Save face with my four favorite straightforward steps for healthier skin.
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It’s no secret that a great workout is good for your health. It’s also no secret that workouts can sometimes contribute to unwanted breakouts, dry skin, and the appearance of fine lines. While seemingly unavoidable, there are skincare routines you can practice after your workout to keep you hydrated and luminescent. We asked Dermatologist’s Choice founder and award-winning dermatologist, Dr. B, for recommendations for avoiding post-workout acne, preventing wrinkles, and maintaining glowing skin. Here’s everything you need to know.
According to Dr. B, “Leaving excess sweat on the skin can lead to infections and clogged
pores which cause stubborn acne.” So after that hardcore cycling class, the last thing you should do is go straight to lunch without cleansing. “Immediately after exercise, when the face is sweaty and oily, use Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to cleanse your pores of sweat and oil to prevent and treat acne breakouts and fine lines.” What’s a glycolic peel cleansing pad, you ask? These powerful pads cleanse and remove sweat, oil, and debris that collects on your skin during a workout. The result is almost immediate, and the application is easy. Just store a pack in your gym bag so you can cleanse your face quickly and go get that post-workout smoothie bowl!
Let’s break this down: Glycolic acid is a non-toxic, all-natural, safe-for-all-skin-types alpha hydroxy acid, naturally derived from sugar cane. Dr. B shares, “Glycolic acid penetrates into the dermis (the second layer of skin) where the collagen is (and where the wrinkles are)... Once you get to the second layer, you force the body to rejuvenate the collagen we lose as we age. It takes off a dead layer of skin as well and cleans out the pores. It’s also gentle enough to be used daily and even on sensitive skin. It is the natural, over the counter competitor to Retin-A.” Once applied to the skin, it enters the pores and activates a cell renewal process, breaking down the “glue” holding the top layer of skin together, so that the fresh layer can emerge. When the top layer of skin falls and flakes off, it removes unwanted acne, fine lines, and skin pigmentation. Essentially, you make way for a “new” layer of clearer, brighter skin! That’s pretty amazing.
It should be noted, though, that not all glycolic acid is made equal. “A non-neutralized glycolic does tingle and may cause redness, but it also works,” Dr. B says. “The stinging is because it is an acid. It goes into the pores and takes off a layer of skin…getting the dead layer of skin off looks better. It’s working better if you see mild irritation and/or some redness.” Many products on the market today advertise “pure” glycolic, but in reality, these products are neutralized (made ineffective) because the manufacturers think that the tingling effects of strong glycolic will scare off consumers. The reality is glycolic can’t hurt or burn the skin—it’s completely safe. These neutralized products sound flashy but won’t do anything for your skin. But, when you feel the tingle (like you will with DermChoice products), you’re only hours away from clearer, brighter, and healthier skin.
Showering frequently or after every workout dries out your skin by stripping it of the natural oils and moisture. We are not saying you should walk around with a post-workout sweat smell by skipping the shower post that intense cycling or bootcamp class. But there are preventative measures you can take to make sure your skin stays moist, your body stays clean, and your friends and coworkers stay happy to be around you. Meet Pre-Bath Oil. “I developed the Pre-Bath Oil after a patient with eczema (clinically irritated and dry skin) could not find relief from over-the-counter lotions and prescriptions,” Dr. B said. “The patient told me he applied the oil before entering the shower and experienced relief right away. That’s when I knew we had a winning formula, and I have been recommending the Pre-Bath Oil to all my patients with dry skin ever since.” This easy-to-use product is far more effective than lotion for those who shower daily. Just apply it all over your face and body before entering the bath or shower. This will create a protective barrier on your skin’s surface. Plus, oil penetrates deeper than lotion, so the Pre-Bath Oil will thoroughly moisturize the deeper layers of your skin, soothing dryness and irritation.
Bonus: DermChoice has no parabens and no fragrance. Their products are certified cruelty-free and formulated with natural and organic ingredients—and they actually work. Talk about a win-win!
Want to try it for yourself? Shop now and get 30% off your first order by using code MB30 at checkout!
