Hitting the gym is great for your figure, but for your skin and hair? Not so much. Regardless of whether you have a hot trainer or a super packed schedule, we all want to look as good as we feel while getting fit. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best beauty tips to keep you looking sexy before, after, and even during your workout. See you at the gym, girls!
1. Sport a Braided High Bun
For the perfect summer beach waves post elliptical ass-kicking, create a high ponytail using a bungee cord hair band, then braid the tail and twist it into a bun, recommends NYC-based hair stylist Davide Marinelli. “After you're done exercising, blast the damp bun with the Cricket Friction Free Travel Dryer (easy to toss in your gym bag and only costs $36.99), spray with dry shampoo, and let locks down.” Voila, all done!
2. Pin Your Bangs Back
If you expect to work up a sweat during your workout (hey, that’s the goal, right?), pin your bangs back or wear a sweatband. “This will prevent sweat from getting trapped on your forehead, causing breakouts. It’ll also make refreshing your hair much easier afterwards,” explains Dr. Gold, dermatologist and founder of Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
A chic headband that fits snuggly without cramping your style can keep hair off of other spots that get really wet as well, such as the back of your neck, adds celebrity stylist and owner of Danka Panka in NYC Dan Sharp.
3. Avoid Makeup
“Most makeup will clog pores by not allowing your skin to breathe naturally during workouts,” says Megan Franks, esthetician and operations manager at Paradise Skin Products. If you insist though, consider wearing something of the mineral variety. “These foundations aren’t as heavy on the skin and will allow it to function more naturally.”
Alternatively, if you want your foundation to last through your final push on the treadmill, licensed esthetician and founder of EyebrowMBA and Everyday Esthetics, Pamela Jeschonek, suggests trying one with a silicone-based ingredient. Look for ingredients ending in –cone, such as dimethicone. “These ingredients will allow the perspiration to trickle down your skin without taking your foundation with it. A favorite of makeup artists on a budget is Revlon Colorstay which can be found in any drug store.”
Again though, if you don’t have to wear it, don’t!
4. B.Y.O.T. (Bring Your Own Towel)
“Using the same towel you use to wipe off workout equipment can transfer another person’s bacteria to your face,” says Franks. (Yuck!) To avoid undesirable skin issues, bring a soft clean towel, and use it exclusively for your face.
If you happen to be wearing foundation, gently dab, don’t rub or wipe, to get rid of sweat, adds celebrity makeup artist Stacey Ellis of Byu-ti Salon.
5. Use a Humidity Blocker
6. Wear Loose Attire
“Tight spandex clothing can lead to skin infections with bacteria and fungi,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC. “Wear loose clothing that will also help wick away the sweat so that it doesn’t stick to your skin.” Oh, and don’t forget to clean out your gym bag and wash your gym clothes every day as well!
7. Clean Up With Baby Wipes
If you don’t have time to shower between the gym and your next destination, Kentucky-based personal trainer and co-owner of J&M Strength and Conditioning, Molly Galbraith, suggests giving your body a quick wipe down with fragrance free baby wipes. “Focus on your feet and underneath the arms especially,” she notes, “and use a washcloth with cool water to rinse off your face. You’ll feel instantly refreshed.”
8. Apply a Leave-In Conditioner
Going for a swim? Make sure to apply a leave-in conditioner afterwards to protect your hair from damage. Choose one like Infusium 23 Repair and Renew Leave-in Treatment, and spray on post-swim to keep strands healthy and ward off chlorine damage.
9. Use Dry Shampoo
“Prepping your hair before you exercise is just as important as what you do to it after,” says celebrity hairstylist Cesar Ramirez. So here’s a little tip: “Use dry shampoo before you hit the gym to keep hair oils and sweat under control during your workout. You’ll be ready to run out of the locker room much faster afterwards!”
“Drink plenty of water before you work out so you can flush out all of your toxins, aiding in great skin,” says celebrity facialist and owner of Belle Visage Day Spa in Studio City, Tina Keshishian.
“Keeping yourself hydrated is also a great way to increase circulation, which promotes healthy hair growth and shine,” adds Blowlux head stylist T’Nique Jones.