Working out can do wonders for your body and your mood. But working up a sweat without taking care of your skin can lead to a new world of problems, including breakouts, irritation, infections and more. Break these five bad skincare habits and make the most out of each workout.
Bad Habit #1: Not Pulling Your Hair Back
If you have longer hair, make sure that you pull your hair back when you work out. Not only will pulling your hair out of your face with a headband or a ponytail help you focus on your workout, but it will also help you avoid sticky and pore-clogging hair products from transferring to your skin as your sweat.
Bad Habit # 2: Touching Your Face at the Gym
It’s a fact: Even the cleanest of gyms and workout facilities are breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria. Sharing equipment often means swapping sweat with strangers. Touching your face after touching a weight machine or piece of cardio equipment can transfer bacteria to your face, causing breakouts and even spreading illness-causing germs.
Bad Habit #3: Going Barefoot in the Locker Room and Showers
Athlete’s Foot (also known as Tinea Pedis) is caused by a mold-like fungus that thrives in warm, dark and damp environments – like between your toes. That means it’s scarily easy to pick up Athlete’s Foot in other warm, damp environments like around the deck of a pool or in a locker room. Wearing rubber flip flops in locker rooms, public showers and around the pool can help prevent infection. Already itching? Banish Athlete’s Foot by cleansing your feet with an anti-bacterial soap and applying an anti-fungal lotion or spray at least twice a day.
Bad Habit #4: Not Making Sunscreen Part of Your Fitness Routine
If your Crossfit Box takes you outside, your run or ride means you head to the hills, or your swim lets you make a splash outdoors, you need to make applying a water-proof and sweat-proof sunscreen part of your fitness routine. Not only will using a sunscreen before heading outdoors prevent sunburns, but it can also help ward off future damage.
Bad Habit #5: Working Out Without Cleaning Up
You might have an awesome power clean, but keeping the rest of your workout clean is essential. Working out in yesterday’s sweaty gear won’t just lead to an unpleasant odor, but can also trap an assortment of bacteria fungus against your skin and cause infection and irritation. It’s also essential to wash your face both before and after your workout. Washing before can remove heavy foundations and products that might clog your pores as you sweat, while washing up afterward can remove your session’s sweat.
Looking for more skincare tips? Check out our lists of 10 Sneaky Causes of Breakouts and 7 Simple Skincare Tips for Men for Dr. Doppelt-approved advice on keeping your skin clear and healthy.