Well, here we are—a couple of months into 2021. A year that we all (still) hope will be much better than the last. This past year was nothing short of a dumpster fire—between the pandemic, ongoing racial injustice, and the most dramatic election ever, 2020 was riddled with anxiety, grief, anger, and was just downright exhausting.
Heck—if somebody even dared to ask me how I was doing last year, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and say, “Omg I can’t even.” I mean, what other year can you think of that became its own expression? When something would go horribly awry, we would literally blame it on the year by saying, “2020, am I right?” complete with a sheepish chuckle —and eventually some tears when you realized just how many times you’ve said those words. Seriously, I lost count a long time ago. It was not healthy.
Sorry, tangent—where was I? Ah yes, 2021. The good news is there’s still hope that this year won’t make us want to roll into a tiny little ball on the floor and cry. Well, at least not as much as its predecessor—I’m not a miracle worker, you guys. However, I do have some wellness tips to help you stay just a little bit cooler, calmer, and collected-er this year.
If there’s one thing we learned last year, it’s that wellness is always here for us. Maybe at this time last year, your goal of going to Pilates five days a week came to a screeching halt as fitness studios were required to shut down to protect the community. For a time, we were all frazzled because our usual workouts and wellness routines were turned upside practically overnight. I think I speak for us all when I say that our favorite fitness class, and the community that comes with it, plays a huge role in our overall happiness. The good news is the wellness industry has come a long way in just under a year.
While it is true that some areas still aren’t allowing the in-studio experience for their workout classes due to the pandemic, we have more options to practice wellness safely than ever before. Right now, some studios are allowed to operate with in-person, socially distanced classes—and pretty much every studio broke into the virtual space to provide fitness classes you could participate in from the comfort of your own home. Not to mention, at-home virtual options are typically cheaper and allow you to try our studios from all over the country. With online gym memberships like Mindbody Flex, you can have access to thousands of live stream classes at your fingertips for less than $5 per class.
Look, 2020 was scary. After a year like that, it’s can be hard to tap into a positive mindset. But it’s more important now than ever before to let go of assumptions and focus on the good that 2021 can bring. This shift to acceptance will ultimately help you put your best foot forward in any situation that arises.
Take a step back and try to focus on the things we can be grateful for in this moment. Like what? Well, for starters more and more people are receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, which means things are slowly, but surely, getting back to normal. I, for one, am grateful that my at-risk family members have already received their first rounds of vaccinations and are on the path of staying healthy since they are protected from the coronavirus.
The best thing we can do right now for our mental health is to learn to give ourselves some grace through practicing self-care. And this can look different for everyone. Maybe your version of self-care comes in the form of daily journaling, getting a workout session in, curling up with a good book, or having that glass of wine while taking a bubble bath. Whatever makes YOU feel good—keep doing it.
To keep my mental health in check, something that I’ve started incorporating into my daily self-care routine is practicing mindfulness. Some days that means I focus on my breathwork practice—other days I may scroll through the Mindbody app to find a virtual meditation class or Yoga Nidra class. I’ve also embraced the motto there’s an app for that. Right now, I’m really loving the Headway app because it helps me set daily intentions from the moment I wake up with a morning survey and then checks in with me at the end of the day with an evening survey. Having the ability to write down my goals and hold myself accountable for them has really taken my self-care routine to the next level.
Some days we fall a little short of our goals—and guess what? THAT’S OKAY. Honestly, I think we should all just focus on being okay for the rest of the year. The past year caused us to be tough on ourselves and I encourage you to make this year kinder. Any new goals you set that involve changing habits or overhauling your lifestyle will likely have some setbacks. So, when that happens, remember to be compassionate with yourself.
If there’s anything I want you to take away from this blog post is to let go of the illusion that perfection is always the end goal. When in doubt I always remind myself of something my favorite spin instructor (hey Steph!) says: “If you look for perfection, you'll never be content. Just focus on your growth.” Allow that to sink in and make it a goal to remind yourself of this every single day.
And remember: You don’t have to—and really shouldn’t—give up hope that things will get better this year, even if you feel overwhelmed now. Having a positive mindset is never a silly thing. In fact, it is actually quite admirable; you’re an admirable badass.