Friday, July 21, 2017


F A R M A C Y   |   P O S T - E X E R C I S E   S K I N C A R E
A guide to combatting not-so-glowy exercise-induced redness, breakouts, & dehydration  . . .

lthough some of us enjoy a glow after exercise, some others are more prone to breakouts caused by pores clogged with sweat & oil buildup. Whether it's an HBO-bum routine or an anti-workout regimen, sweat is inevitable. Clogged pores, on the other hand, are avoidable. As I train for a marathon in the hot humid hellfire that is Washington, D.C., here are the tips I follow to care for my skin as I care for my body with exercise . . .

Detoxify Your Skin

Exercise increases oxygenation & blood flow, heightening the benefits of a pre-exercise detoxification regimen. Before your workout, gently jumpstart this process by dry brushing your body. This sheds the skin of dead cells that clog pores, which can cause facial or back acne. It also invigorates the skin cells, allowing for greater circulation to release toxins through perspiration. The slight warming of the skin tissue that dry brushing generates also allows the muscles to relax, easing them into the demands of exercise. Grab a brush like this one, which is great for reaching harder parts such as the back, and follow these directions!

Avoid Makeup

This one might be a no-brainer for some but it's an uncomfortable challenge for many others who feel more comfortable in public with makeup on. As understandable as it is, having any makeup—from the full coverage foundation to a simple dab of under-eye concealer—can be a contributing factor to post-exercise induced pimples. As sweat drips down our face, it mixes with these ingredients along with the dead skin cells and sebum that already pose as comedogenic factors. 

Try facing the challenge of going makeup-free during exercise, which will not only allow your skin to perspire more freely but might surprisingly free you to gradually embrace your own skin as it is. 

Wash Your Face Immediately

The two things I immediately do after my runs is wash my face and stuff my face. As it's critical, especially for high-intensity or long trainings, to fuel within 20 minutes, I shower after I eat. However, I make sure to wash my face before I do so. I use a gentle cleanser, currently switching between this and this one. I love the foam of the former while the latter is infused with pearl powder to provide for softening & illumination. 

Cleanse, Calm, & Hydrate

If you sweat more profusely or are prone to clogged pores, incorporate a deeper cleansing to your post-workout skincare regimen. Double cleanse by washing your face first with a cleanser such as the two options above then an oil-based cleanser, such as this one. This will clear the sebum build-up more effectively. An oil-based cleanser might sound counter-intuitive in combatting oil, but the combination of oil to oil with water provides for the emulsion necessary to dissolve excess oil. It also reduces enlarged pores and redness, which those with rosacea or fair complexion can face post-exercise. 

Sweating dehydrates our skin, so a deeply-penetrating moisturiser that simultaneously lets the skin breathe is necessary. To allow for best absorption, follow your face wash with a spray of cult favourite thermal water, which will also provide rehydration and cooling, especially in the summer heat. Then spritz a calming toner or hydrosol such as a rose or lavender-based one to prepare the skin for and heighten the benefits of your serum & moisturiser. After your toner, pat on your water-based serum. I love this one, for which you can get 10% off if you follow this BFF link

For moisture, a light oil serum with calming ingredients like rosehip, liqourice, or zinc will create an optimal moisture balance. This Rosehip & Chamomile Calming Cream tames irritation caused by perspiration and reduces redness. 

Don't forget to also hydrate yourself from the inside out with water; coconut water; and whole foods with high water content such as cucumbers, radishes, electrolyte-balancing watermelon.