It's no secret that exercise benefits your skin as much as the rest of your body. But if you don't properly prepare, it could wreak havoc on it. From breakouts to clogged pores, getting sweaty can exacerbate these issues. Luckily, sticking to a routine for pre- and post-exercise can make these much less likely. Check out our tips for maintaining your complexion as you bask in the post-workout body glow!

BEFORE

Remove makeup thoroughly before you work out.

You could also skip wearing it beforehand altogether if you’re an early riser, but we know so many of us are hitting the gym during lunch, after work, or whenever we can squeeze it in. Your pores open up when you sweat, so if you’re wearing makeup, it’s a no-brainer they’ll get clogged up with oil and grime during a heavy workout sesh.

Skip the potential for breakouts by working out with a freshly cleansed face. (Our Multi-Phase Makeup Remover called and said it might just be the perfect addition to your pre-workout routine.)For a next-level clean, you should also exfoliate prior to working out, ensuring there is literally nothing left behind to get stuck in your pores.

If you’re at the gym, wipe down equipment before you use it.

Equipment at the gym is full of bacteria. If you accidentally touch your face or body, you’re transporting it right onto your skin. We recommend stocking up on antibacterial wipes so you can easily rub down any gear at the gym prior to using it.

DURING

Be aware of your face and hair.

Even if you’ve wiped down equipment, do your best to avoid touching your face while you work out. Skip headbands or bandanas worn across the forehead because they’ll naturally collect oil. If you really love your headband or bandana though, wear it further back along your hairline to keep the hair off your face without being as close to your skin.

AFTER

Take off your workout clothes ASAP!

This might seem obvious, but just in case it’s not: get out of those clothes! The type of clothing that’s best for working out (think moisture-wicking) isn’t typically breathable, so it can trap dead skin, oil, and dirt on your body. Shudder!

Wash your face as soon as possible and do it gently.

A gentle hydrating cleanser like our Hydra-Therapy Foaming Cleanse is your perfect post-workout face wash. Serious scrubbing and exfoliating is generally to be avoided, as your skin after exercise is a little more fragile and prone to irritation. It’s probably fine to exfoliate if you haven’t done so already in the day, but if exfoliating is part of your morning ritual or pre-workout routine, it’s best to stick to once a day.

Indulge in a full routine if you have the time and inclination!

At minimum, you gotta cleanse your face post-workout. But if you have time, pamper yourself with a full ritual. Post-workout, your complexion is primed to absorb all the benefits of the skincare products in your routine.

Start with the double cleanse of your choice, then use a toner to help close those pores. Try our hydrating Hydraphel Skin Supplement or brightening White Marble Essence Lotion, which both contain comfrey root to soothe sensitive or irritated skin while encouraging cell repair and renewal. Next up is your serum; our Hydra-Therapy Boost Serum takes hydration to the next level, perfect for your post-workout dehydrated skin. Last but not least, top it off with a weightless, SPF-loaded moisturizer like our Phelityl Day Lotion SPF 15 to keep your skin balanced andprotected from the sun.

Don’t forget to wash your body.

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with getting out of those tight workout clothes. You’ve lavished all this attention on your beautiful face – don’t forget your body, too! Use the gym shower and take a quick one to avoid clogged up pores that can result in unwanted body acne.

AT ALL TIMES

Stay hydrated and sleep well.

We had to say it, just ‘cause it’s so important: no matter how well you’re keeping your skin hydrated with products, don’t forget to actually drink some water too. Drink up before, during, and after your workout, not only to quench your thirst but also to help keep your skin clean, clear, and well-functioning! And of course, if you’re not well-rested, your workout performance won’t be optimal, either. (If you need a primer on sleep facts, read our guide on how sleep your impacts on your skin health!)

In fact, a really good sweat session actually helps your body produce more collagen, which keeps your skin feeling firm and looking youthful. Don’t let that glow go to waste! When it’s time to hit the gym, make the most of your workout by prepping your skin before, during, and after for optimum results.