Above: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Marty S.
Even though not all of us like exercising (and some even try to avoid it as much as possible), it is an activity that has undeniable health benefits. Whether you exercise to lose weight, to stay in shape, or to keep yourself active, countless studies have said that exercise can improve your cardiovascular system, muscle and bone strength, sleep schedule, and more. The best part is, exercise doesn’t have to be just running. Exercising for you and your particular lifestyle could be dancing, playing sports, or riding a bike. While some people are comfortable with going to the gym every day, going on a hike once a week is perfectly fine.
When you exercise, it is rare for you to look better after you finish than before you start; your hair might be a mess, your clothes are sweaty, and your skin is red and flushed. Typically, after a workout, you’d want to quickly wash up before getting on with the rest of your day, but don’t forget to take care of your skin, too. In fact, there are things you can do for your skin so that it looks stunning and ageless, without any evidence of a workout in sight. Today, we will share with you a post work out skin care routine, one that will hopefully make you less reluctant to exercise.
Shower After You Exercise
As soon as you finish working out and sanitizing any exercise equipment you used, you should take a shower. Even if you don’t mind that post-exercise odor, taking a shower is essential because it cleanses your skin of sweat. Sweat helps cool your body during a workout, but when sweat is left to accumulate on your skin and dry, a few things might happen.
First, dried sweat can lead to acne. The act of sweating can actually clear up your skin because it helps unclog your pores of dirt, oil, bacteria, and other impurities. However, if that sweat isn’t cleaned off your skin, those impurities could re-enter your pores and result in more acne breakouts.
Second, dried sweat can cause redness, inflammation, and itchiness. Sweat is mostly made of water, but it does contain compounds like sodium that may irritate your skin. This is especially concerning for those with sensitive skin, as dried sweat might aggravate your eczema or rosacea.
Third, sweat is a habitable area for bacteria to grow. The longer you leave sweat on your skin, the more likely it is that you and your skin become more susceptible to infection from harmful bacteria.
If you don’t have the luxury of taking a shower after you exercise, at the very least you should change out of those sweaty clothes. Sweaty clothes can be just as bad as dried sweat on your skin, and this problem could be even worse if your clothes aren’t breathable.
Bonus tip: don’t use hot water for your post-exercise shower. Hot water is far more relaxing to your muscles than warm water, but hot water can open up your pores, dry out your skin, and cause flakiness and inflammation. This, in turn, can lead to lackluster skin and more pronounced signs of aging. Instead, use warm water when possible to keep your skin clean, fresh, and healthy.
Related: The Jojoba Facial Serum can help diminish acne scars.
Moisturize Your Skin After You Shower
After you finish washing off the sweat and grime from your skin, it’s time to moisturize. As we always say, you must follow up your cleanser with your toner, serum, and lotion. Your lotion is particularly important here because exercise and sweating can dry out your skin, and if your skin has become irritated from dried sweat, you will need to deeply nourish it to reduce inflammation, redness, and itchiness. Less redness and itchiness means that your post-exercise skin glow will be even more apparent.
Don’t forget to moisturize the rest of your body, too. If you aren’t wearing breathable clothes or you leave on your sweaty clothes for far too long, you can develop chafing, irritation, and rashes all over your body. Chafing will make you feel more uncomfortable the next time you exercise so use a massage oil to soothe your skin and minimize chafing before it becomes a problem.
Drink Plenty of Water During & After Your Workout
This may sound a little redundant considering our previous tip, but it cannot be understated that you should be drinking water during and after your workout. For those that exercise regularly, your need for water will likely be greater than normal because your body will need to use its fluids to cool your body off with sweat. If you don’t drink enough water, you run the risk of dehydration, fatigue, and lightheadedness, all of which are hazards during and after a workout. On the other hand, consistent water consumption helps your body function normally, detoxifies your system, and encourages soft, youthful skin.
In short, drinking water is good for your body and skin, especially if you exercise. It doesn’t even take that much effort to do; just remember to drink water between your breaks and as your body recovers from a workout and you should be good to go.
Related: 10 Hydrating Foods to Eat for Glowing, Supple Skin
Let us know in the comments below if you have a special post-exercise tip that you do for your hair, body, or skin. We’d also love to learn what your favorite workout is so the Apsara community has something new to try this weekend.
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Go natural. It is good karma!