Pre & Post Workout Skincare Routines (and why you shouldn’t skip them!)

Maintaining a good skincare routine when it comes to working out will make a difference in how you look when you come out of your session and in the long term. Knowing which products are benefitial for your skin and staying away from the ones that might damage it are the key when you regularly exercise (or even if you take it slowly). Today, I will introduce my before and after workout skincare routines and the type of products you want to look for. Keep reading!

We already went through the benefits of working out for our skin and the things we need to avoid. I work out immediately after eating breakfast, so I usually take a shower, apply this routine, and after an hour or so, I follow the rest of my morning skincare routine without the cleanser. It’s up to you, though!

Workout skincare routines: are they necessary?

You’ve probably realized that the sweating, the friction and all the inevitable sides of doing exercise surely have their pros and cons. And if you haven’t, I highly recommend you read this post, because I put together some of the benefits and disadvantages of working out for your skin. It’s not without good care that you’ll step out of the shower looking like Charlize Theron in a Dior ad.


1. Clean your face and remove makeup

This step is fundamental. You need to take off any makeup you’re wearing and clean your face properly with a gentle cleanser or micellar water. The body heat from working out is going to open your pores and wearing makeup would only cause it to settle in them. It’s not cute. Let your skin breathe!

Micellar Water, Herbora, and Foam Cleanser, Naobay | Skincare Products for Pre and Post Workout Skincare Routine
Micellar Water, Herbora, and Foam Cleanser, Naobay | Skincare Products for Pre and Post Workout Skincare Routine

I personally like using Naobay‘s Detoxing Foam Cleanser because of its oxygenating properties and ingredients, like ginger extract, which improves the circulation of the skin. If your skin is kind of dry, try using a lightweight hydrating cleanser.

2. Apply a facial mist or toner

Hydrating is key (and not only externally, don’t forget to drink your water while you’re working out), so find yourself a nice facial mist or calming toner for this step. This one is not as strictly necessary, but I’ve found that using an invigorating product before working out has helped me a lot! They are refreshing enough to boost your energy and that’s potentially positive not only for your skin but your performance when you’re exercising.

Detox Facial Mist by Naobay | Skincare Products for Pre and Post Workout Skincare Routine
Detox Facial Mist by Naobay | Skincare Products for Pre and Post Workout Skincare Routine

I personally love Naobay‘s Energizing Facial Mist Toner, which has aloe vera and hyaluronic acid among its ingredients, so it soothes the skin but it’s not irritating. The scent is marvellous too.

3. (If outdoors) Wear SPF.

Personally, I don’t like wearing moisturizer or any other heavy products before I work out. Even if they absorb quickly, the idea of them clogging my pores even more is a no-no! Plus, we’ll catch up on that after the workout. However, if you’re going outside for a run, make sure to wear SPF; there are tons of waterproof products for that, that will also keep up with the sweat.

4. Completely, utterly, absolutely… optional: Makeup

If you really, really, really, really want (because you definitely don’t need) to wear makeup, use light and non-comedogenic products that won’t clog your pores. The first cruelty-free option that comes to my mind is essence‘s You Better Work! collection, but I haven’t tried to work out wearing it.

Essence‘s You Better Work! Collection Ad Campaign (Source: Essence)


Now that we’re done working out, we can’t let the bacteria and sweat residue settle in our face (or body, for that matter). It’s better not to cool down and go straight to the shower, which is where I start with step one:

Step 1: Cleanser

Gentle cleansers will get the job done and won’t be too harmful for your skin. On the contrary! The right ones will make sure to wash away the oils and bacteria without the irritation, and that’s nice considering that your skin will be inevitably more sensitive after a workout. I keep a solid bar cleanser in the bath for that. Additionally, I try to calm my skin by using cool water, which will prevent the breaking of blood vessels and return the skin temperature to normal quicker.

Milky cleansers are also a good idea for this step. They are both hydrating and soothing, so it’s especially helpful for dry skin.

Step 2: Face Mist or Toner

Next thing I do after I step out of the shower with a cleansed faced is using a calming toner like Pixi‘s Rose Tonic. I try to be extremely gentle and it helps a lot. If you want to make it quicker, you can definitely use a facial mist like the one I mentioned in the pre-workout: Naobay‘s Energizing Facial Mist TonerJust make sure the ingredients aren’t too strong because we want to leave the big names for the night, as I explained in the previous post.

Step 3: Gel, Serum or Moisturizer

This next step is different for everyone, but I like to use a gel moisturizer on top of the toner because I feel like my skin is perfectly balanced at that point, but it could also use a bit of hydration to get through the day.

You can also apply serums that are not too treatment-like, like acne or spots serums. Again, it’s better to save those for later.

Step 4: SPF

Always, always, always use SPF. Did you know that even if you’re quarantined, you should be using it? In a recent Vogue interview with Laura Scott, M.D., associate director of the Skin of Color Division at the University of Miami, she pointed out that “windows only protect us from UVB rays, which are the burning rays of the sun, but not UVA, the aging rays“. So yes… bright days or not, we still have to use it!

And, those are the pre and post-workout skincare routines you should follow! They are honestly rather simple and can be mixed up with your morning routine if, like me, you start the day by doing exercise. It wakes me up and pushes me to take morning showers -I’d always been a night shower kind of gal-, and it works for me.

Anyway! Thank you so much for reading and following. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to know more about the benefits of working out for your skin, make sure to read this one:

And if you want to read about my morning and night skincare routines and the cruelty-free products I use, head over here:

Before you leave, don’t forget to follow me on social media. I try to be more active there, and it’s an easier way of seeing my follow-ups and updates! ♡

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