Skincare For the Fitness freak!

There is little doubt that any form of exercising is good for your health and that includes your skin too. Many researches have shown that Yoga can greatly improve one’s overall quality of skin and can also reduce the signs of ageing. Haven’t you heard the term ‘Yoga glow’ being used frequently for someone who’s a serious Yoga practitioner? Another study suggests that endurance exercises as well as aerobic practises also help prevent and reduce the signs of ageing in the skin.

Stress does play a significant role in the overall health and quality of skin of a person. A report in ‘Current Behavioural Neuroscience Journal, December 2016 noted that exercises that help fight stress can contribute in fighting signs of ageing and other skin conditions such as acne, inflammation etc.

But you also needs to be cautious of the skincare routine that is recommended to be followed before you visit a gym or hit a Yoga mat and once the session gets over.

The reason being, although regular exercise might be great for the overall health and fitness of your body including your skin, the sweat released during workouts can cause the opposite as well, leading to acne breakouts, irritation, redness, rashes and infections.

This is precisely the reason why it is important to pay attention to your skin applications before heading to your workout sessions, and also after coming back.

Pre-workout skincare routine

Remove makeup: 

There has been a growing tendency to look good all the time these days, even when you’re sweating. There are lots of Instagrammers, YouTubers, Influencers out there who are into fitness and they regularly share their fitness posts, reels and videos with their followers. Following them, one can so easily be misled into believing that it’s alright to wear heavy makeup while doing workouts. But the truth is, one shouldn’t go to a fitness session with heavy makeup on. You need to remove your makeup because sweat with makeup will clog your pores and give you acne. This could even lead to infections, rashes or even blackheads and whiteheads.

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You can also wash your face with water if you’d like to.

Another point to be noted is that if you are going outside like to a gym or a Yoga studio, do not forget to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30. It is equally true even if you are working out indoors but with windows that let lights in. Because every time there is some light visible, you are subjected and exposed to some part of electromagnetic spectrum.

Now comes the third point; because you are most likely to be sweating during a workout, you need to apply a sunscreen that is sweat proof too. Most good sunscreen products come with duration of water and sweat resistance written on their label.

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And do not forget to apply the same not only to you face, throat and chest, but also to the back of your neck and the part of your back that’s exposed. Otherwise, the signs of ageing on those areas will make a premature visit to your body.

Another thing to consider is that you must not wear a heavy moisturiser before hitting the gym. Some people believe that because sweating will cause dehydration to your skin, you must put a good amount of moisturiser on your face and skin. But the truth is, some moisturisers create a barrier on the skin and that prevents the evaporation of water. The end result will be clogged pores and loss of evaporation that actually cools you down. It will suffocate your skin. So at best, try putting a gentle moisturiser before your workout, if you must do so.

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Post-workout skincare routine

Wash your hands:

It is necessary to wash your hands after a workout because you have touched all types of equipment. Therefore, you need to remove all bacteria and microorganisms from your hands. Now this becomes especially important in these scary times of Covid - 19 pandemic.

Take a shower:

Take a shower and change your clothes immediately. Sweat can lead to fungal and bacterial infections because it creates a warm and wet environment that is loved by the bacteria.
If you are short on time, at least you must rinse off well enough to get rid of all build up of oil, sweat and germs especially if you are prone to acne.

You can use a product that contains benzoyl peroxide because it is known to fight C. Acnes bacteria that is known to cause acne breakouts.

It you are too prone to the acne, you can also consider a sulphur wash after your workouts.

Last but not the least, avoid harsh washes although you might be tempted to use the same after sweating profusely. You must opt for a mild or gentle cleanser instead.

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Happy Sweating!