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The Most Convenient Beauty Products to Stash in Your Gym Bag

Expert advice on what to use pre- and post-workout for your healthiest skin and hair.

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gym beauty routinePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Gym dandy

Dashing off to your sweat sesh without removing your makeup first can seem like NBD, but it doesn’t set your skin up skin for success. “It’s a sure-fire way to clog your pores, which can lead to breakouts,” says Heather MacKay, senior manager of spa services at Elmwood Spa in Toronto. It’s all due to what’s happening behind the scenes. “With sweating and flushing, the skin barrier becomes more permeable – leakier, basically,” explains Dr. Shannon Humphrey, a dermatologist and medical director at Carruthers & Humphrey Cosmetic Dermatology in Vancouver. “Depending on what you’re wearing for makeup, if it includes fragrance and other chemicals, they could penetrate into your skin when you’re hot and sweaty and cause irritation.” A milky cleanser makes a good pre-workout choice, gently removing makeup without stripping your skin. MacKay also suggests makeup wipes to complete a gym-ready kit. “If you’re running to make it on time for class, it’s a good idea to use them,” she says. “They’re quick and easy.”

Inside and out, H2O is essential for your body after a workout. “Sweat is good,” says Dr. Humphrey. “It is important for thermoregulation and, to a certain degree, purifying, but it can also be irritating. Sweat is salty, so there can be some irritation, depending on your skin. It also evaporates, which can be incredibly drying.” To combat potential skin reactions, take to the taps. “A quick rinse before your skin dries out is a good idea,” she says.

The time of day when you choose to work out may fluctuate, but using a post-workout moisturizer should be a regular practice. “Combat dry skin with top-to-toe moisturizing when your skin is damp to seal the skin barrier and keep moisture in after you’ve rinsed off the sweat,” says Dr. Humphrey. Tailor the type of product to your post-workout activities. If you’re heading into a sunny day, choose an SPF. Running a few evening errands? Try a lightweight lotion or night cream. 
“If you’re working out at the end of the day, you could do your bedtime routine there and save time,” says MacKay. For efficacy, she also squeezes in a non-astringent facial mist at the gym before applying any serum or face cream. “Using a gentle toner will rebalance your skin’s pH level,” she says. “If you apply a product to an unbalanced pH level, the first thing your skin will do is work to balance itself rather than work with the active ingredients,” she says.

Read on for our gym beauty product picks.

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Pai Light Work Cleaning OilPhoto Credit: Pai

Rosy cheeks

Formulated with the brand’s iconic rosehip oil, this cleanser removes sweat and makeup, while also nourishing skin. Add a bit of water to emulsify into a milky cleanser.

Pai Skincare Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil, $70 at thedetoxmarket.ca

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Thursday Plantation wipesPhoto Credit: Thursday Plantation

Clean sweep

Cleansing wipes infused with antibacterial tea tree oil and calming copaiba oil will give your skin a fresh reset.

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Face Wipes, $14 at Walmart, ThursdayPlantation.ca and well.ca

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ReversaPhoto Credit: Reversa

Heavyweight class

Formulated with hyaluronic acid (a hydration heavyweight in its own class), as well as essential minerals like calcium and magnesium, this concentrate absorbs quickly by leaves a lasting impression. (Think: all-day comfort and protection against environmental stress and the skin damaging effects of pollution.)

Reversa Hydra-Minéral Concentrate, $42 at Shoppers Drug Mart

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Photo Credit: Pixi

pHenomenal feel

This lightweight gel soothes and stabilizes skin thanks to aloe vera and horse chestnut.

Pixi Skintreats pHenomenal Gel, $34 at beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca

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Bio-OilPhoto Credit: Bio-Oil

On-the-go oil

A fast-absorbing, deeply hydrating gel is housed in an easy-access tub – ideal for when you’re on the go.

Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, $15 for 100ML at Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart

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BiodermaPhoto Credit: Bioderma

Hydration help

This ph-friendly facial mist calms and soothes post-workout skin.

Bioderma Hydrabio Mist, $14 at Shoppers Drug Mart

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OGXPhoto Credit: OGX

Quick-dry

This dry shampoo foam is quick-drying and a super convenient way to freshen up sweaty strands. (Get more hair tips from this celeb stylist.)

OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Dry Shampoo Foam, $11 at mass market retailers

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NARS lip tintPhoto Credit: NARS

Lip service

With a nourishing formula featuring raspberry seed oil, this limited edition lip tint adds a sheer wash of colour to lips.

NARS Orgasm Oil-Infused Lip Tint, $34 at Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom, Murale, beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca and narscosmetics.ca

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Piper WaiPhoto Credit: Piper Wai

Detox deodorant

This gender-neutral natural deodorant uses activated charcoal to detox and absorb moisture.

PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant, $21 at thedetoxmarket.ca

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Originally Published in Best Health Canada