Over 90% of New Year’s resolutions are fitness-related each year, according to a survey by Planet Fitness.
While working out regularly comes with amazing benefits for your overall health, hitting the gym can cause skin problems such as acne, athlete’s foot, and ringworm. But you can keep your skin clear and crush your fitness goals this year by following a few simple skincare tips for before and after your workout.
Wash your face before and after a workout
It is important to start with a clean, preferably makeup-free face when working out. Otherwise, sweat will mix with any oil, dirt or makeup that is on your skin and can clog pores and lead to acne.
After your workout, try to wash your face as soon as possible. If your face tends to get red after exercise, rinse or spritz your face with cool water and use a gentle anti-inflammatory cleanser such as VMV Hypoallergenics Red Better Cleansing Cream. Finish your post-workout skincare regimen with a tinted sunscreen.
Apply a skin-protecting mist
To help keep your skin protected from bacteria at the gym, apply a silver-containing mist such as Element 47 spray prior to your workout. This type of product can be left on while exercising and washed away afterwards.
An easy way to keep bacteria away from your face while at the gym is to avoid touching your face with your hands. Use a clean towel to wipe away sweat, and wash your hands immediately after your workout.
Shower or change into fresh clothes ASAP
Bacteria combined with a moist environment (like sweaty gym clothes) is the perfect combination for skin problems like acne, “backne” and even yeast infections caused by tight-fitting clothes to thrive.
Ideally, take a shower immediately after your workout to avoid these issues. If you won’t be able to shower right away, pack a clean, dry change of clothes to change into after exercising.
Don’t go barefoot in the locker room
Always wear shoes or sandals in the gym locker room and showers to avoid getting fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm. Both of these skin conditions are caused by the same type of fungus that grows easily in warm, moist environments like gym showers. If you can’t take a shower right away, change into clean socks after exercising to prevent fungal infections.
Bring your own towel and yoga mat
Gyms and workout studios often use strong laundry detergents to ensure towels are clean after each use. But because harsh detergents can irritate sensitive skin, it is best to bring your own towel if your skin is prone to redness, stinging or other signs of irritation.
It is also best to bring your own yoga mat to prevent the spread of bacterial and fungal infections, which can easily spread with shared exercise mats and equipment.
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