As good as fitness is for your body and mind, your time training can wreak havoc on your hair and skin. There are loads of products out there but often times the more you use them, the more your problems multiply.
As fitness professional, I spend typically three hours a day in a gym or working outdoors and most solutions just haven't been enough. These are my personal picks which have been effective for me and are completely natural:
EAT YOUR WATER
I never use to have dry skin, in fact it was always the opposite problem - absolute oiliness. However, when I became a PT, my pores went into overdrive - producing so much sweat that I had to continually wash my face. The regular cleansing, combined with overactive pores, resulted in a sahara-like dryness. When moisturisers stopped working, I consulted doctors and dermatologists about what to do.
Their suggestions? Eat food which has a high water content; this includes cucumbers, watermelons, pineapples and celery. Now, I try to have at least one of those each day - it definitely makes a difference! You should regularly drink water as well but combining it with water-based food is even more effective.
SOAK UP SWEAT WITH BAKING SODA
A beautician first recommended this to me because her boyfriend was a MMA fighter and was constantly dealing with breakouts. He tried washing his face regularly only to then have the problem of dry skin. As a beautician, she had him experiment with different solutions - natural and artificial. Lo and behold, the answer was cotton wipes soaked in warm water plus a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda - this removed the sweat without stripping out moisture.
You can pack these homemade wet wipes in sandwhich bags and take them with you for use after workouts.
JOJOBA OIL AS AN EYE MAKEUP REMOVER
In an ideal world, you wouldn't wear make-up before the gym. But most of you come straight from work and don't have time to remove it (or perhaps you don't want to.) Aside from the dark eye circles caused by running mascara and eyeliner, wearing eye make-up during a sweat session can also cause irritation. You know that burning sensation you get after a particularly intense workout? That's the cosmetics mixing with your sweat. Often, even when you remove the make-up you'll still feel a "rawness" which is a due to a mix of factors; the cleanser you're using, dryness and damage already done from mixing sweat with chemicals in cosmetics. But this isn't a necessary evil!
Most make-up removers will really "raw out" your skin after you've sweat so much, natural oils however are different; they moisturize as they remove cosmetics. Play with a few and see which your skin likes best; for me Jojoba oil has been ideal as it's light enough to not clog my pores but thick enough to hydrate my skin around the eyes and remove all make-up.
COTTON HEADBANDS NOT HAIR TIES OR PINS
You probably realised that just like your skin, your hair undergoes some serious damage in the gym. A regular moisurizing conditioner will help, as well as a weekly deep treatment but there is another simple solution that will help with breakage.
Years ago, I had a hair technician as a client. She criticised me pretty much every session for tying my hair in a tight bun and using bobby (hair) pins. You see I thought I was being good; obviously hair ties are bad and rip up your hair but pins? She insisted that I wear it loose and use a cotton headband to keep my face clear.
I finally gave this a try; for the first time in YEARS my hair started to grow again. I hadn't realised that it wasn't growing because it was breaking so much from all those tight buns. These days, I occasionally have to do a bun (I have curly hair - it doesn't always cooperate) but I always alternate with the headband - and my hair continues to grow!
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