‘Stop if you feel pain, faint, dizzy, or experience shortness of breath’
“This has to be someones idea of a sick joke” I thought as I read the warning label on the elliptical machine I was using and ticked off each symptom. I started to laugh as a bead of sweat ran into my eye and my giggles turned to inner (and what must have looked like outer) crying.
It didn’t get better as I moved to the free weights, the rowing machine, the cycling machine, and the sit-ups mat. As I hiked back up the stairs to the exit, I felt the ache in my legs and knew that in a few short hours I would be feeling some real pain from Mr. T (T for treadmill, that is). But I wasn’t about to let this foreboding reality get to me. Not if there could be a beautiful outcome! I decided to tackle the things we worry about most after a work-out, and give them a makeover!
Perspiration is often linked to things we don’t like, such as acne and miliaria (heat rash), however, sweat is one of skins besties! Let me break it down real quick. Perspirating at the gym forces pores to open up and wash themselves out, releasing any gunk or junk that might be trapped. Many spas use steam for the same effect. The steam preps the skin and opens the pores so that a deeper clean can be achieved. A recent study done at Eberhard-Karls-University at Tubingen in Germany (bless you!) suggests that perspiration contains a natural antibiotic called Dermcidin, which can help kill bacteria inside and on the skin, actually helping to get rid of acne-causing bacteria.
Sweat can begin to irritate the skin, causing things like acne and Miliaria, if not washed off after a workout. And if you broke out into a sweat, your face will already be prepped and ready for a deep clean! So lets see what items you can stuff inside that gym bag, Guuurl!
Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub
A TeenNow Beauty Awards Winner, this scrub is perfect post-workout because it has no perfume and no colour. Its exfoliating beads are actually tiny rice granules (known to be the secret of those porcelain-faced Geishas, just putting it out there!) This way you won’t get a sore, sandpapered, red face after you exfoliate. Instead, your skin will be glorified with natural gifts, including Pro-Vitamin B5, and Vitamin E. This product also comes in an ‘Oil Balancing’ and ‘Blackhead Eliminating’ version. Need I say more?
Nivea Visage Pure and Natural Cleansing Toner All Skin Types
Once pores have been naturally opened through perspiration, I think its best to give skin a deep clean using the most natural ingredients possible, and to give it a kick with some vitamins and minerals if you can. That’s why I suggest using a toner after you exfoliate. Simple has a toner you can use with the scrub noted above, but my favourite toner is Nivea Pure and Natural Facial Toner. This is the one I keep in my makeup kit because it works with all skin types and acts as a beautiful prep for moisturizer and makeup. This is because it calms the skin while giving it a deep clean, and contains argan oil and aloe vera. The argan oil gives skin a beautiful glow, and the aloe vera will help calm any redness left from a workout. So far, I have never had any problems using it on models of all ethnicities and skin types.
Balance Me Daily Essentials Moisture Rich Face Cream
This face cream is 99% natural, which when it comes to skincare is pretty good! Perfectly moisturizing and non-sticky, it has no parabens, sulphates, or artificial fragrances, using a simple and natural rose extract to lightly scent the cream. It mixes Shea butter with Camellia oil (rich in vitamins, lipids, and essential fatty acids), Rosehip, and Kukui nut oils, not to mention Arctic Cloudberries! I actually researched the last ingredient in particular, as it seemed like an ingredient most likely found in a storybook. However, here they are!
Native to New Zealand and resembling a cloud, they are packed full of antioxidants and ripened under the midnight sun! Special!
Go ahead and try it, if not just for the cloudberries!
Epsom Salt Soak
Guess what I found out? Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. If you dissolve Epsom salts in a warm bath, the salts are absorbed through the skin and replenish the bodies levels of magnesium. The magnesium that is absorbed helps to make the mood-elevating chemical serotonin, which gives the brain a feeling of relaxation and calm. Find some with a natural peaceful scent, like lavender, jasmine, or mint, for an extra boost of okayness.
Bathing in Epsom salts will also relieve pain and muscle cramps because it helps with inflammation. Not only that, but these salts help regulate electrolytes in the body, ensuring the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Who’da thunk it?
I know a guy who bought a rolling pin with his friend simply because of how amazing it felt rolling down the back muscles in the shopping aisle. They have a rolling pin in their kitchen for this very reason. Think I’m crazy? You would be right, but you would be crazy yourself not to give it a go, at least when no one is looking! Have a friend or flatmate who isn’t ashamed to know you pretend you are a gingerbread man and roll the pin down your back, arms, and neck muscles. You can do this yourself against a wall or on the floor. Just make sure to wash it before you decide to use it for its actual purpose.
Until next time Beauties!