[Disclosure: Native Deodorant sent me samples to test for this post.]
I know I’m not the only one who has noticed that winter is wreaking havoc on my skin. My elbows are so dry they look dusty and my legs itch from lack of moisture. Skin is the biggest organ in our body, protecting you from the outside, helping you regulate body temperature, and is the first thing people see when they meet you. That’s why it’s so important to care for your skin the same way you care for your muscles and heart at the gym.
1. Apply lotion at the right time
Shaving, showering and exfoliating are rough on your skin as they remove the outermost layer of skin. That’s why the most important time to apply lotion is right after any of these activities. When you get out of the shower, pat the skin dry, instead of rubbing it. Then apply lotion, trapping the water and letting it moisturize your outermost skin cells.
It’s also a good idea to apply lotion before you head outside to exercise. When you sweat, the moisture evaporates from your skin, especially in dry winter weather. Applying lotion before you head outside will trap the moisture, helping you prevent post-run dryness.
2. Don’t forget to care for your underarms
We all use deodorant. For those of us who work out often, we’re often applying more than once per day. We put so much thought into what we eat and put in our body, but don’t think as much about what we’re absorbing through our skin. Your standard antiperspirant is full of ingredients with questionable properties, like aluminum and parabens. Although there is controversy on the topic, some studies have suggested a link between aluminum-based antiperspirants and Alzheimer’s Disease. My family has a history of Alzheimer’s – we lost first my great-grandfather and then my grandmother to long and miserable battles with the disease, and I’d rather not take the risk if I don’t have to.
Fortunately, there are natural deodorants available that not only leave out scary ingredients, but help moisturize your underarms and actually work! My favorite is Native Deodorant. Aluminum and paraben-free, and made in the U.S., it comes in a wide variety of scents. Honestly, I never believed that a deodorant with ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter would fight the sweat of my workout routine, but it fights smell and keeps my skin soft.
3. Take extra special care of your face
Your face is the one part of your body that’s just about always exposed to the elements, so it needs extra love. Make sure you pick a moisturizer that works for your skin type. If you see “lotion” it tends to have a bit less oil and more water, which makes it better for oily skin. For dry skin, those oils are a necessity, so reach for a cream. Look for a product that doesn’t use acids, which can be harsh on the skin, and have SPF to prevent skin damage from the sun.
While most of us apply after our morning shower, consider a thin layer of moisturizer on the face before bed. Changing your pillowcases regularly will keep your skin clean and prevent breakouts. During winter, a humidifier can go a long way in helping maintain moisture in your room. Just remember to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent mold growth.
What do you do to care for your skin?