Read a dermatologist’s skin care advice for exercise lovers and gym goers keen on maintaining a healthy, glowing complexion. 

Working out in the gym usually benefits the skin, due to the overall improvement in health. But it’s a good idea to follow a good skin care and hair care routine. This ensures you don’t develop breakouts, which commonly occur after a sweaty exercise session.

Here are some pointers:

#1 Don’t touch your face too often during a workout. This is risky, since your hands also come in contact with the gym equipment. You may pick up a bacterial infection, which leads to a breakout.  So try to keep your hands off your face while working out. Use a clean towel to wipe the sweat.

#2 Remove all the makeup and wash your face before working out. Use sunscreen if you are working out outdoors. Don’t use any cream otherwise. After the workout, wash your face, drink water and moisturise your skin. Use sunscreen if you are heading out in the sun.

#3 Don’t over-scrub the body after sweating heavily. Don’t be repulsed by your own sweat!  Use a soft soap for bathing, and moisturize well after drying off.  Use tepid water on your face and body. Very hot water tends to increase the dryness.

#4 Keep your underarms hair-free. You can shave or wax them regularly.  Laser hair reduction for the underarms is a good option for gym goers, as it reduces the bacterial proliferation after excessive sweating. In addition, you can even opt for laser treatment if you sweat excessively.

#5 Maintain your hair. Like to wash your hair after a workout? Go ahead, but don’t use shampoo daily. This washes off your natural oils, so rinse in plain tepid water instead.  Your hair should not come in contact with your face while working out, so tie it up, but not too tightly .

#6 Make sure you eat nutritious food, lots of fruit, and hydrate daily.  Nothing can beat the combination of a wholesome diet, when it comes to a glowing complexion. This truly is the golden rule of skin care!

Dr. Indu Ballani is a cosmetic dermatologist, and CEO of Ballani Skin and Hair Aesthetics.