As you know, rule number one of working out is to take off your makeup! Doing this alone is a great to start ensuring your skin looks better, not worse, at the end of a workout. But when it comes to working out we don’t often think about our skincare routine, but treating your skin properly before and after your workout will make a huge difference to your skin. When you exercise, your body temperature increases and more often than not, you sweat – a lot – and that makes your pores dilate, making it even easier for makeup and bacteria to make its way in and block your pores.
So, we’re here to share the ultimate skincare routine for before and after your workout to ensure your skin brings its a-game every time. We’ve even discovered some workout skincare products that are giving us incredible results while we exercise – now that’s multitasking at its best!
Pre-Workout Skincare Routine
Step 1: Wash your Face
…Not with makeup wipes!!
A.M.: If you’ve just woken up or you’re not wearing makeup, do a quick wipe with micellar water on a cotton pad or splash your face with a little water. It’s important that your skin is clean, so if you feel like your skin needs it, do a gentle cleanse with a milk or gel cleanser.
P.M.: Double cleanse to remove all your makeup! We love to use the Face Halo, because all you have to do is wet it, and the tiny little fibers will lift off makeup and dirt, so it’s super easy to use on-the-go. To finish, we love to use the Foreo Luna 3 cleansing device with a gel cleanser to remove every last trace of makeup – the T-sonic pulsations and soft silicone bristles help clean extra deep into pores, which is exactly what you need before a workout!
Step 2: Actives That Work
Just because you’re working out, doesn’t mean your skin shouldn’t get a little love. We love to use lightweight, hydrating and protective formulas while we work out, like a vitamin C serum, or an antioxidant-rich gel moisturizer to protect our skin from free radicals that attack during exercise. Avoid anything to rich and heavy, which could feel uncomfortable when you sweat.
Without a doubt, one of our most exciting new discoveries is Face Gym’s Training Sticks, $49, aka heat-activated skincare that gets to work while you do! Since we’ve discovered these, we literally haven’t worked out without them, and we love how they warm up on your skin while you work out, slowly releasing potent actives that penetrate deeper as your skin’s metabolism is accelerated. The controlled delivery system also helps improve your complexion for up to six hours post-workout (even after cleansing).
The Training Sticks are so quick and easy to use – literally just swipe onto your forehead, cheeks, chin, and temples – and we love the different options: Spirulina for lifting and firming, Activated Charcoal for detoxing, and Brazilian Pink Clay for brightening. You can also buy all three in mini version, plus a hydrating Multivitamin stick for $75 – so you can multi-mask to target different issues. The charcoal formula leaves our skin feeling super soft and bright post-workout, and we love that these fight against damaging free-radicals, which are rife during exercise.
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If you’re working out outside in the sun or going for a hike, SPF is essential. We recommend a mineral sunscreen, which means when you sweat your eyes shouldn’t sting (chemical SPFs often sting the eyes). Check out our fave mineral sunscreens here.
Finally, don’t forget a little lip balm to keep your lips moist and to prevent cracking. And always tie your hair up to avoid hair and hair products mingling with your skin.
Post-Workout Skincare Routine
Step 1: Cleanse
We know after working out you often have places to be, but it’s so important to wash your face post-workout as soon as possible. If you’ve washed your skin before your work out (we really hope you did), use a gentle water-based cleanser to get rid of sweat and bacteria. We love the Holi Frog Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash, $36, which is pH-balanced and deeply cleans the skin while nourishing it with omega fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants to replenish the skin. It also has natural antibacterial properties to help prevent breakouts and clogged pores, without stripping your skin.
Finish your cleanse by splashing your face with cool water, which helps to tighten the pores and shrink blood vessels, which will help to reduce redness more quickly.
Step 2: Hydrate
First things first, drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and skin – the best hydration comes from within! Then use plenty of hydrating ingredients on your skin. Start with a toner that’s soothing and calming, so look for ingredients like chamomile and aloe or opt for hydrating milky formulas. We love the Pixi Rose Tonic, $18, which helps to reduce redness and calm the skin while balancing your skin’s pH levels. Follow with a lightweight serum or hyaluronic acid, like the Sarah Chapman Intense Hydrating Booster Moisture Serum, $98, which is formulated with Bioecolia and Beta Glucan to activate the skin’s natural defenses against bacteria and irritants, plus hyaluronic acid and soothing rose water. We love how fluid this serum is and how easily it melts into the skin to instantly hydrate and repair the skin after the stress of working out.
Step 3: Lock it in
Now your skin is well hydrated, lock it all in with a moisturizer. We prefer to steer clear of thicker formulas post-workout (save that for nighttime), instead, stick to gel-like or lightweight moisturizers like the Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer, $52, which helps to reduce redness (great for after a workout), tighten pores, and balance your skin.
Now enjoy that glow-up and feel proud of yourself for working out and showing your skin some love at the same time.
Finally, if you absolutely must wear makeup when you work out, then check out these 7 Gym-Approved Makeup Products That Won’t Make You Breakout.