Cosmetic Fitness: After the Workout

Ladies, after you work out, it is recommended that you use a towel to wipe down instead of your hand.
Ladies, after you work out, it is recommended that you use a towel to wipe down instead of your hand. (iStock photo )

This post is for all you ladies who are looking for hassle-free ways to look and feel fresh and feminine before, during and after your workouts. It isn't the typical health article you'll see in this section of, but it is very informative for those ladies who keep in shape.

I asked a few of the women from our gym, CrossFit 925, for their favorite tips when it comes to obtaining clear skin, silky hair and smooth hands all in the midst of Texas humidity and air-conditionless workouts.

Get a pen ready (or Pinterest opened) so you can jot down these tidbits of cosmetic savviness!

For Hair

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1. Tame frizz: Try KMS Hair Stay Anti-Humidity Seal. One of our members, a hairstylist, recommended this product to me last year, and it has been a go-to on sweltering summer days ever since. I took it to both Orlando and Savannah this year and didn't blow dry my hair a single day during my trips. I simply sprayed my hair with the Hair Stay—saving myself lots of time!—and went about my day without fear of the frizzes!

2. Shampoo. Try out Hair One, a great alternative to the more expensive WEN brand. It's a two-in-one, sulfate and paraben-free product that shampoos and conditions hair using all-natural ingredients. Recommended by Christy, one of our CrossFit 925 members, Hair One is known for making hair look silky, shiny and smooth, a key selling point for fitness-minded women whose hair is the exact opposite after grueling sweat sessions!

3. Dry shampoo. Check out Oh Bee Hive! from the Bed Head brand of hair products. 925 member Hollie highly recommends it when you simply don't have time to shampoo your hair after a workout. Using a fine powder, this product absorbs excess oils from your scalp and produces fantastic volume.

4. Ponytails. Try to avoid pulling your hair into a super-tight ponytail. Doing so could cause breakage and eventually may lead to a receding hairline. Secure your hair with a metal-free seamless ponytail holder, an elastic headband, or a banana clip.  


For Eyes

1. Mascara. I like Maybelline's Colossal Volume in classic black. It adds volume and great color, is clump-free, and hasn't run on me yet (Or if it has, no one has told me). I've tried waterproof mascara, but it didn't go on well and looked clumpy. It's also drying to the lashes and nearly impossible to remove.

2. Eyeliner. Joy, another 925 member, is a professional artist as well as our gym's resident makeup expert! She recommends Maybelline's Lasting Drama eyeliner to wear during sweaty and messy workouts. She says it removes easily, too, which leads me to eye makeup remover.

3. Eye makeup remover. Grace, one of our coach's wives, recommends grapeseed oil or almond oil for removing eye makeup. (I use coconut oil because it's always in my pantry!) These oils are chemical free, so therefore much better for your precious eyes.

And in our opinion, they remove makeup better than the official eye makeup removers, and they're actually good for your skin, leaving it softer and more youthful-looking!

If using coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, scoop some out and rub it gently between your fingers. Next, smooth it over your eyes and let it sit for twenty seconds or so. Then remove the oil with a cotton ball or face cloth.


For Skin

1. Acne: When it comes to treating or preventing acne (an almost inevitable consequence of sweating in the summer), there are a few suggestions:

Go makeup free. Wearing makeup on your lips and eyes is fine, but sweating beneath a foundation can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Apply a bit of concealer to cover up any dark under-eye circles in the mornings, put on a little lip gloss, and let your pores breathe easy as you work out hard.

If you're like me and need more than a dab of concealer to cover up facial flaws, use an oil-free tinted moisturizer that contains SPF. Moisturizers are not as thick as foundations, and therefore are less likely to clog your pores. SPF, of course, will protect your skin from the sun during outdoor jogs or uphill lunges! 925 member Leslie, and yours truly, like Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It's oil free and contains SPF 20!

Cleanse with a Clarisonic (or something like it.) I actually don't have the Clarisonic, but I did recently purchase something similar: the Conair True Glow Sonic Facial Brush at Costco that's just $68.99 (The Clarisonic ranges from $79 to $159!) The sonic technology in these brushes produces 300 oscillations per second, which removes environmental toxins, makeup and bacteria much more effectively than cleansing alone. It also primes the skin to receive other skincare products, such as toner and moisturizer.

Another indispensable tip for acne prevention is to shower as soon as you can post-workout. If you don't, pores can get clogged with a sticky mixture of sweat, makeup, oil and debris. Moisture, along with junk trapped in your pores, creates the perfect breeding ground for the proliferation of acne-causing bacteria and inflammation.

If you don't have time to shower, consider using salicylic acid-based toner or facial wipes. Salicylic acid has proven to be highly effective in breaking down the material deep inside pores that can lead to pimples.

Wear breathable clothing. Opt for active-wear made of natural fabrics, such as cotton or hemp. If you get really sweaty, drenched and damp and cotton won't cut it, then try moisture-wicking fabrics that help absorb moisture but don't hold on to it. Also, avoid tight clothes wherever you have body breakouts.

Use a towel, not your hand. A simple, yet often overlooked tip for avoiding breakouts is not touching your face while at the gym. One needs only use their imagination a split second to realize just how detrimental bacteria-laden weights, mats, and benches can be to our faces. Try to keep your hands away from your face during your workout, and bring a towel and use it to wipe the sweat off of your face and chest. Always wash your hands before leaving the gym, too.

One of my favorite products for spot treating pimples is tea tree oil. It contains anti-microbial properties and has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria. For those with sensitive skin or who can't use benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil is a great choice because it's anti-inflammatory and won't cause peeling.

Investing in facials is another terrific way to prevent breakouts and treat your skin to a deep, revitalizing cleansing. Since I began getting facials more regularly, I have seen my acne-prone skin clear up dramatically. My favorite part (also the most uncomfortable) is the extractions, where the esthetician uses his or her fingers or a stainless steel tool to remove blackheads and whiteheads. Another woman I coach, Rachel, pointed out that facials tone your complexion, exfoliate to stimulate cell renewal, increase collagen production, and they also feel amazing.


For Hands

If you've been working with dumbbells, barbells or anything else ending with the "bell," then you've probably noticed that the palms of your hands aren't what they used to be. They likely feel rougher and feature calluses that could rival a lumberjack's. While some women prefer to wear gloves, the women I train (CrossFitters) typically lift bare-handed so they can better feel and grip their weights and bars, especially when performing explosive exercises (for example, kettlebell swings and clean and jerks) or kipping movements (for example, pull-ups or toes-to-bar) during which one's gloved hands can easily slip.

One of our members, Kristin, sings the praises of an all-natural product made just for torn hands (a common occurrence for pull-up-loving CrossFitters!) and calluses from W.O.D. Welder called Solid Salve. It conveniently comes in a stick so you can stash it in your purse or gym bag and use it whenever your hands—your tools—begin to feel dry or uncomfortable.

My personal favorite hand lotion is called Hello Yellow by Farmhouse Fresh. Filled with natural vanilla and citrus oils, shea and cocoa butters, and Vitamin E, this stuff works wonders to relieve dry skin. It's also 95% natural and is paraben and sulfate free.

I hope these tips are useful to you as you hit the gym, trail, studio, etc. this summer! As always, reach out to me any time on Twitter @dandersontyler or on Instagram @dianaandersontyler with any questions or feedback!

Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House's Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman's Guide to Total FitnessPerfect Fit: Weekly Wisdom and Workouts for Women of Faith and Fitness, and her latest book, Immeasurable: Diving into the Depths of God's Love. Her popular website can be found at and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925.

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