Makeup artists’ rule for applying blush: you want a natural flush, similar to the soft rosy cheeks one gets after a trip to the gym. Do they see the same red, blotchy skin we do? The last thing we want is the aftermath of a good sweat session to be intentional. For that gorgeous glow the experts speak of, we’ve got the simple routine (three quick steps you can do in the locker room) to get you there—so you can go from the elliptical to the catwalk, err, local watering hole.
Whether it’s before or after a long day at the office, your main priority is getting in and out of the gym fast. But don’t let your skin suffer. To keep pores clear and prevent acne, remove all makeup (yes, even your mascara) before hitting the treadmill. Using a gentle version of face wipes, like First Aid Beauty Gentle Cleansing Wipes ($15, sephora.com), to keep skin supple.
1. Give skin a real cleanse.
Sweat is great for the skin because it removes toxins that clog pores and cause blemishes. It’s during exercise that sweat glands are at their highest functionality. However, to remove the toxins from the surface of skin (and prevent bacterial infections), a real cleansing is key. Facial wipes may rid the skin of some dirt and oil, but cleanser and water are more exact—cold water even helps to calm the redness. Look for a formula with salicylic acid, such as Murad Clarifying Cleanser ($26, sephora.com). The easy-to-blend rich lather is strong enough to prevent acne all day.
2. Add moisture back.
After the facial wipes and cleanser, the skin has been stripped not once, but twice. To ensure hydration, use a small amount of moisturizer. If you still feel overheated, stick to a light formula, such as Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($26, sephora.com). You may continue to lightly sweat, producing more natural oils. A thick formula may make the complexion appear greasy.
3. Highlight your glow.
Makeup artists had one thing right: your skin does have a natural flush after a workout. The key is to control that natural glow we normally try to emulate with blush and highlighter. Use a light BB cream with SPF to even out the skin tone (no more tomato face), and finish with a light mineral powder to absorb leftover oil.
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