It’s not a secret that exercise is good for you. In Fact, it’s great for you! Mind, body and soul – all in all a fantastic way to prevent illness, recover from disease, manage weight, treat mental illness, boost endorphins, lower cholesterol, increase strength… I could literally go on forever.
For myself, I have found a correlation between the volume of which I am training and the decline in the moisture and glow of my skin. So although there are very little drawbacks of exercise (except maybe the amount of washing you need to do), I have found my skin isn’t always a fan.
Now, this may be a coincidence. Maybe I train more in winter and my skin is adversely effected by the colder weather. Maybe I become more conscious of my body and it’s sensations when I train more and therefore, notice any slight changes. Or perhaps it’s because the more I train, the more I shower. The more I shower, my skin is exposed to more water, the more body wash I use, the more moisturiser I use, and the more lycra I wear.
It’s only been within the past 12 months that I have really started to take responsibility for a skin care regime and this was kicked off by a few visits to a holistic doctor and naturopaths.
Along the way I have found a few tricks, dietary tools and products that have worked with me and my drier skin, not against me.
My first port of call for ANYTHING related to my health or body is to analyse what I am or am not eating and how this may be effecting my from the inside out. I will always try to fix anything within myself with nutrients and food before I turn to products or medications because I am a firm and loyal believer that food is the best medicine and our guts are responsible for a lot more than digestion.
1. First and foremost I look at how much fat I am consuming and from what sources? Nuts, seeds, salmon, eggs and coconut oil are my go-to’s when it comes to nourishment of my skin as they all contain essential fats, vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin A, C and E, as well as Omega 3 Fatty Acids from Salmon.
I include more nuts in my meals, add them into a salad or stir-fry or make my homemade muesli that contains a variety of nuts to give me an extra boost of healthy fats and protein.
2. Dairy for me is a big contributor to having dry and scaly skin. I have started to include small amounts back into my diet so I don’t cause an intolerance however, I am very careful to keep this to a minimum from sources like Greek yoghurt or feta cheese.
3. Hydration. It really says it all – how can you expect your skin to be hydrated if you aren’t drinking enough water? Drink more.
I have searched high and low for products that compliment my skin and can actually add moisture without the chemicals and have found that organic products do this the best.
They aren’t adding harsh chemicals to your body which are absorbed through your skin and into your organs, without fragrance is best.
Zuii Organic is made from flowers and is 95% Certified Organic with the remaining 5% being made from natural origins and is the brand that I have been using recently for Body wash and Moisturizer. I have found it to be really light on my skin, non-oily and has helped me nurse my skin back to health. For someone who showers a lot because of training, this is a godsend. They also have a tanning range which I am yet to try but will do in the next few weeks.
Which leads me to my next point. Tanning products are SO harsh on your skin they suck all of the moisture out of you and pour all of the chemicals in. I have simply stopped tanning myself because although I look like I’ve just spent 3 weeks in Bali, after two days my skin dries up and begins to hurt. No thanks.
I also tried and really liked showering with NO product. Now, I know this seems ghastly and somewhat unnerving but showering with just water was great for my skin and my initiated my body’s natural ability to clean itself. It cut down the amount of product I was using on my skin and actually really did the trick. Your body is an amazing thing and 1000’s of years ago, it didn’t know what soap was. My skin was able to breeathee.
Remove your makeup every night and if you can, wear a fresh face to training. This will help clean your pores and minimise breakouts from sweat and makeup clogging up your skin. Make sure your makeup remover is gentle on your skin – I have found Nivea to be great.
I feel like my skin will be a work in progress but it has come a long way in the past year and these little tweaks have made a world of difference!
One big contributing factor to my dry skin during high periods of exercise is an increased amount of time that I am wearing active wear. Leggings can be tight and irritating and some materials make it really hard for your skin to breath. Clothes that are too tight, rub on your skin and irritate it more so I try to buy higher quality brands (Lululemon, Nike and Adidas) as opposed to CottonOns – for the most part.
Let your girlie areas breathe sometimes – don’t wear undies to bed and wear underwear that is specifically designed for exercise. She needs air too!
That’s it – simple but effective ways for the active girl to help her skin be as healthy and happy as she is!