What your pre-and post-workout skincare routine needs to look like

Your skin does the heavy lifting too!

Harper's Bazaar India

If there’s one resolution that makes it to almost everyone’s #NewYearNewMe list, it’s getting those workout sweats going. When the second week of January hits, you see people hitting the gym, running those miles, and working up their way to more than 10k steps. Whichever way you choose to stay fit, exercising has more benefits than just keeping that heart rate up and your body healthy—it’s amazing for your mind and skin, too!

That ‘post-workout glow’ is a real thing and not just a myth. When you’re stressed out, your body produces more cortisol, which hinders the production of collagen in your skin. By working out, you reduce stress levels which helps boost the production of collagen, resulting in plumper and firmer skin. Plus, exercising really helps to get the blood flowing, leaving you with a healthy glow! Simple, right? Here’s the catch! If proper skincare is skipped both before and post a workout, you’ll be left with a sweaty mess and breakouts that won’t be all that fun to deal with. But, we’ve got the solution.


Step 1 - Remove your make-up

Working out at the end of the day? It’s important to remove your make-up before you break into a sweat. The makeup, combined with your sweat and dirt, increases the chances of breaking out later. You can either opt for a gentle micellar water or feel free to opt for a make-up melting balm or an oil-based remover, if you have heavier waterproof make-up.

Step 2 - Cleanse your skin

Next, you want to head straight for your cleanser. Use a gentle cleanser to remove any residual dirt, grime, or makeup left on your skin. You can even add a mist post your wash to give your skin a boost of hydration. 

Step 3- Moisturise away

Finish your routine with a hydrating moisturiser. Opt for a formula that’s more lightweight, rather than sticky—something that absorbs into your skin within a few minutes of application. This will also help strengthen your skin’s barrier while you workout.

Step 4- Protect your skin

If you’re heading out during the day, then make sure you wear sunscreen—even if you are working out indoors, at a gym. Apply it to all the areas of your body that will be exposed to the sun.


Step 1 - Slip out of your workout clothes

Got back from a workout? Take your clothes off immediately. Sweat and moisture tend to get trapped in the fabric, especially if it’s not breathable. Sitting in the clothes means wallowing in a mixture of sweat, grime, and dirt, resulting in breakouts on your body. Doesn’t sound too great, does it? 

Step 2 - Cleanse your face

Now that the clothes are off, it’s important to wash your face. You want to bring out the big guns for this one—use an active-based cleanser to remove all the sweat, oil, and debris that sits on your skin. Opt for salicylic or glycolic acid in your cleanser as this gently exfoliates the skin as well! 

Step 3 - And into the shower

Make sure you use an anti-bacterial body wash to cleanse away! Treat your body the way you do your face—that’ll help remove the trapped moisture, oil, dirt, and sweat that came along with your workout, and will also prevent future breakouts.

Step 4 - Apply a gentle serum

Once you’re done drying yourself, apply a soothing and hydrating serum to your face. Opt for ingredients that’ll help calm the skin down and leave it with a healthy glow.

Step 5 - Moisturise and protect…yet, again

A warm shower can often strip your skin off its natural oils, leaving it a tad dry and dehydrated. Make sure you moisturise your skin—both your face, neck, and body. If you’ve worked out during the day, then finish off with sunscreen and you’re good to go!