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post workout skincare

Post Workout Skincare

Working up a sweat is amazing for your skin but only if you get your post workout skincare right! If you want to avoid breakouts, congestion, and irritation after hitting the gym, read on.

How working out benefits your skin 

Exercise doesn’t just benefit your muscles and mind, it energises your skin too.

Increases circulation

When you exercise blood circulation is increased around your body which means your skin receives a boost in oxygen and nutrients. Plus, who doesn’t love a post gym glow!

Encourages lymphatic drainage

Sweating it out also stimulates lymphatic drainage which helps detoxify your body and skin. During a workout, your body releases toxins through your pores in the form of sweat. 

Post workout skincare tips to avoid breakouts, congestion, and irritation

While good things are happening to your skin when you exercise if you don’t take care with your post workout skincare routine - you’ll undo all the benefits!

Exercise makeup free

Your best post workout skin actually starts before you hit the treadmill.

The golden rule for pre workout skincare is to avoid wearing makeup while working out, especially foundations, bronzers, blushes, and any heavy oil-based cosmetics.

When you sweat while working out, the sweat mixes with the oils on your skin - including oil from cosmetics.

This combination of sweat and oil makes for the perfect pore-clogging combination.

Cleanse your skin ASAP after exercise

When it comes to after workout skincare, the most crucial thing is to cleanse your skin as soon as possible to wash away oil, sweat, and bacteria.

Choose a gentle cleanser to avoid irritating your face. Exercise heats your body up and your pores open which can leave skin extra vulnerable to irritation shortly after a workout.

Cleanse and rinse with cool or lukewarm water so you don’t make a red post workout face even redder!

Avoid exfoliation immediately after working out

Using an exfoliator isn’t something we recommend in your post workout skincare routine. Skin is extra sensitive immediately after exercise and a strong exfoliating session may irritate the skin barrier.

Only use makeup wipes in an ‘emergency’

Think the best post workout skincare tip is keeping a stash of makeup wipes in your gym kit?

Think again. Relying only on makeup wipes to cleanse after exercising isn’t the best option for your skin.

Makeup wipes are loaded with preservatives for the purpose of stopping mould and these ingredients can cause skin to become inflamed and dry.

Plus, even the best post workout wipes won’t do the job a proper cleanse - only use them if you absolutely don’t have time to wash your face properly.

Have a sensitive skin type? We recommend skipping them altogether.

A better alternative to makeup wipes is dampening a cotton pad in micellar water for a quick, post workout wipe until you get the chance to cleanse properly.


Exercising outdoors? Sunscreen is a must! If you applied sunscreen as part of your morning routine (and yes, you should be!) but you’re working out in the afternoon, top up with a fresh application.

Best basic post workout skincare routine

Your post workout skincare routine will depend on when you exercise.

If you workout first thing in the morning, you’d likely follow your usual morning routine post exercise.

But what if you work out in the afternoon or midday? Your skin can’t wait until your evening routine for attention or you’ll risk breakouts and congestion.

We’ve put together a guide for a basic routine to follow immediately after exercise to keep skin fresh and clear plus recommended post workout skincare products.

Step 1 - Cleanse

As we mentioned above, cleansing as soon as possible after your workout is key to keep skin healthy and pores clear. The longer the mix of sweat, oil, and debris sits on your face the more likely it is to clog pores.

We recommend: The Uncomplicated Cleanser or The Uncomplicated Cleanser Plus Anti-Redness.

Perfect for all skin types and concerns, The Uncomplicated Cleanser helps to balance skin and won’t leave it dry or tight, just clean, calm, and supple.

The Uncomplicated Cleanser Plus Anti-Redness is deal to address skin prone to redness, inflammation, and sensitivity, this cleanser balances skin and delivers an improvement in redness.

Step 2 - Moisturise

Follow up with a light moisturiser or facial oil containing antioxidants and vitamins to nourish skin.

We recommend: Acai Skin Balancing Face Oil

Ideal for all skin types with dehydration concerns, this nourishing oil can replace moisturiser to improve tone, calm, and hydrate while regulating oil flow.

Step 3 (Day time) - Reapply SPF

Heading back out into the sun or an office with windows? Don’t forget to apply SPF after your moisturising step.

We recommend: Skin Shield Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

Comfortable, non-greasy SPF coverage for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

Step 3 (Evening / optional) - Apply a calming, soothing mask

One way to turn your post workout skincare routine into a little self-care time is to apply a face mask.

Exercise plus a calming mask is a wonderful way to treat yourself and your skin. The key is to avoid any exfoliating mask treatments, stick with those that are hydrating and calming.

We recommend: Anti-inflammation Mint Gel Booster Mask

Instantly cools the discomfort of red, irritated skin while shutting down inflammation and breakouts with powerful natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

If you have more questions about your skin care after a workout, reach out to our team of Skin Consultants. We’re here to help!

Post workout skincare infographic