Thursday, 26 February 2015

Cheat Sheet - When to do your routine when you're exercising

I am frequently asked by readers that exercise in all manner of ways for the best time to add their skincare routines. As there are SO many variations, I thought I'd keep this one 'live' if you will, and add to it as you leave more requests in the comments, so please do feel free to add your questions/exercise/time of day that you do the exercise/activity and I'll respond and add them to this post on a continuous basis..

So to start with the 'skeleton' or bare bones....

Jogging/runners

Early morning run:
Cold climate (English winter for example) - apply a little facial oil to protect your face before you pound the streets, go run, come home, do routine.
Hot climate - apply SPF before you hit the streets, go run, come home, do routine.

After work run:
Remove makeup, apply a thin layer of moisturiser (and/or SPF if outside and the sun is out), run, sweat, shower, do your evening routine.






Gym Sessions/Weights/Cardio

Early morning classes - get up, if you have dry skin apply a little moisturiser, go to the gym, sweat it out, then do your proper routine after your shower.
Lunchtime classes - go to the gym, remove your makeup, apply a minimal moisturiser (thin layer), do your class/workout, sweat like a racehorse, shower, do your routine.
After work classes - go to the gym, cleanse and apply a light moisturiser (thin layer), do your workout, sweat, shower, do your full bedtime routine - unless you're going out for dinner etc in which case do your skin routine, apply your makeup and remove it all before bed as per usual..


Swimming


It's not great to swim in makeup, no matter how rushed you are, equally, you don't want a ton of product running into your eyes and blinding you while you do your laps.
Early morning swim - get up, apply a thin layer of moisturiser (I avoid my forehead to avoid drip down effect into the eyes but do what you feel your skin needs), swim, shower, routine.
After work swim - remove makeup, thin layer of something protective - I prefer a little facial oil but light moisturiser works, swim, shower, do actual routine.


Cycling


Any time of day, you want protection on a face that is being wind-bashed. Whether am or pm, cycle with no makeup, make sure you have applied protective moisturiser and/or SPF and do your routine after your post-cycle shower. I would consider applying facial oil to the cheeks if you won't end up covered in bug roadkill :)


Yoga (more specifically - Bikram)


Being frank, Bikram is not good for your face. Argue all you want, but the entire purpose of it is to make you sweat  - however, unlike other sports you can't cool down because you're in a room where the temperature is maintained at 'scorching'. That healthy 'glow' will eventually be broken capillaries. Having said that, I know some of you are completely addicted to it so your main concern is to keep the nose/cheek area under control. Spritz as soon as you can with a floral water - not normal water - shower, and apply a hydrating serum AND moisturiser. You will be dehydrated afterwards, so if you regularly attend Bikram classes I would keep spritzing bottles handy and keep an eye on your face for signs of dehydration like fine lines and cakey makeup...


In short, if in doubt:
  • Remove your makeup before you exercise. Yes you can use micellar waters if you have to but you would be much better served using a good oil cleanser - it's more gentle and nourishing and kinder all round - especially if you exercise every day/4 or 5 times a week.
  • Try and exercise with a light moisturiser on your face
  • If you are going to use saunas and steam rooms try and have some facial oils on your face - heat and oils are lovely - not mineral oil though - plant oils. (A paraffin wax mask is lovely - but that's because it is done by a pro with a good plant oil underneath....however that's for another post)
  • Protect the cheeks - those are the areas most prone to visible signs of damage from sport - oils and moisturisers and SPF where appropriate. Keep them protected.





63 comments:

  1. Hi Caroline, do you have any tips for calming red skin when you finish exercising? I rival a tomato and it normally doesn't tone done for a good 20 mins! Thanks, Sarah x

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    1. seconded!! though mine lasts up to two hours if it gets really hot :0/

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    2. I'm not Caroline but to decrease the redness usually splashing cold water on your face helps or a cold wet towel on the back of your neck....and make sure that you are showering in tepid water and that it is not too hot and staying hydrated during and after your workout.

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    3. I use the avene thermal water, it eliminates all the redness and it's so refreshing.

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  2. I was literally discussing going to the gym tomorrow with my sister when this was posted! Talk about timing ;)

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  3. Caroline, thanks for this post it's really helpful. What about for a day planned of snowboarding/skiing? I'll be out for most of the day in cold weather with wind added. Most of my face is covered when I can. Last time I did my morning routine and added SPF. Anything else I should add or not bother doing?

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    1. When I used to ski I used Elemis SOS cream in a thin layer to protect and a thicker layer on a night where I was chapped eg where my necker had rubbed my chin. Have fun!

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    2. HI

      When I'm out in mountains I use the Ren vita mineral emollient rescue cream. It's very thick and takes ages to sink in so it wouldn't be a good base for anything but it's a great barrier cream that leaves my skin quite soft and not sand-blasted looking at all.

