Well, you’ve made it through the Flirty Thirties and now here you are in the Sporty Forties. I call them that because many people who have not thought much about fitness seem to arrive at the conclusion that 40-something is the age to start actually paying attention to where their bodies are headed.
This article is not about a fitness routine, but the care your skin needs before, during, and after your workout. So walk, don’t run, to your nearest gym or spinning class and while you look after your body, I’ll see what I can do to help you look after your skin.
Skincare Tips For 40-Something – What to Do
Before Work Out:
- One of the very first rules of gym skincare is to remove makeup before exercising. It may be tempting to dash straight from work and jump on that treadmill, but by not removing your makeup, your pores are at risk of becoming blocked as the makeup products combine with dead skin cells, dirt and excess sebum (oil secreted by the sebaceous gland at the base of a pore). These are all mixed together with a good dose of sweat, so giving your skin a good cleanse avoids this mess and ensures that your skin is prepared before you hit that treadmill.
- If washing your face before your workout is impossible because the gym lacks the proper facilities, or you are a runner and your gym is the local park, make sure you carry a packet of oil-based cleansing tissues; they will significantly reduce the possibility of clogged pores and acne. After cleansing, apply a light moisturizer with sufficient sunscreen to keep your skin protected from UV (ultra-violet) rays.
- For more information on how exercising affects your skin check out the How Stuff Works
- Carry a pack of anti-bacterial wipes to clean off the equipment before you begin. This will reduce the risk of transferring bacteria contaminated sweat left by previous users to your own skin or face as you use the machines.
- During your routine, avoid wiping sweat from your face with your hands; instead use a clean towel and pat your face dry.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout exercising, to replenish the moisture that you lose through sweating.
- There are some hair care products that are oil based and when sweat causes them to travel down your face or back, they can clog the pores causing skin irritation or acne. Either refrain from using these types of hair products on workout days or use some type of bandana or sweatband to keep the product-laden sweat from reaching your face. But note, if you are prone to acne or other skin blemishes, the use of something directly across the forehead is not recommended. Oil and perspiration are held against the pores and you may find that your forehead becomes irritated. If this is the case, keep your headband or bandana further back; place it over your hair just down to your hairline, not directly across the brow.
- For more information on the prevention and treatment of acne check out the Facing Acne
- Clean your face right after your workout before you leave the gym. This is one skincare rule that you should never break; you don’t want a nasty brew of dirt, oil, and sweat clinging to your skin, clogging your pores, and carrying bacteria wherever you go. A packet of oil-based cleansing tissues will come to your rescue if there’s no running water available.
- When you've finished exercising, remove sweaty clothing as soon as possible to allow your pores to breathe; experts recommend changing and showering within 30 minutes to avoid any possible breakouts and skin irritation. It may be tempting to jump into a long, hot shower to ease those aching muscles but hot water can, in point of fact, strip the skin of its essential, natural oils. Instead, go for a short lukewarm shower to rinse off and afterward, pat your skin dry leaving it a little damp and then apply a soothing body oil to lock in moisture and give your skin a nourishing lift.
Well, I’ve walked you through some tips to get you going on a skincare routine, so now it’s up to you to run with it. (See what I did there? J) Keep smiling, the aches from exercising will be worth it and your beautiful glowing skin will ensure that your mirror will smile back!