5 ways to treat your skin after a good workout

Sweating it out week in, week out after an intense workout can really take its toll on your skin (hello, chafing and pimples).

But these products have got your back. Find out below:

1. So embarrassing: Red face

It’s normal to get a little crimson-faced after slugging it out in a spin class . . . or after slipping in the change room in front of everyone.

However, if you’re noticing your face, neck and chest are still red after your body cools down, you might be suffering from an inflammatory skin condition, the most common being rosacea.

Facial reddening can happen at any time, but is often triggered by alcohol, heat, stress and even spicy foods. If the redness is also dry and itchy, the culprit could be eczema or psoriasis.

Less common is poikiloderma of civatte (or red neck), a rash-like red pigmentation that appears up the sides of the neck and upper chest. See your GP or a nutritionist (in case it’s caused by a food trigger) for a proper diagnosis. If the rash is mild enough you can use topical treatments – look for natural or skin-irritant-specific products to soothe the inflammation.

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2. So irritating: Bacne

Back acne occurs when pores are clogged with excess oil, and bacteria becomes trapped creating a cesspool for spots to multiply and become inflamed. But pimples don’t always stop at the back. They can creep up on the chest, shoulders, arms and even the bottom.

When we sweat, particularly from exercise, the beads mix with these oils and, when left for a period of time, become the ideal recipe for blemishes.

So make sure you shower straight after a workout and use a deep cleaning body wash or moisturiser-infused bar. Or try an electronic cleansing brush. Follow up with a fragrance-free no-fuss body lotion.

3. So secret: Shhhh …

While the other conditions might be embarrassing in the sense that you wouldn’t discuss it at your parents’ Sunday dinner, there are some more intimate things you probably wouldn’t even bring up with, well, anyone. Ever.

There’s no need to go into any great detail, but our nether regions have no breathing space when we’re working out. And while our bodies are pretty self-sufficient, particularly down there, all that time sweating it out in lycra and feeling a little unfresh can take its toll.

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Luckily, there are pH-friendly options out there that are disguised as face wipes. Clever. Breathable underwear helps, too.

4. So painful: Chafing

Much like its cousin, rash, chafing is one of the most common exercise by-products. It occurs when skin rubs on skin or clothing continuously, eventually leaving it raw and sore.

But you can prevent chafing by opting for breathable fabrics, form-fitting gym gear and by using talcum powder and petroleum jelly. Talc absorbs moisture away from the skin, and the lubrication will help protect friction-prone areas, like nipples, inner thighs and underarm creases.

Currently chafed up? Let it heal before doing any activity that might irritate the affected area.

5. So itchy: Dry scalp

Conditions this time of year can cause havoc with your hair, especially your poor scalp. The constant interchange between the outside dip in temperature and the heat indoors causes the scalp to become dry, itchy and prone to dandruff. When you add to that the three-times-a-week gym class, hot yoga and run, your hair has gone through a gauntlet of sweat, oils, temp changes, washes and tight topknots.

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While there’s not much you can do about nature’s disregard for perfect hair-friendly weather, you can counteract the flake by working from within and using topical remedies. Keep an eye on your diet – not getting enough zinc, vitamin B and good fats (such as fish oil, avocado, nuts and seeds), which activates nourishing natural oils, can have an effect on your scalp.

If your hair otherwise is in a good condition, look for dandruff-specific shampoo and be sure to thoroughly rinse out. However, if you’re already using a treatment shampoo (damaged, coloured, etc), opt for leave-in scalp oils. Just spray or drop a small amount onto clean, damp hair and massage through.

Sweat cheat

Use baby wipes for a quick wipe-down especially if you don’t have time to shower straight after your workout and have an appointment. They’re super-absorbent, super-nourishing and perfect for sensitive skin.

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