Rebels, it may be a while until we see each other again… so whilst we’re hustling at home and have a little more time on our hands, it’s time to introduce a bit more self-care. We’ve got plenty of time to work on those muscles but how can we also take care of the skin that covers them? It’s Ride Trainer, Megan here and I’m going to share a few of my top tips for looking after your skin during a lockdown and beyond – no equipment needed.
Sadly, facials are a no go, so here’s a few ways to take care of your skin from the comfort of your own home…
KEEP UP THE FITNESS
Whether it’s a long walk, running, smashing a Reshape or even taking a chilled yoga class – exercise increases our circulation which improves lymph drainage, which is incredibly beneficial for skin health and your immune system.
As your heart rate and circulation increases, a big rush of oxygen is delivered to skin. This oxygen transfers a lot of the much-needed nutrients to the skin, as well as improving the skin’s radiance, giving you that dewy post-workout glow we all want.
Keeping it real – there aren’t many people lucky enough to enjoy that sexy “post-workout glow”. Most of us – including myself – are a hot, sweaty, mess. But when it comes to real work outs, we’re looking for the inner beast not the beauty.
SWEAT: SHOULD WE LOVE IT OR HATE IT?
Many people believe that increased blood flow during exercise helps to remove toxins from the skin and by providing this detox, it also aids in removing some of the underlying issues that lead to breakouts. Sweat isn’t the enemy, it actually has some benefits….
So, if sweat has these natural benefits, why does it get such a bad rep? The real problem is leaving sweat to sit on the skin. The time you leave between finishing a sweaty workout and cleansing your skin will be the deciding factor on whether you get clogged up pores, subsequent breakouts and irritation.
It can be so infuriating when you’ve nailed the meal prep and you’re smashing your workouts, you’re feeling the results in your body but you’re still battling it out when it comes to your skin. It makes you question if all your hard work is worth it. But is sweat to blame? No, just your timing.
STRIP THOSE LAYERS OFF
Girls this one is for you. And no, we’re not talking about your sexy new activewear – we’re talking about those layers on your face. You should ALWAYS remove your makeup pre-workout. As your body starts producing sweat, it will mix with the dirt, makeup and pollution that is sitting on your skin from throughout the day, which will then sit on your skin during the workout and cause irritation. This home time is the perfect opportunity for you to get naked girls – nobody’s looking 😉
If the thought of a barefaced, makeup-free workout makes you squirm, try looking for mineral-based makeup, which is always the best option for spot-prone skin, as it doesn’t clog the pores quite as much.
When it comes to sweaty gym clothing, it’s a good idea to strip off as soon as possible too. Sweaty fabric remaining on your skin can cause a lot of irritation and lead to further breakouts. If you suffer from chest or back acne, you should shower as soon as possible to remove any sweat lying on the skin’s surface. It’s very easy at the moment to just lounge around in your activewear after your workout but change it up – it’s something else to fill the time, right?
OPEN THE WINDOWS
Remember the age-old advice of “get some fresh air” if you’re feeling groggy? It’s pretty accurate. Being stuck inside can often results in a lack of exercise, clean air and natural light. This leaves us with low serotonin levels, as well as low vitamin D levels. Now we’re not suggesting you start going out for multiple dog walks and shopping trips but do make sure that you’re going outside for your one form of exercise a day. Also try and open up your windows to air out your space and if you’re lucky enough to have a garden – use it.
IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE
If you happen to have air conditioning at home, then you will most likely suffer some of the effects of an artificial heating/cooling system. Air conditioning and heaters can dry out your skin, leaving it cracked, tight and irritable. If you already suffer from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, this can be made worse the closer you sit to the air vent.
Central heating can be just as detrimental. Try to sit away from heaters as much as you can and instead of cranking the heating up, do the old-fashioned trick of layering up. Limiting your exposure to artificial heaters will help maintain the correct moisture levels in your skin.
I know we now have the time to practise our at-home barista skills, but like with all good things too much can become detrimental. Try drinking no more than three cups of coffee a day to help your skin stay hydrated. Speaking of…
POUR ME ANOTHER DRINK
Water aids just about every bodily function there is and is therefore vital for our overall health. The skin is the largest organ in the human body and demands its fair share of our water intake to ensure it maintains its essential function.
Our bodies lose large quantities of water every day (especially if we’re smashing more home workouts than usual), so it’s important to keep topping up regularly. The NHS recommends 8 glasses a day, sipped regularly throughout the day, to prevent dehydration. This is even more important at the moment as we’re being encouraged to keep water intake high to help fight the virus and maintain healthy bodily function. You may also feel a little more dehydrated than usual due to constant indoor heating and extra alcohol consumption (it’s not a ‘house party’ without wine after all).
You can easily see the effects of dehydration on your skin as it becomes dry, tight and dull very quickly.
DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
This is currently government advice but it’s advice you should have been following for years. As tempting as it is to start touching that pimple that’s making a re-appearance on your chin – stay away. We’re constantly using our hands – touching other surfaces, picking up bacteria etc. The last thing your already angry spot needs is a new bacterial companion. If you’re lucky enough to have clear skin, you should still avoid touching your face – you may be safe for now, but a build-up of bacteria will eventually result in army of unwanted new poppable friends.
And last but not least Rebels, embrace the time to enjoy the skin you’re in. Be kind to yourself. Your body is doing a kick ass job of keeping you healthy and you have no idea how hard it might have been working for you behind the scenes.