Pre Workout & Post Workout Skincare Guide

by Emily Linehan on January 14, 2020

Does sweat help your skin? 

The answer is yes! Not only is breaking a sweat great for your body, but sweat actually helps purify and rejuvenate your skin. 

That being said, there is a way to “sweat smart” for your skin. 

Why do I need a pre workout & post workout skincare routine? 

Sweating with dirty skin or spending too much time in your sweaty skin post workout can have harmful effects. 

Never fear -- your pre workout and post workout skincare guide is here! 

To help you sweat smarter for your skin, I created these Workout Skin Care Guides. They include different scenarios so you can customize your pre workout and post workout skincare routine based on your exercise preferences. 

Here are the quick and dirty -- or should I say -- quick and sweaty details!

Pre Workout Skincare Tips

Performing a quick cleanse and moisturizing your skin before you workout is important for a few reasons. 

  • Wash Off Yesterday’s Skincare Products: If you workout first in the morning, you need to remove any active skin products (e.g. acne treatments, retinol, AHA’s, etc) from the night before. This is because your sweat can reactivate these products, causing dryness and irritation. 
  • Remove Pore-Clogging Makeup: If you workout with makeup on, this can prevent the sweat from surfacing and clog your pores. To make matters worse, wiping your sweat with a towel while wearing makeup can push bacteria deeper into your pores. This triggers breakouts! 

The Bottom Line? Start your workout with clean, product-free skin. 

Post Workout Skincare Tips

Sweating With Acne

Not performing a post workout skincare routine is a major acne trigger. 

Your post workout sweat creates a perfect breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria to grow rapidly. 

Recommended Skincare Regimen: On the days you workout, perform your post workout skincare routine within 5 minutes of finishing your exercises. 

Sweating with Dry or Sensitive Skin

While I agree sweatpants are comfy, don’t hang out in your sweaty pants post workout!

Extended exposure to sweat can cause dry, irritated skin and age skin prematurely.

Think about when we salt veggies or cure meat to pull the moisture out of these foods. In the same way, the salt in our sweat pulls moisture from our skin and rapidly dehydrates it.

Dehydrated skin can look 10 years older than hydrated skin, appearing crepey and wrinkled.

The salt in our sweat is also irritating to our skin and can cause our skin to be more sensitive over time. 

A telltale skin of this irritation is when your skin starts to sting while you sweat. 

Recommended Skincare Regimen: Prevent dehydration and increased sensitivity by performing your post-workout skin routine within 5 minutes of finishing your exercises. 

Sweat and Anti-Aging

It’s commonly known that sweat is a waste product of the body. It helps remove the toxins. 

However, if you allow the sweat on your skin to dry on your face, these toxins will reabsorb into your skin and create oxidative stress. This leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin -- No thank you!

To make things worse, exposing your skin to harmful toxins will contribute to premature aging and irritation. In other words, it’s the equivalent of sitting in a dirty diaper.

Recommended Skincare Regimen: Perform your post-workout skin routine within 5 minutes of finishing your exercises. 

Remember, working out includes time at the gym or yoga studio before driving home. 

On any day you workout, do the following: 

  • Perform your morning skincare regimen (If you workout in the morning, this counts as your pre workout skincare routine)
  • Perform your post workout skincare regimen 
  • Perform your nighttime skincare regimen

If you follow these guides, healthy, glowing skin is “no sweat”!


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