For those of us who can’t bear the idea of working out after completing a full day and save exercising for the early morning hours, there’s a new reason why you should wash your face before you hit the gym. According to aesthetician Emme Diane, cleansing—and even moisturizing—your skin before you work out can make a significant and visible difference in your skin.
Sure, it’s easier to roll out of bed, throw your hair in a bun, change into workout clothes, completely bypass any type of pre-sweat skin care routine and be on your merry way. But skipping over cleansing your face before you’re about to take part in a sweat session isn’t as good for your skin as you may think. “Our skin is our largest organ, and sweating is our skin’s natural detox program,” she says. “However, sweating in the waste material our skin produces while we sleep (as well as makeup and grime you’ve had or your skin all day) will create a toxic environment and an occlusive barrier, preventing your skin from reaping all of the benefits of a cleansing sweat session.”
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Diane also adds that it’s very important to cleanse your skin before exercising, especially if you’re using active products at night like retinols, alphahydroxy acids (glycolic, mandelic and salicylic acids) or any type of acne products. “Sweating with these topical active products on the skin can lead to excessive dryness or irritation.”
So, the next time you’re about to head to the gym, think twice about what’s on your face—or not on it. Make sure you do a quick, simple cleanse and apply a light moisturizer.