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Perfect Skin Care Routine for Exercise

Perfect Skin Care Routine for Exercise - Harben House


You shouldn’t have to choose between clear skin and a fit lifestyle. Whether you are sweating it out inside a spin class or running outdoors, perspiring during a workout can wreck your complexion. We will breakdown these breakouts and help you choose the products right for you. 

Acne occurs for many reasons, but bacteria and over exfoliation are two of the most prominent causes of acne. Both of which can be rooting from your workout skincare routines.


1. Wash your face with a simple cleanser right before your workout

You want to make sure that you have a completely clean face before you break a sweat. Pick a detoxifying cleanser that will ensure there is nothing clogging pores pre-workout. You don’t want to use a cleansing balm or a cream cleanser during this cleanse because you want to ensure that your skin is left clear and clean without any oily residues.

Any surface bacteria will need to be stripped away pre-exercise. You also do not want to use any cleanser that is too exfoliating during this cleanse because you don’t want to cause your skin to become overly dry and/or overly sensitized.

Expert Choices:
EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser ($24.50)
Osmosis Purifying Enzyme Cleanser ($21)
SkinMedica Facial Cleanser ($38)

2. Wash your face immediately after your workout with an antimicrobial gentle cleanser

After your workout, you want to wash away all impurities that have surfaced. Since you have cleansed twice in a short period of time, it’s important to not strip your skin of natural oils, which can be caused by over cleansing. Therefore, using a cleanser that will wash away any bacteria without causing the skin to become dehydrated.

Expert Choices:
Skinbetter Daily Enzyme Cleanser ($38)
Osmosis Gentle Cleanser ($21)

3. Let your skin breathe 

Before you start applying products, it’s important to let your skin breathe for a few minutes after cleansing. You can apply a soothing or calming toner like Revision Soothing Facial Rinse to help calm your skin during this cool down period. Because your pores open during this time, they can easily be clogged by products with a large molecular size.  

Expert Tip:
The exception to the rule above are growth factors. Growth factors have a small molecular size (relative to others), which should not clog pores and cause breakouts. Growth factors are absorbed through pores, so while your pores are open, it is an optimal time to use these serums.

4. Apply a Lightweight or Ceramide-based Moisturizer

Since you are cleansing both before and right after your workout, your skin is stripped of all-natural oils. You need to replace your natural skin barrier so that you don't over produce unwanted oils. If you are acne prone, do not apply a heavy oil-based moisturizer. Instead, try a simple epidermal barrier or ceramide cream. Make sure your skin feels hydrated, but not oily. Skip all products with fragrance and dyes. Since your skin is in a delicate period, you do not want to expose your skin to toxic ingredients.

Expert Choices:
SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer ($58)
EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex ($45)

Pick the Perfect Workout Sunscreen

If you are exercising outdoors, don’t skip the SPF! However, make sure you choose a sun protection best suited for your skin type. Always pick a waterproof sunscreen to avoid sweating off your protection. Also use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF sunscreen that will not clog your pores or irritate your skin.

OILY SKIN: A great pick for oily skin is the jane iredale Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen Brush. This is the perfect powder sunscreen that you can dust on before and during your workout. With proper application, this powder sunscreen is just as effective as its lotion counterparts. 

DRY SKIN: Patients with dryer skin types, especially in dryer and cooler climates, should use a physical and waterproof sunscreen. EltaMD UV Physical 41 is a perfect one for most since it is 100% mineral sunscreen and waterproof. It is slightly tinted, so it helps combat redness.

DOUBLE PROTECTION: SkinMedica Total Defense and Repair SPF 50 is a great waterproof sunscreen because it contains ingredients that also protects against environmental damage as well as sun damage. This product is perfect if you are running in a city or in an area with lots of outdoor pollution in the air. 

BODY PROTECTION: Don’t ever skip your body sunscreen when outdoors. Cover or apply SPF to all areas exposed to the sun. Most skin cancer is found in body areas, so be sure to protect yourself. For easy application, try EltaMd UV Aero Broad Specturm SPF 45 which is water resistant and easy to apply. 


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