How to Protect Men’s Skin at the Gym
Acne and athlete’s foot are two of the most common skin problems that men struggle with. Did you know that your workout routine could be contributing to these issues? The good news is that both of these skin concerns can be prevented with the right pre- and post-workout skincare. Follow these five tips for healthy skin at the gym.
1. Wash Your Face before and after Your Workout
Wash your face with an appropriate cleansing product for your skin type before you work out to remove dirt, oil, and debris from the surface of your skin. Otherwise, these particles will mix with sweat and clog your pores, leading to breakouts. It is equally important that you wash your face after working out to remove sweat and bacteria. Try not to wipe away sweat with your hands during your workout, because bacteria from the gym equipment can transfer to your face and cause acne. Use a clean towel instead.
2. Don’t Forget Sunscreen
If you plan to jog outside, play tennis, or other activities outdoors, make sure you wear water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Avoid sunscreens that have avobenzone as an active ingredient because these can burn your eyes- especially when you sweat. Remember to cover commonly missed areas like your eyelids, the corners of your eyes, nose, and tips of your ears. Reapply at least every hour when outside for long periods of time. If you’re swimming, reapply sunscreen when you get out of the water.
3. Wear Shoes in the Locker Room and Shower
Many gyms have showers available in the locker room, but if you are going to use them, make sure you wear shower shoes or sandals in the shower and locker room to prevent athlete’s foot. DO NOT walk around barefooted in the locker room at the gym. The warm wet environment is a haven for funguses to grow in.
4. Protect your Skin From Infection
Use a silver containing product such as Element 47 spray or GCP Pre and post procedure cleanser on your face, body, hands and feet to protect them from bacteria, fungi and viruses found in and around gym equipment and locker rooms. Leave these products on the skin – don’t rinse them off until you get home from the gym.
5. Wash Your Hands
If you can’t take a shower right away, at least wash your hands and face after working out. There are lots of infectious organisms including the herpes virus on gym equipment, and if you touch your skin after your workout without washing your hands, you could end up with herpes, foot fungus, jock itch and other skin problems.
If you don’t have water available directly after your workout, you can use a hand sanitizer and wash your face witheith Element 47 Spray or GCP Pre and Post Procedure Cleanser. These products are suitable for all skin types.
6. Bring Your Own Towel If You Have Sensitive Skin
Gyms use strong laundry detergents to prevent transmission of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in their towels. However, if you have sensitive skin, these detergents can lead to redness and stinging of the skin. You should bring your own towel to the gym to prevent skin irritation if this is a concern for you.
7. Shave after Your Workout, Not Before
My male patients often ask me, “Should I shave my face before or after I work out?” You should shave afterwards, and it is best if you can wait until any facial redness is gone before shaving. Shaving causes tiny cuts in the skin that make you more susceptible to infections and skin irritations. When your face is red after working out, it is more likely for you to get inflammation from shaving.
Taking care of your skin before and after your workout can be as simple as following these quick steps. If you’re still having trouble with acne or other skin issues, talk to a Skin Type Solutions physician partner in your area to find out your Baumann Skin Type and find the right treatment products for your skin type and needs.
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