The Ultimate Gym Bag Beauty Checklist

Your post-workout routine is all about cleaning yourself up so that you look put together wherever it is you’re headed. Whether you’re able to shower in the locker room or you only have time for a five-minute refresh, there are a few key beauty products that can help you get the job done. We asked top fitness instructors and trainers to share the go-to beauty products they always store in their gym bags, and here’s what they had to say.

gym bag beauty products


After working up a sweat, get your underarm area smelling fresh with a swipe of deodorant. Looking for a natural option? Gretchen Klise, certified personal trainer, likes Kopari Coconut Deodorant ($14, because it’s aluminum-free and glides on smoothly. Made with organic coconut oil, the scent will remind you of summer, while the formula will soothe sensitive pits.

Makeup Remover Wipes

Lugging a bottle of facial cleanser with you to the gym isn’t exactly practical. Enter makeup remover wipes. Meagan Robar, [solidcore] coach and studio manager at [solidcore] in Roslyn, New York, relies on Olay Fresh Effects S’Wipe Out Refreshing Make-Up Removal Cloths ($5.80, to remove makeup, dirt, and oil and refresh her face between workouts.

Facial Mist

If your face tends to look red after exercising, a face mist can help calm your skin down. Eliza Nelson, certified personal trainer, nutrition expert, and orthopedic exercise specialist, is a fan of Honest Beauty Elevated Hydration Mist ($13.99, It’s formulated with skin-soothing aloe vera and ultra-moisturizing hyaluronic acid.

Dry Shampoo

For those days when you just don’t have time to wash your hair before leaving the gym, dry shampoo is a lifesaver. Just spritz dry shampoo into your roots and rub it in with your fingers to remove excess oil and odor. Kate Boren, certified personal trainer and a professional ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre, reaches for Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo ($5.99, “It knocks out those sweaty, smelly roots,” she says.

Oil-Absorbing Sheets

Say sayonara to a super-shiny face by stashing a pack of oil-absorbing sheets in your gym bag. Boren says Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets ($5.79, is one of her gym bag essentials. “I get super sweaty and oily during a workout,” she says. “These help to keep my face fresh and my pores clean.”

Body Wash

If you have time to hop in the shower in the locker room, bring your own body wash in a scent that’s sure to boost your mood and get you ready to tackle anything the day throws your way. Klise’s current favorite is Ritual of Hammam Foaming Shower Gel from Rituals ($15, because it features scents of eucalyptus and rosemary to energize.

Face Sunscreen

Before heading outside after a morning gym sesh, make sure to protect your skin from the sun with a quality SPF. (Fun fact: Even on cloudy days your skin is susceptible to sun damage.) For the face, Christine Parizo, personal trainer an blogger at Run Out of the Box, uses Fré Defence Facial Moisturizer ($50, to protect her skin with SPF 30 sans clogging pores. Liz Van Voorhis, master instructor at The Monster Cycle in New York City and founder of FIT COLLECTIVE, uses Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45 ($30, for sun protection and to sop up shine.

Tinted Moisturizer

Cover up any post-workout redness and even out your skin tone with a lightweight tinted moisturizer. Robar’s pick is COOLA Rōsiliance Tinted Organic BB+ Cream SPF 30 ($52, “It gives me a natural glow and keeps my skin nourished, protected, and even,” she says. Bonus: Because it has SPF, you don’t need to bring a separate sunscreen!

Body Sunscreen

For the body (if your clothing is exposing an area of skin like your arms or legs), Van Voorhis likes Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 ($36, It shields against UVA, UVB, and blue light rays with non-nano zinc (which won’t harm coral reefs).  

Body Lotion

Soothe achy muscles with a body lotion that contains magnesium, which aids in recovery. Van Voorhis packs REN Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Cream ($38, in her gym bag to ease her muscles post-class.


Woke up at the crack of dawn to work out? Hide dark circles under your eyes with concealer before leaving the gym. Nelson’s favorite is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30,, which hides everything from dark circles to redness while enhancing your glow.


Nelson also suggests using a mascara to make you look more awake. Her favorite is Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara ($24, Because it’s waterproof, you can even put it on before you exercise and not have to worry about it sweating off.


Throw your whole look together after exercising by applying lipstick. Robar sticks with neutrals, like MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme d’Nude ($18.50,, which she pairs with MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl ($18, “I feel confident after a good sweat sesh, and tend to want to look as confident as I feel,” she says. “These products do just the trick.”



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About Christina Heiser

Christina Heiser is a freelance writer who covers beauty, health, nutrition, and fitness. As a lifelong New Yorker, she loves exploring her city by foot, cheering on her favorite local sports teams (Let's go, Mets!), and checking out all of the trendy boutique fitness studios. Christina graduated from St. John's University in 2010 with a degree in English and a passion for reporting. After graduating, Christina went on to work for and, covering everything from beauty to fitness to celebrity news. Now, she contributes to a variety of beauty- and wellness-focused websites including aSweatLife, NBC News Better, Total Beauty, and What's Good by Vitamin Shoppe.