5 ways to banish ‘gym skin’

20 April 2017 by
First published: 24 September 2016

Stay fresh-faced with these 5 ways to banish ‘gym skin’. As everyone will have experienced this workout woe at some time or another – you get yourself to the gym regularly to look tip-top for your holiday only to have a dreaded outbreak of acne. ‘Why does this happen?’ we hear you cry! Well, even though sweat helps to clear the body of toxins and push out impurities, it all comes out through your pores, so leaving sweat to sit on your skin for a period of time can cause these nasties to slide back into your pores, causing blackheads and blemishes.

On a tangent, exercising hard can also have a negative effect on your skin’s collagen – so rather than exercising so strenuously that you end up damaging the skin’s elasticity, take it down a notch and work between 40 and 60 per cent of your maximum heart rate.

Here at WHL, we’ve come up with some other skin-saving tips to help you avoid an unhappy-looking complexion. Sadly, we haven’t (yet) figured out how to stop our faces turning a shade of beetroot during HIIT classes!

Ditch the make-up

Don’t panic just yet! We still want you to be able to feel good enough in your skin to flirt with your gym crush, but foundation is not your friend when it comes to working out – as it prevents impurities from leaving your skin when you sweat. This causes your pores to clog and enviably leads to breakouts. Obviously eye make-up is fine. But if you really can’t stand the thought of going to the gym with no coverage, opt for a lightweight, oil-free tinted moisturiser instead of heavy duty foundation.

Take your own yoga mat

It’s very easy for dead skin and bacteria to build up on a surface that’s being frequently used, such as a yoga mat. The thought of your own skin cells lying on your yoga mat is bad enough, never mind all the other people who have being doing the downward dog on it! So avoid all that blemish-causing bacteria by taking your own yoga mat along to the gym. Just make sure you routinely wipe it down after every session to avoid a build-up of the bad stuff. If you don’t want to drag your yoga mat with you, then simply lay a towel over the top of the one in the gym.

Avoid touching your face

One would hope that gym equipment is cleaned and wiped down after each use, but it’s never a guarantee, and we’re pretty sure the weights rack could do with going through a car wash! The gym is a breeding ground for bacteria – and we’re not talking about those sleazy guys trying to chat you up mid-rep! Cross-trainer handles, dumbbells and even doors can harbour germs and dirt. Avoid touching your face during your workout to ensure none of these nasties enter your pores and give you spots!

Cleanse straight afterwards

As natural body oils leave through the skin when we sweat, we are likely to develop a sneaky blemish or two if it’s not wiped clean. Be sure to give your skin a good scrub from top-to-toe in the shower post-workout – especially if you wear tight-fitting clothes to exercise in. If you really don’t have time for a shower, then keep a pack of Mio Skincare’s Clean Slate Workout Wipes in your gym bag. Perfect for a quick wipe down post-workout.

Use gym skin products

The skincare market is full of products specially designed with the gym-goer in mind. Your skin is the body’s biggest organ, so it’s essential you take good care of it, especially when putting it through an extensive workout. Whether you want to protect your skin from sun exposure when running outside, friction from tight-fitting Lycra or sweat when working hard, there’s a skincare product for you. We suggest investing a special gym skincare kit from Elemis – as it contains everything you need to avoid dreaded gym skin!