Tis the season for warm weather, humidity, and sweating. Yep… we all sweat. But during the heat waves battering us, we don’t give up our fitness and exercise routines. While exercising is great for your health and body, without some minor preparations your skin can pay the price.
Here are a few of my skin care tips for athletes:
- For longer haired women and men, be sure to tie your hair back during work outs. Not only can the oils and hair styling products you used aggravate skin while your pores are open, but the hair follicles themselves can irritate skin. Use a non-metal elastic band or a secure clip (like the Zann Clip).
- Use a zinc based barrier sunblock. Zinc based SPF and sunblocks prevent sun rays from reaching your skin immediately. Chemical sunblocks (like normal SPF lotions) can take up to 30 minutes to be fully effective. At that point, you have sweated most of the product off. Zinc also has the HUGE benefit of helping to purify and cleanse your skin. It will help prevent future breakouts and quickly resolve your current ones!
- Never workout with makeup on. Especially if you wear mineral makeup and it contains bismuth. Once your pores open up, the bismuth sinks into your pores and can cause severe itching. Bismuth is a “polygon” particle with sharp pointed sides, hence the itching. If you’d like to wear makeup while exercising, look for one of the mineral brands that is free of bismuth (such as Purely Cosmetics or Priia Cosmetics; but avoid the biggies like Bare Escentuals and Pur Minerals both contain horrible additives for your skin!).
- Use gentle cleansing products. One of the best cleansers and moisturizers is all natural, organic jojoba oil. You can find it in cleansing lotions, or just use 2 drops after you’ve washed your face (don’t miss my article “15 Beautiful Uses for Jojoba Oil“). Commercials and marketing want you to believe that oil is bad… however, you NEED oil in your skin. If you wash all the oils off and do not replace them, your skin goes into overdrive reproducing sebum- and hence, you end up with pimples and clogged pores. You need to replace the oils you remove during washing. Jojoba Oil is proven to be the closest oil to our natural facial sebum. It’s gentle, effective, loaded with anti-oxidants and will actually help clear acne, pimples and clogged pores.
- Drink plenty of fluids! This is a basic. Beyond staying hydrated to keep muscles and joints functioning properly, water will help flush toxins from your skin. When you sweat, toxins, skin cells and all varieties of goo dislodge from your pores. Flush them away with plenty of pure water. While you’re at it, be a bit more eco-friendly and carry your water in a reusuable hard plastic or metal bottle.