#1 AVOID EXFOLIATING AFTER A WORKOUT
Skin tends to be flushed and sensitive right after a gym session, so don’t use harsh exfoliants, especially if your complexion already looks red. Scrubbing your skin when it’s in this state can lead to more inflammation, which can cause breakouts.
#2 SKIP THE HAIR PRODUCTS
If I’m heading to the gym straight after work, I don’t apply hair products, such as leave-in serums and styling sprays, when I leave for work in the morning. Here’s why: These usually have pore-clogging ingredients such as oils, and when you perspire, residue from these products runs down your face or back, leading to breakouts.
#3 KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN
Bacteria breeds on gym equipment, so the last thing you want to do after using them is to touch your face. If you have a habit of subconsciously touching your face (like I do), it’s best to carry around a pack of antibacterial wipes or a bottle of travel-size hand sanitiser to clean your hands immediately after you’re done working out.
#4 WASH OFF YOUR MAKEUP COMPLETELY AFTER EXERCISING
This one is a no-brainer. On its own, makeup may not clog pores, but when combined with sweat, oil and dirt, it’s a sure-fire recipe for blackheads and pimples.
#5 DON’T SKIP THAT POST-GYM SHOWER
You may prefer to wash up in the comfort of your home after a gym session, but sweat build-up on your face and body can clog pores and lead to pimples, so it’s best to shower as soon as possible. I like to use a body wash with salicylic acid during my post-exercise shower. If you really can’t stand your gym’s shower facilities, clean sweat-prone areas of your body with a deep-cleansing wipe right after your workout.
#6 KEEP THOSE BANGS AWAY FROM YOUR FACE
Even if you don’t use leave-on haircare or styling products, it’s still a great idea to pin up or push back hair that touches your face. You don’t want any oil from your locks mixing with the perspiration on your skin.
#7 BLOT, NOT WIPE
Keep your face sweat-free by gently patting your skin with a clean towel or blotting sheets. Don’t rub your face with your towel – this can actually spread nasty bacteria around and irritate the skin.
#8 DON’T EXPOSE TOO MUCH SKIN
Try not to let bare skin touch gym equipment or mats, especially if you’re prone to body acne. Since I tend to work out in sleeveless tank tops and shorts, I like to bring a clean towel along and use it to cover mats or gym equipment.
This story was first published in Her World Magazine September 2015.
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