Your Skin and the Gym: Tips for Keeping it Clear

An essential part of keeping your skin clear after a sweaty gym session.An essential part of keeping your skin clear after a sweaty gym session.Madaline Donnelly, Allure magazine

This time of year, my true vice and virtue come out: First, I stuff myself mad with cupcakes, chocolates, and other sweets that make their way to the Allure giveaway shelf. Then I drag myself to the gym. (And yes, there's a fair amount of self-loathing involved.) And lately I've noticed that while my body loves the extra energy that comes along with those 7 A.M. gym sessions, my skin does not. I want nothing holding me back from hitting the gym in 2013 (not the most novel resolution, I know), so I spoke with dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco to find out what I can do to help keep my physique fit and my skin squeaky clean.

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Take It All Off...

"The most common gym-related dermatoses (skin issues) I see are breakouts at the hairline, on the chest, and on the back," says Fusco. "Much of this is aggravated by excessive sweating, rubbing of material, and clogging with heavy comedogenic products. So always take your makeup off before working out." If you head to the gym right after work, throw some face wipes, like Say Yes to Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes in your bag.

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...And Put the Right Clothes On
"Wear a cotton, sweat-absorbing tank and underwear to prevent skin from being irritated by synthetic material," says Fusco. "All that irritation can lead to butt, back and chest acne."

Pull It Back-And Go Easy on the Product
"Wear your hair back off of your face in a pony or at least pulled back with a band. If possible, don't put any leave-in products on your hair before working out. At the very least try not to apply them within two inches of the roots or hairline so that the product doesn't migrate onto your skin and cause a breakout."

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Use the Right Products Post-Workout
"Wash your face after you work out with a salicylic acid based cleanser," says Fusco. We like Best of Beauty winner L'Oréal Youth Code Foaming Gel Cleanser. "If your scalp is oily, use a product like Clear Scalp and Hair Therapy Total Care because it conditions without leaving oily debris behind." And of course, don't forget to moisturize.

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