As we muster the self-discipline needed to work out consistently at home or in our local parks, we’re also taking some extra steps to avoid rashy, angry or clogged skin.
It might be a while before we start populating gyms and yoga clubs again, so we’re preparing for new and ever-changing workout environments.
This round-up of your most commonly asked questions will equip you with some key facts to get your sports bag ready with all the essentials. Read on to find out what happens to our ever-important skin barrier as we break a sweat, and discover the science behind our favourite skincare routines.
- What's happening to my skin as I work out?
- Is it really necessary to remove my light make-up before the gym?
- Should I wear any moisturiser for my workout session?
- Do I need to take special precautions if I am exercising outdoors?
- How do I keep my skin healthy during my workout?
- What are the best actives to apply post-workout?
- What if I don’t have access to running water before and after my workout?
- Why does my workout trigger flare-ups?
- How does working out prevent breakouts?
What's happening to my skin as I work out?
The skin is our largest organ, and its main function is creating a protective barrier to shield us from external pathogens and (importantly) the UVA and UVB rays in sunlight.
As we start working out, circulation increases and our body starts sweating to stabilise our body temperature. As body movement increases blood flow, smaller blood vessels around the face are filled with fresh nutrients and oxygen. This triggers new skin cell formation as well as collagen production, making moderate physical activity a formidable anti-ageing panacea.
Is it really necessary to remove my light make-up before the gym?
All make-up should be removed before any fitness activity. Even if you are confident your make-up does not create any issues in normal circumstances, it can actually trigger redness and breakouts when it mixes with natural skin secretions, especially as sweat alters your skin’s PH. Double cleansing is ideal to ensure your pores are ready for sweating, a process which naturally flushes out sebum and other bacteria. Combine the Skin Renew Cleanser with some Kale Enzymatic Exfoliator to melt away any dirt and buff the epidermis, leaving it ready to make the most of your fitness session.
Should I wear any moisturiser for my workout session?
It really depends on your skin type and how much you tend to sweat. As a rule of thumb, it is best to switch to a lighter moisturiser or simply apply a layer of serum. Our Argan Anti-Ageing Peptide Serum is perfect as it includes a healthy amount of Argan Oil, so it won’t leave your skin screaming for moisture.
Do I need to take special precautions if I am exercising outdoors?
If you are exercising outdoors, a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 is an absolute must-have! Apply liberally to all exposed areas over your (fully absorbed) serum and don’t forget your hands. You might also want to wear a hat and pack a small towel with a spray hand sanitiser in case you need to take a rest.
How do I keep my skin healthy during my workout?
Don’t touch your face, hair or body skin with your hands! It’s easy to forget while busy keeping up with our instructor or setting a new personal best, but this is a good habit to develop (especially in our current circumstances).
A small cotton towel (possibly stored in your pocket) is a very precious ally during your workout. You can use it to wipe any sweat drops without touching your face with the back of your hands, an area often neglected during hand washing. To ensure hygiene on the go, our Lemon & Black Pepper Hand Sanitiser is formulated with 65% Alcohol. It comes in a handy spray bottle and can be used on your hands, body and safely on a variety of surfaces (such as your yoga mat!).
Lastly, if you want to refresh and re-hydrate mid-workout, a Mist can provide lightweight, easily absorbed nutrients without having to touch your face. Our Antioxidant Peptide Mist provides collagen-boosting Peptides, deeply calming Turmeric and de-stressing Petitgrain which makes it ideal for Yoga and Pilates sessions. It also balances the skin’s bacteria which is helpful if you tend to get breakouts.
What are the best actives to apply post-workout?
Cleansing after working out is absolutely crucial. This is because our sweat contains compounds that can offset your skin balance and natural bacterial flora. Once cleansed (rinse with cool water only) apply a lightweight cream with Hyaluronic Acid to re-hydrate, Peptides to firm and as many calming ingredients as you can. Our Probiotic Multi-Mineral Repair Mask can also be left on as a moisturiser and is ideal post-workout as it contains all the actives mentioned above, plus re-balancing Probiotic Minerals and calming Rosewater.
What if I don’t have access to running water before and after my workout?
As unfortunately not all locations will provide access to taps and showering facilities, you can go completely tap water-free with our Antioxidant Peptide Mist and the Antioxidant Multi-Tasking Super Balm (both also available in travel size). Ensure your hands are clean and rub a small amount of Balm on the face paying special attention to areas with make-up. Then spray the Mist all over the face and use your muslin cloth to remove all residue. Repeat as required.
Why does my workout trigger flare-ups?
There are several reasons why your fitness session might be triggering skin irritation. First, you want to check you are not over-cleansing. If you have normal to combination skin, our Kale 3D Cleanse will do the trick with plenty of Hyaluronic Acid to boot. If you suffer from dryness the Skin Renew Cleanser is an omega-rich, non-foaming cream cleanser that is designed to restore balance on the hydrolipidic layer, the top layer of the epidermis.
If you suffer from rosacea you will be familiar with increased post-workout redness. This is a natural consequence of increased temperature and blood flow to the skin. We recommend cleansing with a gentle cream cleanser (and cold water) right after your session and then applying our Probiotic Multi-Mineral Repair Mask before jumping into the shower to deeply calm whilst preventing moisture loss. Once out of the shower apply our Relax Hydrating Peptide Serum to lock in moisture and finish with the Relax Calming Moisturiser.
If you are a runner and suffer from chafing you may want to pack a travel size Antioxidant Multi-Tasking Super Balm to shield the affected areas before you begin your daily run.
How does working out prevent breakouts?
Physical movement works wonders for many breakout-prone skin types if a rigorous hygiene routine is adhered to. This can be explained in different ways: sweating helps decongest blocked pores and soften sebum which leads to overall clearer skin. Moreover, we know there is a correlation between increased cortisol levels caused by stress and excessive sebum production. This means the stress-busting physical activities can also have an indirect skin benefit!