Written on August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
We all want our bodies to look lean and strong, so we hit the gym hard, but those sweat-inducing workouts can sometimes wreak havoc on our skin. Renee Rouleau, Esthetician and Skin Care Expert, gets it—as a CrossFit addict, she knows all about wanting to tone up without having to deal with embarrassing breakouts or runny sunscreen. So we asked her to answer some of your top workout-related skin-care Q’s.
In terms of skin health, how important is it to drink water before and after a workout?
“Since you lose so much water from perspiration, it’s crucial to replace it by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after workouts. The electrolyte-replacing drinks are especially helpful for re-hydrating the body. From a skin-care standpoint, research concludes that drinking water is the least efficient way to hydrate the skin. Skin hydration levels have much more to do with what you are using topically on the skin. A product like the Renée Rouleau Skin Drink ($38, reneerouleau.com) helps hydrate the skin very well. Apply it post-workout to restore hydration.”
I like to wear a headband or a bandana to prevent sweat from dripping down my face, but will that cause breakouts?
“I wouldn’t recommend headbands, bandanas or even hats across the forehead as they can cause a build up of oil and perspiration in the pores which will result in little clogged bumps or acne. If your skin is not prone to breakouts, this may not be an issue for you. If you find that you’re getting clogged pores, try to keep your accessory further back on your hairline but not directly across the forehead.”
How bad is it to wear makeup to the gym?
“Eye makeup and lipstick are fine to wear. Should you really feel the need to wear foundation, try mineral-based powders as they are sweat-resistant, breathable and won’t clog pores. Either way, you want to clean the skin and remove oils and sweat post-workout.”
I like to remove all my makeup before a workout, but then my skin feels a little dry. Is applying a moisturizer before sweating OK?
“When you exercise, your skin loses water due to evaporation, leaving the skin dehydrated. Dehydrated skin increases surface lines and causes skin cells to die prematurely, leading to aging as well as dead skin cell build up and clogged pores. Using a lightweight moisturizer will help to retain the water in the skin. If you are exercising outdoors, it’s best to use a very light moisturizer with a sunscreen.”
I sometimes can’t shower immediately after the gym. Could that cause body acne?
“Showering immediately after a workout can definitely help keep your back clear. The people that are most likely to get back breakouts are the ones that produce excessive oil. Generally, those who have oily skin on their face will also have excessive oil production on the back as well. Since oil is a breeding ground for bacteria, one of the ways to reduce back breakouts is to shower often. Keeping the skin clean can make a huge difference. Exfoliate your back with a mild cleansing gel and exfoliating cloth three times a week and apply an anti-bacterial lotion to help keep your back clear.”
I always apply sunscreen but I sweat a lot. Do I just sweat my sunscreen right off? If so, how can I stay protected besides wearing a hat?
“Apply your sunscreen prior to working out so it has time to absorb fully. No sunscreen can withhold intense sweating so it’s important to reapply often. You can also apply a mineral powder with SPF over your sunscreen for added protection. Most mineral powders tend to be water-resistant so they will hold up better to sweating and therefore keep you protected better. Since one of the major contributing factors to the aging process is the production of free radicals caused from exercise, it’s very important to take antioxidants to minimize the damage. One simple way to help suppress the free radical activity is to take Vitamin C (500 mg) thirty minutes prior to exercise. It takes about thirty minutes to dissolve in your system and activate, so while you are exercising you’re sure to have full Vitamin C protection for the cells in your body.”
Written on May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
While the majority of New Yorkers are getting a little cranky due to the 90-degree temps, I’m loving the recent heat wave. Though it does make me wish I was jetting off to a tropical island in the middle of nowhere. And while no such vacation exists on my summer calendar (wah!), I made my own quiet little escape—in my shower. It’s not as glamorous, I know, but I grabbed Softsoap’s Limited Edition Maui Coconut Splash Moisturizing Body Wash ($3, drugstores) from the beauty closet and scrubbed up after the gym. The formula is luxurious with a rich, hydrating lather, but the scent is what’ll really get you. The bright floral notes mixed with a hint of sweet coconut intoxicate you like your favorite fruity, umbrella-on-the-side cocktail. This might sound a bit dramatic, but seriously, the experience is so relaxing it might just be enough to hold me over until I can finally get to that white-sanded slice of paradise.
Written on January 4, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Fitness Magazine
After a workout, I refuse to leave the gym without washing my face. Even if I’m going straight home, I make sure to get rid of any dirt or sweat that could potentially seep into my pores and cause a breakout. This habit is helpful, but because my gym’s locker room only provides hand soap and hand-sanitizer (yes, I’ve sanitized my face and lived to talk about it), I worry that my skin will dry out. Then I came across Olay Total Effects Lathering Cleansing Cloths ($6, drugstores) and I’m obsessed. These dry cloths lather up as soon as you wet them, so they’re perfect to keep in your purse or gym bag. They contain salicylic acid to prevent zits, as well as moisturizing ingredients to leave skin soft. Now I no longer have to carry a bottle of face wash with me at all times—my skin’s thrilled!
—Jillian Ruffo, beauty intern
Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Shaving can sometimes be a pain, especially after a workout in the cramped shower stall of the locker room. Plus, I don’t want to weigh my gym bag down with a can of shaving cream so instead, I keep a Schick Hydro Silk for Women Razor ($10, drugstore.com) on hand. Its five (yes, five!) blades are surrounded by tiny beads that are jam packed with a water-activated moisturizing serum that’s so hydrating, you don’t even need to use a shaving cream. It’s perfect year-round since it gives me the closest shave, but especially during the chilly winter months that tend to dry out my legs.