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  4. Thanks Caroline - that's really helpful! I tend to exercise in the morning so always just apply a light moisturiser beforehand x
    http://cocoamay.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. unfortunately no matter what exercise i do (well, cardio/hiit etc), i always end up with a Bikram face! also, THESE GIFS MAKE MY LIFE COMPLETE.

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  6. Just out of curiosity, because I am guilty of this sin; why can't I exercise with makeup on? I'm not talking about a full face, but I always wear concealer and fix my eyebrows before going to the gym or riding my bike to uni or work.

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    Replies
    1. That's fine. I'd go nowhere without my brows!

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    2. I'm with you on the brows. During labour when I realised I would be making my way to hospital I managed to get my brows on in the gap between contractions. One was higher than the other but they were on!!

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  7. Any suggestions for hyperpigmentation/acne scarring? My scars are darker, red or blue/purple. I've used almost everything! They are flat but just wont go away, please let me know :)!!

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  8. Thank you for much needed info!! I'm going skiing next week in northern Sweden, how can I prevent my already dry and sensitive skin from falling down the slope with me? And also, do you have any recommendations on good facial oils? Not too pricey... Love from Sweden!

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  9. Thanks so much Caroline! Can you recommend your favourite floral waters? :)

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  10. This isn't necessarily about skincare but is swimming really bad for your skin? I would love to get more into it, I'm just worried about swimming frequently as I have combination, acne prone skin x

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  11. Yep, guilty of going to yoga with mascara, concealer and cream blusher! Well, not Bikram, though...
    Excellent post Caroline and the gifs are hilarious!!!!!

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  12. Thank you! Perfect timing! I was just thinking about sending in this question.

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  13. A little off topic but since I sauna and steam room at the pool it's kinda linked. Are the sauna / steam room bad for your skin too? I always assumed that a bit of sweating would kinda clear out the pores? Am I actually just doing damage? Also, I have noticed a broken capillary at the side of my nose, is there anything I can do or is it with me forever?

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    1. I'd love to know the answer to this! I mainly sauna / steam room because I was told it would help clear pores but if not the case, and in face it causes damage in the long term, I may reconsider it more often...

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    2. Caroline, I go for the same reason as these 2 commenters - I always cleanse thoroughly beforehand and then use the nip fab glycolic cleanser after. Will try the facial oil tip :) But am I doing more harm than good?
      Thanks x

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    3. Yes please do a little aside section about sauna/steam room do's/don'ts! Or how to get the most out of them for your skin if they are actually good.

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    4. Yes, please answer this question, Caroline! I was in a sauna and steam room this week and felt really dry afterwards. It made me question my years of belief that it's good for the skin.

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    5. As a rosacea sufferer with sensitive skin I have always been told NOT to do sauna / steam. Excess steam and heat would only agravate the capilary system.

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    6. I am in love with saunas and would love to know what you think of their potential in aiding with skin care for both face AND body. I grew up in Canada and nearly everyone in my town has a sauna at their home or at their cottage. I ALWAYS enter the sauna with a cleansed face; after a while I find that dead skin on my body basically can'y help but come off, which is part of why I love them. Can you advise?

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  14. Thank you for this! I've always been puzzled on whether to workout then wash my face or vice versa in the morning. Washing my face is alongside brushing my teeth so i guess i'll have to get used to wiping off a toothpaste moustache or workout at night haha!

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  15. Hi Caroline!
    I know you sometimes do clinic posts where people can ask you questions about their routines etc. but I don't know when your next one is coming up and since I don't live in the UK I can't book an apointment so I thought I'd give it a go and ask you right here, right now.
    Skin type is combination, normal with a slightly oily t-zone. My skin is prone to acne. Done all the treatments, creams, antibiotics and accutane. My acne wasn't severe, no cysts, some nodules. It was just very hard to get rid of. Today I have no acne on my back or chest although I do have whiteheads, blackheads and a few papules (i think). If I'm unlucky an occasional pustule. After I finished my accutane (2,5 years ago) I used a topical cream called epiduo (mix of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) up until this past summer. Just couldn't be bothered to go and get a new one. So now I'm wondering if I'm on the right track with my routine, is there anything I can do to keep my skin in better shape? Is it good/bad?

