The Broncos may have been the Super Bowl victors last Sunday, but I was blown away by the power, stamina and grit of the players on both teams (not to mention Beyoncé). I can’t even imagine the amount of preparation and perspiration that went into achieving peak performance on the big day. I was totally inspired to put down the chips, get off the couch and raise my heart rate. While I’m far, far, far from being a professional athlete, I’m trying to squeeze in workouts in between job and parenting duties. I’ve committed to weekly yoga sessions and added a circuit class to my schedule. Increasing my activity level feels great with two caveats: bigger laundry loads and the occasional breakout. My fitness accomplishments will definitely be diminished if push-ups, burpies, bicep curls, downward dogs, steps and strides wreak havoc on my complexion. To make sure that doesn’t happen, I asked skin care experts Celeste Hilling, chief executive officer of the brand Skin Authority, and celebrity aestheticians Nerida Joy and Geri Giagnorio for some advice on how to sweat without sacrificing my skin. Their recommendations can help you stay healthy and save your face, too.
Skin prep depends on the workout, whether it’s outside or inside, and intense or moderate. No matter the type of workout, though, Giagnorio thinks a light moisturizer such as squalene oil is a good idea. “Its lipid layers are similar to our skin in that it gives just enough hydration to the skin to prevent dehydration before, during and after a good sweat,” she says. “Bonus: you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores.” When headed outside, Hilling suggests applying a multi-purpose sunscreen, a vitamin C serum under sunscreen, facial oil and lip balm, and wearing sunglasses. “You’ll want to add plenty of moisture to make up for the hydration you will lose by sweating,” she said, singling out Skin Authority’s Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 30, Age Defying Moisturizer SPF 18, and Super-C Serum for sun and photo-aging protection, and hydration. Makeup doesn’t have to be removed prior to a workout. Joy notes mineral makeup actually has a natural SPF that shields skin from the sun and the weather in general. “If you are inclined to breakouts, mineral makeup is healing and will not clog your pores when you sweat,” she says. Joy’s go-to mineral makeup brands are Colorescience, La Bella Donna and Jane Iredale.
Don’t be afraid to sweat. “The skin loves it when you sweat,” asserts Giagnorio. “Working out to the point of breaking a good sweat triggers the body to start purging toxins through the skin.” Sweat, however, mixes with bacteria and clogs pores to often cause breakouts. A few simple adjustments can assist in staving off those breakouts. Joy instructs hair should be worn away from the face during workouts, and sweatbands and hats should be avoided. To wipe off excess sweat, Joy and Giagnorio agree that clean towels, not hands, should be used. Giagnorio says those towels – and all workout gear – should be washed in gentle detergents without harsh ingredients. “When you sweat, that moisture can activate harsh ingredients that come in contact with your skin,” she explains. “This can cause a PH imbalance on the skin, not good for delicate skin tissue.”
No dilly-dallying post-Pilates. Skin must be washed immediately following a workout. “That is a must, no matter what,” insists Giagnorio. “Don’t wait until you get home if you’re at a gym or workout studio. If you’re outside or away from home and know that you will have a significant delay [until you] wash your skin, use disposable facial wash cloths.” Joy emphasizes the importance of rinsing with lukewarm water. “Cold water is not good for hot, sensitive, ruddy skin after a workout. The consistent hot face, cold water [clash] over time will damage little blood vessels,” she warns. To keep breakouts at bay, Giagnorio says swipe your skin with a Clearasil pad or a similar remedy with mild salicylic acid. She cautions, “Don’t go crazy with abrading or exfoliating your skin after or before a workout. That will aggravate the PH balance and cause premature damage and aging to the skin.” Before jumping into the shower, Giagnorio is a fan of dry brushing the body for a soft lymphatic massage. For the face, a brush with natural bristles deepens the cleanse. In the shower, Hilling recommends exfoliating from head to toe to slough off layers of dead skin. Once the shower is over, slather on a rich moisturizer. “I love products containing shea butter and olive oil,” mentions Hilling. Her favorite exfoliating and moisturizing products include Skin Authority’s Bamboo Ginseng Scrub, Coffee Almond Scrub and Olive Fig Shea Butter Body Cream. Lastly, self-adulation for kicking ass doesn’t hurt. “Remember, a workout is something that the body wants daily,” says Giagnorio. “It’s how it recharges itself, detoxes itself and moves waste naturally out, and allows for a new day of working like a well-oiled machine.”