Why Washing Your Face Needs To Be Part Of Your Workout Routine

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November 14, 2022

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Making regular exercise a part of your routine is a great way to take care of your skin. Research has suggested that exercising helps to maintain your skin’s hydration levels, and US Dermatology Partners highlights how being active increases circulation to your skin, and can have a positive effect on skin health and ageing. 

But as much as exercise can be good for your skin, there’s one important thing to remember in order to reap the rewards, and that’s keeping your skin clean pre and post-workout. When feeling a greater sense of confidence is such a big reason so many people love to exercise, no one wants an exercise routine that leaves their skin breaking out.

Why wash your face pre and post-workout?

Because your pores open up when you sweat, cleaning your face with a gentle cleanser or facial wipes before your workout ensures your pores don’t get clogged with any makeup or bacteria. For heavy makeup, you may need makeup remover or micellar water. If you’re heading outside and the sun is shining, don’t forget to apply SPF sunscreen after cleansing to protect your skin. 

While it’s gentler on your skin if you exercise with a fresh face, not everyone feels comfortable working out without makeup on, and that’s ok! We all have different preferences and not everyone feels their best working out bare-faced. However, if you’re having skin troubles and tend to wear makeup when you Sweat, this could be something to consider. If you find your skin is breaking out or irritated in other areas of your body, make sure you’re washing your activewear regularly

For those who like to wear makeup when exercising, Sweat Trainer Kelsey Wells suggests switching to more minimal options such as a tinted moisturiser instead of foundation, and always washing your face immediately after your workout.

Post-workout skincare is even more important. Alongside the buildup of sweat on your face, your skin can also accumulate dirt, dust and bacteria from things such as your yoga mat, hair, hands, sweat towel, gym equipment, or the environment around you if you’re exercising outdoors. Leaving sweat, dirt and bacteria to dry and clog your pores is not going to do your skin any good!

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Keep it simple

If squeezing in exercise or heading to the gym is already a challenge with a busy schedule, washing your face can feel like an annoying extra step. Rest assured, pre and post-workout skincare doesn’t have to be a lengthy process! 

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends using a gentle cleanser and warm, not hot, water to wash your face immediately after your workout to remove sweat, dirt and oil. 

Head Trainer Kayla Itsines always packs a gentle facial cleanser in her gym bag to wash her face before and after her workout, but if you don’t have access to a sink or shower, cleansing facial wipes can do the trick, too! Pre and post-workout skin care doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s simply about gently removing the sweat and grime. 

Curious to see what else Kayla takes to the gym? Check out the rest of her gym bag essentials here

Remember, your skin can be sensitive, flushed and red after exercise, so try to wash your face with cold or lukewarm water and gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel to avoid further irritation. Cold water can also help to calm any redness. 

The added sensitivity and redness that comes with post-workout skin is another reason why a gentle cleanse is your best bet. This isn’t the time for exfoliants or scrubs as those can irritate your skin even more.

Sweat is about so much more than your workouts

Feel your best - inside AND out

Just like you shouldn’t skip your warm-up, you also shouldn’t skip washing your face before and after you exercise. Whether you’re moving your body in a gym, outdoors, in a hotel room or your own home gym space, making washing your face part of your workout routine can help protect and take care of your skin.

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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