Post-Workout Polish

8th September 2017

We all know that the best kind of makeup for the gym is none at all. But what happens when we have to dash straight back to the office after a lunchtime class? Lisa Botwright offers some tips for working out, and then working on…

Wearing makeup is a very personal thing, of course. Some women feel perfectly comfortable without any at all, while others wouldn’t leave the house without two layers of mascara and fully contoured cheekbones. Personally, I always like to wear a little when I’m out and about, otherwise people look at me worriedly and ask if I’m ‘alright’. And when it comes to wearing makeup to exercise, there are definitely two camps: the doers and doubters.

Unfortunately for us more vain/insecure/let’s-face-it-probably-pretty-average types, the doubters are on the right track. Wearing makeup during a workout creates a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive by preventing sweat and sebum from leaving the skin, which can result in clogged pores and acne. Trapping sweat against the skin is a Very Bad Thing, even if you’re prone to dryness, as the acidic pH of sweat can cause irritation and tightness, worsening dermatitis in the process. Andy Millward, facialist and member of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology, also points out that wearing makeup to the gym can exacerbate open pores. ‘If congestion builds up in the pore it’ll stretch to fit the blockage, causing larger pores over long periods of time.’ Not a good look.

So ideally, we need to cleanse and moisturise thoroughly before getting into our stride. However, we should also be eating rainbow colours of fruit and veg every day, sleeping for eight hours in an electronic-free room and meditating daily for clarity: all perfectly admirable, but not necessarily achievable on top of work and family commitments.

In our time-poor culture, most people will try and squeeze in a workout wherever and whenever it’s logistically possible. And often that means going on to work or a meeting afterwards, and with it all the attendant pressure of looking perfectly groomed.
I’m not a morning person, (much as I admire people who jump out of bed at 5am and do ten mile run before breakfast, I’m definitely not one of them) and I have to dash back to the kids after work; so I’m pretty evangelical about lunchtime classes. But that means getting changed and there and back within an hour. No time for a shower (sorry, colleagues) and definitely no time for a beauty routine lasting more than 30 seconds… So is rapid post-workout polish achievable?

Mineral makeup is better for the skin as it’s non-comodegenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores and allows the skin to breathe. The organic ingredients in the pressed powder from Green People are suitable for sensitive skin and those prone to acne, eczema or psoriasis, and so makes the perfect choice for a pre or post-workout touch-up.

If you’d like – and can afford the time – to take your makeup off beforehand, you can do so quickly and easily, with the Afterspa magic makeup remover. It’s a tiny super-soft cloth that will ‘magically’ remove everything with just a bit of water. (Chuck it in your gym bag afterwards and wash it through with your kit).

If you like to keep some definition to your face, you can leave your mascara and lipstick on, of course – these won’t block your pores. Remember to use a hard-working waterproof mascara, such as Eyeko Sport (this stuff didn’t budge even after a hot yoga session), and for a natural but longlasting lipstick try Clinique’s brand new Chubby Plump and Shine gloss in ‘Jumbo Gem’, a perfect, barely-there, pinky-nude shade.

A quick spritz with Hydrate Soothing Facial Mist will give you a cooling, but hydrating hit, with its powerhouse formula of hyaluronic acid, coconut water, eucalyptus, and mint – and you’re ready to go.

Afterwards, if you do have time to shower, the Lisse Luxe Hair Turban from Aquis will cut the drying time of your hair in half (it also saves the need to carry around another bulky towel). Otherwise, cheat with the next best thing – shower sheets from Yuni. These individually packaged wipes are alcohol-free and smell deliciously of citrus and mint.

If you’re still red and shiny from your workout, the Sport FX Recovery Gel and Primer instantly calms and refreshes your skin; it contains aloe vera to combat bacteria, along with multi-vitamins and emollients to plump up fine lines. I’d choose to use this on a bare face underneath powder or foundation, to avoid ‘cakiness,’ while the facial mist would be a better choice to freshen up a full face of makeup.

These post-workout hacks will leave you outwardly immaculate and inwardly smug, with plenty of time for you to get on with your day.

Chubby Plump and Shine Lipgloss
£18
clinique.co.uk
Lisse Luxe Hair Turban
£30
aquishair.co.uk
Arrow Soothing Facial Mist
£11
birchbox.co.uk
Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara
£19
birchbox.co.uk
Afterspa Magic Makeup Remover
£5.50
boots.com
Pressed Mineral Powder
£21
greenpeople.co.uk
Sport FX Recovery Gel and Primer
£9.99
sportFX.com

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