If in doubt, sweat it out – a mantra many exercise fanatics can relate to. But while we often think about how a workout benefits our body, have you ever wondered just how it affects the largest organ of all – your skin? Typically, a workout makes us sweat which can lead to oily skin, breakouts and dehydration especially if you skimp on cleansing. Not to mention, each time we touch a piece of gym equipment we are coming into contact with skin-hating bacteria. Luckily Dr Rekha Tailor is on hand to answer your skincare questions.
Can rubbing my face with a sweaty towel make my skin worse? Is there a better alternative?
“Sweaty towels can harbour a lot of bacteria especially if it comes into contact with gym equipment, it can easily spread bacteria leading to acne and nasty skin infections by rubbing it on your face. Towels washed in harsh detergents will also aggravate skin conditions, especially acne. When exercising try to refrain from constantly drying your face and let the sweat evaporate on its own then shower when you get home. But if you can’t live without a gym towel make sure it’s made of a microfiber cloth as these are dirt resistant and absorb water quickly. Always wash in a fragrance-free, eco laundry detergent.”
See below for your gym skincare essentials.
Should I always remove my make up before working out and why?
“It’s advisable to remove make-up before working out as cosmetics mix with the oil and perspiration from your skin, preventing your pores from being able to release sweat. This leads to breakouts and possible skin irritation. Going bare-faced is always recommended.”
Is it better for my skin to have a hot or cold shower after a workout?
“Cold water is very beneficial after any exercise as it helps to prevent any swelling from your workout, reduces your heart rate and increases circulation which will help you to recover faster. Cold showers can also help to relieve muscle soreness after a strenuous workout.”
Keep your complexion healthy with these gym skincare essentials:
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, £27
Origins Perfect World Cleanser, £22
BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution, £10.80
Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, £19.50