You train and compete day in and day out, pushing your body to its limits. But did you know that all of the intense physical activity and sweat can cause damage to your skin? From chafing and dehydration to sunburns and dullness, there are many things to consider regarding skincare for athletes.
The good news is that caring for your skin doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With the right products, a basic skincare routine, and some simple tips, you can easily keep your skin healthy and hydrated no matter how tough the training gets. In this article, we’ll show you why sweating the small stuff matters regarding your skin.
How Sweat Affects Your Skin
If you’re a serious athlete, sweating is part of the job. Sweat is your body’s way of cooling itself down after strenuous physical activity, but the effects of it can take a toll on your skin if you’re not careful.
Your body contains salt, water, and other minerals, which can build up in the sweat that builds on your skin. This combination leads to dryness and irritation and, if left unchecked, can even lead to breakouts and sunburns.
Managing this sweat-related messiness as part of your skincare routine is essential. Regularly cleaning off sweat right after activity, and then again following a shower, can help minimise irritation and keep your skin free of dirt that can clog pores and cause breakouts. A plant-based moisturiser will also replenish lost moisture from perspiration without creating a greasy feeling. Finally, don’t forget the SPF! Reapplying sunscreen (especially on your neck) throughout the day when you know you will be sweating a lot helps prevent sunburns caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays mixed with sweat.
Pre-Activity Skincare: Before You Start Training
The first step of effective sweatproof skin care is pre-activity skincare. Before you start training or competing, care for your skin for a few minutes.
To make sure your sweat doesn’t overstress your skin, use a gentle cleanser, one that’s specifically designed for athletes and will help remove sweat and dirt without drying out the skin. It’s also essential to practice good hydration to keep your skin healthy; drinking water before, during and after activities will help increase moisture levels in the skin while helping to cool it down.
Before heading outside, apply a moisturiser with sunscreen and a lip balm containing SPF. The sunscreen acts as an invisible barrier against the sun’s damaging rays, while the lip balm will protect your lips against sunburn and windburn, which are more common among athletes than most people realise.
Tips for Staying Hydrated During Intense Activity
When you’re training hard, staying hydrated is essential, not only for your physical health but also for your skin. Sweating is the body’s way of regulating temperature, so it’s necessary to replenish lost fluids while exercising.
Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated during intense activity:
- Ensure you drink before you get thirsty; avoiding dehydration helps your skin stay healthy. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
- Pack a water bottle wherever you go; it’s easy to forget if it’s not already with you. Keep a reusable water bottle on hand to always stay hydrated.
- Choose electrolyte-rich drinks like sports drinks, coconut water, or natural juices; these all have added minerals that help rehydrate and nourish the skin after exercise.
- Have snacks like nuts or fruits that contain natural salts that help replenish electrolytes and other essential nutrients your skin needs post-sweat session!
Post-Workout Skin Care: Immediately After Training
Good news: Sweating the small stuff can also help you look after your skin after a workout. When you are done training, hop into the shower, you don’t have to wait for it to cool down. Remember, it’s not about the heat but about getting rid of excess sweat and bacteria on your skin.
After showering, it’s essential to replenish lost hydration with a moisturiser that works with your skin type. Look for one specifically designed for athletes, as those formulas contain ingredients to minimise irritation caused by vigorous activity.
And if you’re looking for additional protection against environmental factors, like UV rays and pollution, opt for one formulated with natural antioxidants and SPF protection.
Finally, don’t forget to use your recovery products immediately – they can help reduce inflammation and limit free radical damage during intense workouts.
After a workout, it’s essential to practice some self-care.
Taking the time to care for your body with the right products can improve recovery. Muscle recovery balms can help reduce inflammation and muscle fatigue while hydrating and nourishing your skin at the same time.
Look for muscle recovery balms formulated with natural ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera and essential oils. These ingredients work together to help soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation. They also help nourish the skin and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
A muscle recovery balm after intense workouts can help reduce the body’s temperature and inflammation and help soothe the pain and discomfort associated with sore muscles. The cream also acts as an occlusive, helping seal any moisture lost from sweating and providing essential nutrients to help keep the skin healthy and hydrated.
Combining hydration and nourishment, muscle recovery balms are a great way to help protect your skin from the harsh effects of intense workouts. You can improve your physical and mental health by taking the time to care for your skin. So don’t forget to sweat the small stuff and give yourself the care you deserve.
Amp up your skincare routine today by sweating the small stuff – you’ll be amazed at how quickly your skin recovers!
Sun Protection While Training and Competing
Regarding skin care for athletes, don’t forget the importance of sun protection. Every health organisation recommends it, but it’s essential if you’re an athlete who enjoys outdoor activities like running or swimming.
Applying sunscreen before and after a workout is a must! Even if you’re an evening runner or swimmer, you could still be exposed to harmful UV rays and should ensure you wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Also, ensure your sunscreen is waterproof/sweatproof to hold up as you train and compete.
Protective Clothing & Accessories
Another way to protect your skin from the sun when training outdoors is with clothing and accessories like hats, sunglasses and UPF-rated clothing with extra coverage (such as a long-sleeved shirt). This type of clothing blocks most UV rays from reaching your skin and can help protect against sunburn, wrinkles, age spots and other skin damage caused by sun exposure.
Protecting Your Skin From Chafing & Windburn
When you’re training and competing, it’s important to sweat the small stuff when caring for your skin. You want to protect yourself from windburn, chafing and other skin irritations that extreme weather conditions can cause.
Choose a moisturiser with SPF and a lightweight base like almond oil that absorbs quickly into your skin to protect yourself from windburn. Make sure to reapply every two hours outdoors, as the SPF wears off after this time. This will help keep your skin safe from sun damage, even on cooler days when the sun is less intense.
Chafing is also a real issue for athletes and can cause painful irritation, so you must take steps to prevent it before it occurs. Some of the best ways to prevent chafing include:
- Choose fabrics made with soft synthetic material that wicks away moisture.
- Use skin lubricants or balms designed for athletes to reduce friction and hydrate your skin.
- Ensure all clothing fits appropriately, and avoid too tight or loose pieces, as this can cause painful rubbing on delicate areas like the inner thighs or chest area.
- Wear protective clothing such as arm sleeves, hats or long-sleeve shirts if you plan on being outside for long periods in extreme weather conditions such as cold temperatures or strong winds.
Sweat is Not Your Enemy
In summary, skincare for athletes is essential to get the most out of your training and competing. Simple habits such as regularly applying sunscreen, and moisturiser, washing your skin, and wearing a wide-brimmed hat can protect your skin and keep it looking great.
Perhaps the most important takeaway is that sweat is not your enemy. Sweat is integral to proper skin care, as it helps keep skin calm, hydrates it, and flushes bacteria away. By taking reasonable steps to ensure your skin is correctly cared for, you can ensure that your hard work in training and competing pays off with skin that looks and feels great.