    P.M
    Micellar water (mainly to get rid of stubborn mascara)
    Oskia renaissance gel/esthelle&thild cleansing gel fragrance free (a swedish brand) - I'm running out of cleanser, need a new one. Suggestions?
    Clearasil superfruits pads - wondering if i should use something else here?
    The body shop aloe toner
    Decleor neroli night balm

    A.M
    The same thing but i skip the micellar water and instead of the night balm just go straight to moisturizer. Right now I'm using the benefit dream screen. I do have some other decleor travel-size products I've been trying out as well, cleansing milk, tonifying lotion and hydrafloral cream. Received a minifacial at a spa a couple of weeks ago. The lady said I had nice skin, which suprised me. She said I just needed som extra exfoliation. Oh, and I'm 21 years old.
    Sorry about the long post! x

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  16. Could you do a post on floral waters? The concept, different types and what skin they're suited for. It'd be interesting to see your favs

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  17. Hey caroline, love seeing a cheat sheet, I would love to see more like these and also can you do a cheat sheet as to where in the routine does a face mask come ? And also can you do best products or something you like the most in each category , I would want to know about night creams for diff age groups ?? Thanks

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  18. Will now put on moisturiser pre gym! Thanks for the general info.

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  19. Sorry if this seems a silly question but for cardio sessions on days off and weekends, if I'm at home during the day and have cleansed in the morning, would I still need to cleanse again when I get to the gym? Thank you xx

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  20. I don't wear makeup but would like to swim after work. I will still have the products I applied in my morning routine, like face oil, moisturizer and spf. Should I remove then and apply a face oil? Should I just apply some more face oil on top? I am really concerned about that pool water, specially because I have rosacea.

    Thank you!

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  21. Hey lady. Is wearing sunscreen to the gym a no no or is it okay? Coz I sweat a lot. Sunscreen because I pick up my daughter from school and then go there. Although I am in a car but exposure is sometimes for more than 10 mins

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  22. What is a good oil/balm cleanser that won't leak in my gym bag? That's the main reason I don't use them pre gym. I live in a hot climate so they melt then leak. (sensitive acne prob skin)

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  23. Hi, I've just started the routine and wanted to add a retinol product at night (Medik8 retinol 6). Can I layer this over SR Good Genes? Do I then need a moisturiser/facial oil on top?

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  24. Caroline, could you possibly recommend a couple of dermatologists in London? I've had acne on my chin and jawline for about a year now, really getting me down and want to see a professional about it and see some long lasting results! I live in Belsize Park and see you've mentioned the Fern clinic before - is it still good? Any recommendations would be so, so appreciated. Thank you! X

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    Replies
    1. Dr Sam Bunting, 10 Harley St.

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  25. I swim a lot and disagree about the advice concerning swimming. You're supposed to shower before swimming to minimise the amount of gunk in the pool, which means they need to use less chlorine to keep it clean. Also, the smell of chlorine sticks less to clean skin than dirty. I always just wash up and remove makeup if wearing any before the swim, and do the rest afterwards.

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  26. Hi Caroline, I have huge problems with dehydrated but acne prone skin (t-zone oily/ semidry cheeks)... not sure which products to use... cause some anti-acne products make the dehydration worse and some hydrating ones are acne prone...maybe have in mind for the future a cheat sheet for dehydrated skin :) I would be the happiest girl.

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  27. Hi Caroline, great post! Quick question please - I use Ultrasun SPF30 face cream as my moisturiser when I go to the gym as it is sweat resistant and doesn't seem to run off in a filmy layer like others I have tried. Is this a really bad idea - maybe too clogging? I too am guilty of doing eyebrows and mascara for the gym, I don't want to frighten other people, or myself in those huge mirrors!
    Thank you. x

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  28. Potentially to update: other types of yoga? I mean, not bikram, but things like vinyasa flow, ashtanga and even hatha flow get, too, get you pretty sweaty. I haven't tried bikram and I'm not interested in trying, but I practise other yoga styles regularly and would love advice. I usually go after work or during the day on the weekends. Thank you!

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    1. If you're getting as sweaty as say, doing cardio on a cross-trainer at the gym, or lifting weights for a while, it's probably the same as her suggestions listed under the gym section. I think she was just distinguishing between bikram and other stuff because it has quite an extreme heated environment and the purpose is specifically sweating tonnes. :-)

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  29. Very important if you sweat at all to shower and wipe off as much as possible to avoid acne!

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  30. Hi caroline, my question isn't strictly exercise related but I would hugely appreciate your advice! I wondered whether we should tailor our skincare to different areas of our faces? I have normal/dehydrated skin which is generally good apart from my chin where I suffer from clogged pores and hormonal spots. I have recently invested in Artemis, luna and good genes and whilst my chin, nose and forehead seem to love them, my cheeks which NEVER breakout have become quite irritated with small flat red bumps! I'm now scared to use any of the products at all :( should I continue to use them on my t zone only and avoid my cheeks? Thank you in advance!! Xx

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  31. This post is so helpful!! However, just to clarify.... When you say early morning classes/exercise you dont mention cleansing your face when you wake up? So you recommend waking up and going straight into exercise without cleansing? but cleansing obviously after exercise xx

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    1. This is what I want to know too! I usually cleanse before and then just rinse after (because I figured starting with a clean face is better and don't want to over-cleanse) before continuing with my routine. Should I be doing it the other way around!?

