The Ultimate Pre and Post-Workout Skincare Routine in Just 7 Easy Steps

The Ultimate Pre and Post-Workout Skincare Routine in Just 7 Easy Steps

by Laura Garber

Skincare has taken the beauty and wellness world by storm - and for good reason. A well-thought-out skincare routine isn’t just a trendy take on social media, it’s extremely beneficial for your overall health. The skin is the largest organ in the body, so how you treat it - and what you put on it - matters. Pair that with your fitness routine, another major contributor to your health, and you’ll be taking care of yourself from the inside out. 

A pre- and post-workout skincare regimen is key when it comes to breaking a sweat and still maintaining your skin health. Sweating can cause a major buildup of sweat and bacteria, which can lead to unwanted breakouts if left untreated - therefore it’s essential to find the right routine consisting of the right products. 

With that said, we’ve put together an effortless and fuss-free skincare routine that will take you from pre-workout to post-shower cleanse in just seven simple steps. Showcasing some of our favorite products and brands, this routine sticks to the essentials and is suitable for all skin types (plus it’s completely pregnancy safe)! 

Pre-Workout Skincare Routine:

Step 1: Cleanse with Micellar Water 
A gentle cleanse is key prior to working out. You want to have a clear complexion, free of any makeup, dirt or oil, to avoid buildup once you start sweating. Micellar water is a great (and easy!) way to cleanse and tone the face prior. We highly recommend the Fig. 1 Micellar Oil Cleanser pre-workout - it’s a nutrient-rich solution that gently removes all impurities while still keeping the skin hydrated. It’s quick, effective and gets the job done pre-sweat! 

Step 2: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! 
Keeping your skin hydrated is important at all times of the day, even when you’re working out. You’ll want to use a lightweight and non-comedogenic moisturizer that won’t irritate the skin and lead to clogged pores or breakouts. The Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Gel Cream is the perfect moisturizer to use pre-workout - it absorbs easily and will keep your skin hydrated without feeling too heavy. It’s always smart to use a fragrance-free formula as it can be irritating for you (and those around you!) while exercising, and the Cloud Del Gel Cream checks that box. 

Step 3: Apply Mineral Sunscreen
It’s no secret that including sunscreen in your skincare routine isn’t just a good idea, it’s a necessity. Studies have shown that mineral sunscreen is the best type of SPF to use - compared with most chemical sunscreens, it offers more protection from the sun and is a better option for those with sensitive skin (and totally pregnancy safe)! Covey’s Sun & Done Moisturizing SPF 50 Sunscreen is an amazing option to layer on before you workout. Its lightweight formula doesn’t feel thick or heavy like most sunscreens, and contains squalane for an added hydration boost. Even if you’re working out indoors, it’s still smart to lather on SPF at all times of the day! 

Post-Workout Skincare Routine:

Step 1: Wash Up ASAP
The most important thing you can do post-workout is cleanse your skin (and body!) as soon as you can. Since a full-body shower isn’t always an option, attempt to at least wash your face to avoid sweat and oil build up. This residue is what leads to acne and breakouts, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Some dermatologists recommend exfoliating after a workout, while others believe that the skin is more sensitive so an exfoliator may do more harm than good. If you do choose to exfoliate, try to use a gentle exfoliator that won’t cause any redness or irritation. 

Step 2: Apply a Hydrating Serum 
Whether you choose to exfoliate or not, it’s a good idea to apply a hydrating serum after cleansing. Most serums can be catered to your particular skin needs. For example, some serums address excessive dryness while others address unwanted redness. OSEA is an excellent clean-beauty skincare line that offers multiple serums depending on your needs. The Anti-Aging Sea Serum includes anti-aging properties that improve skin elasticity and targets fine lines, which is great for wrinkle prevention. If you are someone that experiences dryer than normal skin, the Essential Hydrating Oil is the ultimate antioxidant-rich formula for optimal hydration.

Step 3: Moisturize, again! 
Needless to say, keeping your skin hydrated before, during and after a workout is key. Similar to the serum, choose a moisturizer that addresses your skin’s particular needs and locks in hydration for the remainder of the day. A heavier moisturizer works well for all-day use. We love the Dr. Loretta Concentrated Firming Moisturizer for evening out skin tone, minimizing pores and of course, firming up the skin. 

Step 4: Finish Up with SPF!
Finish up by applying your favorite mineral SPF (again - sun protection is critical!) and you’re good to go! 

Whether your workout is 10 minutes or 60, taking some extra time to care for your skin is an easy way to practice self-care and show your skin some love! 

Laura is a New York City-based freelance writer that works with various beauty, lifestyle and wellness brands and publications to share their stories. Her background includes a Communications and Health degree from the University of Michigan, as well as a Journalism academy through NYU in conjunction with the New York Times. In addition to writing, she is a certified Pilates Instructor and Holistic Health Coach, with a focus on women’s health at all stages. When she is not writing, she loves traveling, reading, spending time with her husband, family and dogs, and exploring the streets of New York City.