Written on June 19, 2012 at 10:33 am , by April Franzino
As a Pilates instructor, tennis player and founder of the skincare line Stages of Beauty, Jasmina Aganovic has a few tricks up her sleeve for keeping skin in top shape, both in the gym and out.
- Stay toned. Pack toner-soaked cotton balls in your gym bag and swipe over your face for a quick purifying cleanse.
- Take cover. You may be indoors, but UV rays can reflect off of metal and glass surfaces in the gym, causing skin damage. Apply broad-spectrum SPF 30 or above both before and after workouts.
- Hands off. Don’t touch your face with your sweaty hands during your session—body heat opens your pores, making skin apt to absorb bacteria and clogging dirt and oil. Wipe down any mats before touching them or bring a towel to lie down before you begin.
- Double up. Apply an exfoliator or mask all over your face before you step in the shower, then rub in and rinse before getting out: The treatment ingredients will work while you wash, and the steam enhances penetration.
Written on June 27, 2011 at 11:05 am , by April Franzino
Many of us struggle with how to wear our hair while we exercise. We polled FITNESS staffers for their strategies:
- “I usually wear a Lululemon headband—bangs flapping in my face are distracting—and a simple ponytail. On hot days when I run outside, though, a braid is a must because ponytails get sweaty and gross.”—Bethany Gumper, senior editor
- “I wrap a French braid into a bun, so it’s off my face and out of the way. My trainer calls me sporty spice!”—Heidi Smith, art department intern
- “My hair is super-thick, so I wrap a headband around the base of my ponytail so that it stays put no matter what, and I can actually focus on my workout, rather than how my hair looks.”—Marianne Magno, assistant web editor
- “I tie my hair into a tight bun. Because I have curly hair, this technique helps to give my hair volume post-run. I keep it up while showering, then let it down and air-dry. My hair’s left looking really full and lush.”—Argy Koutsothanasis, fashion director
- “I twist a loose top-knot high on my head to prevent dreaded ponytail creases, keep my waves intact and the sweat off my neck.”—Eleanor Langston, beauty director
- “I wear my hair in a low ponytail with a side part. It keeps the hair out of my face but still looks cute.”—Marla Horenbein, fashion assistant
- “Ponytail always. I can’t stand having hair in my face when I sweat. My dance teacher trained me as a kid: No hair in the face, ever!”—Betty Wong, editor-in-chief
- “Pulled back into a low, kind of loose bun. It’s neat, off my neck, and still looks good.”—Cheri Crump, sittings editor
- “In a ponytail with a headband—it’s a must to keep shorter layers out of my eyes. I swear by rubber Scunci hairties for my ponytails: They’re so durable!”—Karla Walsh, editorial assistant
How do you wear your hair when you work out?
Written on June 20, 2011 at 7:52 am , by April Franzino
Many a dermatologist have professed that it’s best not to wear makeup at the gym because it can clog your pores, cause bacteria buildup on your skin, and various other ugly side-effects. Yet many of us do it anyway—including our own staffers. We asked the ladies of FITNESS whether they wear makeup at the gym, and here’s what they said:
- “No makeup, what’s the point? I’m there to work out, not to win a beauty pageant!”—Julia Savacool, articles director
- “Only mascara—I wear glasses, but it’s usually too sweaty to do so during a workout, so I swap in contacts and need the mascara so I don’t look sleepy. Anything else would make me feel like I was creating zits.”—Sarah D’Angelo, assistant editor
- “No, except maybe lip gloss. If I have mascara on, it usually ends up running down my face. It doesn’t feel good to have makeup on when I’m working out.”—Kathy Green, managing editor
- “I don’t do full-on eye makeup, but I definitely have to have mascara on. Gyms are lined with mirrors and I don’t want to cringe a little every time I see myself. If anything, I wear a little makeup so that I stay focused on my workout!”—Christie Griffin, digital director
- “No way! I think it would make me feel claustrophobic. I actually prefer to go au naturel as much as possible all the time, so when I’m sweating it’s a must. I can’t imagine that dripping through Spin class with mascara running down my face would look so hot, either.”—Karla Walsh, editorial assistant
- “I never go anywhere without putting on a smidge of bronzer. I’ve found that the best one that doesn’t sweat off is Bare Escentuals BareMinerals All-Over Face Color in Warmth.”—Kelly Garner, beauty intern
- “I wear mascara. Otherwise it looks like I have no eyelashes!”—Pam O’Brien, executive editor
- “I wear no makeup to the gym. It winds up coming off when I sweat anyway, and I’m there for myself—to get fit—not to impress anyone.”—Alexa Cortese, web intern
What about you—do you wear makeup during a workout?
Written on June 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm , by April Franzino
Deodorant isn’t usually a subject on which we wax rhapsodic, but we can’t help but sing the praises of Degree Clinical Protection Fine Fragrance Collection Antiperspirant/Deodorant in Sexy Intrigue. The formula not only keeps us dry through the toughest workouts and stifling New York City subway commutes, but also has the most sophisticated scent we’ve ever encountered in a deodorant: A subdued blend of jasmine and vanilla developed by Ann Glottlieb, creator of iconic fragrances like Dior J’Adore and CK One. What deodorant—and scent—do you like best?
Written on April 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm , by April Franzino
Sixty-five percent of women want their hair to look good when they go to the gym, according to Pantene. In our April Fresh Hair feature, we highlighted three flattering, speedy hairstyles that keep strands in place while you sweat. Third in our series: A loose side braid, best for long hair:
Written on April 7, 2011 at 10:15 am , by April Franzino
Sixty-five percent of women want their hair to look good when they go to the gym, according to Pantene. In our April Fresh Hair feature, we highlighted three flattering, speedy hairstyles that keep strands in place while you sweat. Next up: A bun plus headband combo, perfect for medium-length hair: