Moving your body is one of the keys to healthy skin that gets easily overlooked when we’re focusing on nutrition and skin care products. But movement— whatever form of exercise speaks to you— is powerful, and essential, to achieve your best skin. Whether you’re settling back into a gym routine this fall, or ramping up your workouts at home, we have some advice on keeping your skincare routine healthy. Read on, for your healthiest skin at the gym (tips apply to home workouts too!):

Healthy Skin at the Gym

During your gym workout, try not to touch your skin, as your hands have likely been handling some germ-laded equipment. Instead, have a soft towel on hand to wipe away sweat. You could use towels provided by your gym, but we often prefer to pack our own (we love organic cotton or organic bamboo), since towels at the gym are most often cleaned with bleach and other harsh agents. Same goes for our post-workout towels: we bring our own!

After a workout, we recommend that you use tepid water— nothing too cold or hot, even if it feels great on your muscles!— so as not to overdry your skin. Remember, one of the best things about exercise is perspiration. Sweat dripping from your pores means major release of toxins, and you don’t want to want to go adding them right back in with industrial-grade products found in most locker rooms! Tempting as it might be to free up space in your gym bag, using the conventional body wash or hair products in shower dispenser may not turn out well. Decant a small sample of the products that you already know and love, and aim for simple, gentle cleansing products for your skin after a workout— skip the complicated essential oil blends.

Even after you shower and start to cool down, your skin must be able to continue sweating and detoxifying, so we recommend making sure that your products are lightweight and don’t contain occlusive emollients. Opt for products that contain “dry” oils rather than butters and waxes for moisture.

Post-workout skin may still be carrying heat, so favor products and foods that can help cool your body and skin naturally. Cucumber, one of our favorite cooling foods to eat and apply, is a timeless choice. We love this ‘Cool as a Cucumber DIY Facial Toner’ recipe from the NAA’s Rachael Pontillo for our post-gym routines.

If you tend to get sore after workouts, we recommend adding a post-workout shake to your gym bag— specifically one that contains collagen and hyaluronic acid. Collagen helps the muscles and connective tissue repair itself after a strenuous workout, and hyaluronic acid’s strong humectant properties are excellent for keeping every cell in the body hydrated; it doesn’t hurt that these are also fantastic for skin health overall! A post-workout bath soak with Epsom salts can also help ease muscle soreness, as can adding a little extra anti-inflammatory turmeric or ginger to your morning smoothie.

Ready to refresh your gym skin routine?

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What are your favorite skin care items for use at the gym?

How do your cool your body and skin after an intense workout?