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    2. Personally (though I am not an expert on skin care but am on the fitness side) I would always cleanse after a workout - the oils and gunk that come out of your face when you sweat need something more than water to remove them.

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    3. My thoughts exactly, I cleanse my face before and efter. Am I over-cleansing?

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  32. THANK YOU!!! youve read my mind with this post, ive been wanting to know this! thanks for breaking it down :))))

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  33. Hi Caroline! Thank you for this post! Love yr blog, channels etc. my skin had improved so much since I follow yr cheat sheet routines. My question is, can I use bb/cc cream while exercising? I live in tropical Malaysia n wd prefer the slightly better coverage that a bb/cc cream gives as compared to a normal sunblock.

    Thank u in advance!

    Much love,

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  34. I would add, if you live in Australia, wear SPF outdoors no matter what the exercise (including swimming), no matter what the weather (including cloudy/wet days). The joys of living with a hole in the ozone layer.

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  35. Hi caroline, great post. After reading your blog I've adopted a completely new skin care regime. I've stopped using mattifying products. My skin feels a lot oilier and my make ups not sitting right, will this improve in time? FYI I'm using oskia reinessance cleansing gel, pixi glow tonic, caudalie beauty exilir and nuxe creme prodigieuse day cream as my day time routine.

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  36. so, if I were to wake up, apply sunscreen, go outside and do my work, and then come back in later in the morning to do my routine, would I need to do a double cleanse to get the sunscreen off? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Always do a double cleanse if wearing suncream - read it on a previous post =) x

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  37. Hi Caroline, I've only just discovered your blog but I love it (my bank account less so!) and it's fast becoming my skin care 'bible'! Quick question on routines when exercising. I workout 2-3x per day (crazy I know but I'm training for a half ironman). I always remove my make up with an oil based cleanser beforehand and you say to them follow your usual routine. Should this include acid toners 4-5x per day or should these just be used morning and evening? Any other products you'd recommend for someone who's cleansing their skin 4-5x per day!? Thanks! Claire

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  38. Hi, Caroline. Is it fine if I do not do the complete facial routine after the gym workout/yoga immediately? Since I still need to take the public transport home after workout, I usually just apply a light moisturiser and go home. At home, I will start with the second cleanse (since I have already done first and second cleanse before going to the gym). Do you think this is OK? or is it over-cleanse?

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  39. Hello Caroline,
    My bike is my mode of transportation, I use to go to/come back from work everyday, but also for everything else.
    What would you recommend then? Should I use an really hydrating oil for my morning routine so it protects me through the day ?
    I am afraid that will make me sweat more on the bike and that it will make my skin greasy during the day when I am off my bike...
    I really hope you can help me out with this ! Your post made me realize how much stress my skin goes through everyday ...
    Thank for all your knowledge on skin care!!
    Camille

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  40. Hi Caroline, I am a frequent hot-yogi and find my skin is so bad following a class. i look really red, patchy and get tonnes of little lumps under my skin. i have also noticed im getting really bad redness around my smile lines between my nose and mouth (i'm only 24!!) but i do normally have an oily t-zone. can you recommend any products to A) use as soon as i come out of class to calm it down B) use to even out the skin tone between my nose and mouth ? Thanks so much in advance x

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  41. hi caroline, i am a regular hot-yogi with about 3 classes a week and my skin is terrible after a class! it is really red, blotchy and i have lots of little lumps all over. I've also noticed lately the skin between my nose and mouth (along my smile lines) is really dry and red! is there any products you can recommend for A) something to use straight after a class- should i be washing my face straight away whilst still at the gym B) a product to evenout my skin tone and get rid of this horrid dry/ redness around my nose? I'm 24 years old. Thanks so much in advance x

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  42. Ho... due to time factor complete my walk -daily exercise enroute to work...Morning quick cleanse wz cleansing milk/mv organics or oskia... toner.. serum spf/moisturuzer... thing is i travel by bus n need to wash my fave once i get to work.. its very hot where i live... use one of the above cleansers or ceramic slip... question.. do i skip toner first time n use it later ... use it both times or use it earluer n not at work... post wash i do use serum moisurizer... no spf .. work indoors...please advise

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  43. One question I have is whether or not I need to wash off any actives, like prescribed retinol creams or stronger acids before exercising. My aesthetician told me to definitely wash this stuff off, that sweating was getting it into my eyes, neck, etc. to me, I would think the effectiveness would be gone in the 8+ hours since I applied them. What do you think?

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