while you work out. On average, we touch our faces 3.6 times per hour, more often if we’re sweating. So, to avoid irritation and infections, it’s essential to make sure your workout space is as clean as possible before you begin.
If I’m used to wearing makeup while working out, what do you recommend?
Metzger : A balanced and healthy lifestyle that includes exercise is key to looking and feeling more confident, so don’t ever let your skin prevent you from working out. Finding a gym or studio that’s clean and comfortable can help you feel more relaxed about your workout, and you’ll be glowing all day once the endorphins have kicked in. Also, starting a probiotic-based regimen that includes a gentle cleanser followed up by an alcohol-free toner and a light but hydrating gel cream will hydrate, soothe and nourish to help get skin to a healthy and balanced state. If you can’t see yourself facing the gym without any makeup at all, stick to a waterproof mascara and a tinted lip balm.
Should I modify my skincare routine if I’m working out outside?
Roshini : When you work out outside, an SPF is a must! Sun damage is the number one cause of premature aging and skin cancers, so prevention is critical. For those with sensitive skin, mineral sunscreens may be better, especially if prone to acne. If you choose a chemical formulation, look for one with a lighter gel consistency. Also, look out for a high SPF formulation, which you should use anytime you’re outside. I use SPF 50 with both UVA and UVB blockers to protect my skin.