For most of us, our post-workout glow consists of blotchy skin, frizzy hair, and morphing into a smelly fountain of sweat—not to mention a scroll of skin issues that make us feel like we’re in high school again. And while you’ve known how to wash your face for eons, making a few simple tweaks to your routine can help keep “gym face” to a minimum.
Here’s how to wash your face post-workout so your skin doesn’t retaliate:
1. Take off your makeup
Especially if you’re squeezing in a sweat sesh during your workday, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working out with your makeup on. However, the makeup and sweat can cause a buildup of excess oil and clog your pores big-time. Even something as simple as using a face wipe beforehand can make all the difference in how your skin handles your workout.
2. Wear a sweatband
If you tend to break out on your forehead after a workout, it’s likely to do with your hair products: When you sweat, the oils from your ‘do can drip down and clog your pores. Put the kibosh on these pesky breakouts by wearing a sweatband. It’ll be like the ’80s all over again.
3. Be gentle
Post-workout, use a gentle face wash that contains soothing ingredients like tea tree oil, probiotics, fruit acids, or chamomile extract. Wash your face right away so the bacteria, dirt and oil from your sweat sesh doesn’t clog your pores and make your skin look blech.
4. Wash with lukewarm water
The lower temperature will help you cool down. Plus, the hotter the water, the more your skin will dry out.
5. Pat your face dry
Rubbing your skin with a towel can leave it irritated. Instead, pat your skin dry and spritz yourself with a soothing face mist to calm your skin even more.
6. Cool off
Washing your face after exercising is uber-important, but you should hold off on using your moisturizer or makeup until after your skin has cooled down completely: Post-workout, your oil glands have a tendency to secrete, so if you put your skin care products on right away, you run the risk of clogging your pores. But don’t fret: It’ll only take about 10 minutes or so to cool, after which you can get back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Exercise image via Shutterstock