How to Take Care of Your Skin After a Workout

wash face workouts

Exercise is awesome for your skin: it increases blood flow, helps deliver tons of nutrients and oxygen, opens up your pores, and keeps you looking vibrant, youthful, and healthy. But failing to maintain a good skin routine in that post-workout window can lead to irritating problems, like dry skin and acne. In addition to washing your face before you head to spin class or hit those free weights (makeup can trap bacteria, dirt, and oil in your pores), be sure to follow these 3 must-dos for your skin once your workout is over.

3 Tips to Protect Your Skin After A Workout

1. Wash Your Face as Soon as You Can

face wash workoutsUse warm water and a gentle cleanser, or if there’s no sink handy (e.g., you did a park workout with your buddies), try a facial wipe. To avoid irritating or drying your skin, pat your face with a soft towel until it’s mostly dry, then let it air dry the rest of the way.

2. Use a Gentle Toning Spray Before Applying Your Moisturizer, Sunscreen, and Makeup

A cool facial mist or toner helps close your pores (which opened during your sweat fest) and lock in moisture. You can then feel free to put on your normal skin care products, but consider saving the heavy duty moisturizers and treatments for pre-bedtime.

3. Keep That Water Bottle Close

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! No amount of fancy face cream or anti-wrinkle serum will help restore your skin’s youthful beauty if you aren’t drinking enough water. So, be sure you’re re-hydrating yourself appropriately, especially since you presumably just spent 30 minutes+ sweating your face off.

If you’re active, aim to drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces per day. You may need more, depending on how much you sweat. As a general rule: never let yourself get thirsty, as this is a sign that you’re already dehydrated.

Got any fave post-workout skin care tips to share? Let us know about it by sharing in the comments below!


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Sara M. is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and freelance writer living and working near Boston, MA. As a former CrossFit gym owner and current fitness lover, Sara has a lot of personal and professional experience inside and outside the gym. She loves to write about various topics related to health, wellness, nutrition, human behavior, and self-mastery.