Wondering if you should wash your face before or after you work out? Whether you exercise at the same time consistently each day, or recent changes to your schedule have left you suddenly working out mid-day, we’re here to break down the best practices for you.
We recently sat down with the head of our aesthetics department, Karen Fernandez, to talk exercise and skin care and get the skinny on when and what we should be doing with our home care routine when we’re working out. Here’s what she had to say.
Your AM Workout Skincare Routine
Generally speaking if you work out first thing in the morning, you can plan to do your full skincare regimen afterwards.
“As long as you’re going to bed with clean skin, which means you’re waking up with fairly clean skin, going to work out without washing your face is the most advisable,” says Karen.
The one exception may be if you’re swimming, in which case we recommend putting SPF on before you start your workout to keep your skin protected.
Your Mid-Day Workout Skincare Routine
If you’re exercising mid-day, we recommend completing your full routine in the morning, minus the makeup - use a tinted SPF, like the Colorescience brush, instead, if you can. This will allow your skin to be mostly clean when you work out and not compound pore clogging oils.
Then, when you’re done, quickly rinse off and cleanse skin gently - even with just water for those who are not acne prone. If you don’t have time or access to a shower or you are acne prone, Karen suggests using wipes with salicylic acid to remove sweat and oils; ideally, you’d also have a friend help with your back if that has been a problem! Save your deeper clean for nighttime.
Re-apply your SPF and/or make-up and feel your best getting back to work!
Your PM Workout Skincare Routine
If you exercise in the evenings after work, wash your face or use wipes (we recommend Obagi wipes) to quickly clean your skin before you start your workout. This is especially important if you wear make-up or are oil/acne prone. If you only wear a healthy physical SPF and are not prone to breakouts, go ahead and skip the pre-cleanse!
Because over-the-counter wipes can contain irritating ingredients, we recommend medical-grade wipes like Obagi, particularly for those with sensitive skin.
Then when you get home, it's important to cleanse your face right away. Make sure to follow up with all your favorite evening products - exfoliant, Retinol, moisturizer etc.
Tips for Anytime of Day
There are some tips Karen recommends you follow, no matter what time of day you exercise. This can help to keep skin clean and hydrated, while also preventing acne.
- Wear clean work out gear.
- Clean your equipment before each use.
- Avoid touching your face,
- Drink plenty of water...all day, every day!
- Have mostly clean skin when exercising.
- Shower or rinse off after you work out, and make sure to wash your face.
- Use your own mat if you have one. If you don’t and you’re sharing with others or exercising in a common space, make sure to bring a towel to put over your mat.
- Have regular facials, when you can, including back facials. We recommend scheduling your facials one month apart if you’re in corrective mode, or every 6-8 weeks if your skin is in good shape and you’re just maintaining that. While you’re at home, we suggest trying an at-home facial and masking weekly.
Keep Your Skin Healthy at SkinSpirit
At SkinSpirit, we offer high-quality medical-grade skincare products that can help you keep your skin clean, hydrated, and acne-free when you’re working out. Shop all your favorites online here!
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.