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Here's How to Stop the Gym From Ruining Your Face

How to prevent post-workout breakouts — and the best skin care products to keep in your gym bag
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It's a well known fact that exercise is good for you. The US government recommends 30 minutes of exercise every day to stay healthy, and even Elle Woods agrees: "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy...". Breaking a sweat does wonders for your body and your mind... but is it also ruining your complexion? Possibly.

Let's break it down: When you workout you sweat. Your body detoxes and your pores open up to release impurities from your skin. (Another way exercising is good for you!). And let's be real, sweat is gross: It's wet, dirty and uncomfortable. So, we mop it up — hopefully with a clean towel and not with dirty hands.

Though, be warned — simply drying off with just a towel isn't enough after a workout. After all, sweat carries the grime your body detoxes — and mixes it together with the dirt that was already on your face to begin with. Leaving all that on your face for too long can lead to breakouts. You'll need more than a quick pat down — washing your face after you sweat is a must! And the sooner, the better.

And that's not all: The key to a clear complexion for active exercisers is to wash your face before the gym, too. It might sound a little extra, but it's actually really important — remember, you don't want your pre-workout grime mixing with your sweaty post-workout grime; it'll only lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Washing your face beforehand puts a stop to that, leaving your face clean and your pores clear.

So, it's simple: 1. Clean your face before you work out and 2. Clean your face after you work out. Now, read on for the perfect skin care products to keep in your gym bag.

Image via Imaxtree

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Son & Park Beauty Water, $30

If you don't have time for another face routine before the gym, or you don't want to be that person after hogging up the locker room sink with your 10-step routine, then you might just want to invest in this cult favorite beauty water.

The multi-tasking cleansing water cleans, lightly exfoliates, and hydrates — it even removes makeup too. It's the one-stop-shop of skin care products that will leave your skin clean without feeling dry. (Bonus: It's perfect to use for a midday refresh, too.)

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When you're on the go — or like me constantly running late — and need a no-fuss, quick cleanse, these nifty face wipes are your best bet. No cotton pads needed! Just one swipe across the face, before and after your workout, and you're good to go. Formulated with argan oil, this cleansing tissue is strong enough to remove waterproof makeup, yet still nourishes and moisturizes skin.

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For a quick and mess-free deep clean, try this travel-friendly cleansing stick. It's so easy to use: Simply swipe it over your skin, then rise off with cool water. This product is exclusive to Soko Glam, co-created by co-founder Charlotte Cho, and has been called "one of the coolest creations to come out of Korea" (and I'd have to agree).

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In skin care, sun protection is non-negotiable — yes, even when you work out. If you exercise during the day or take your workouts outdoors then you'll need a sweat-resistant SPF. This cult favorite from Neutrogena is fast-absorbing, lightweight and water-resistant — and it won't clog pores or sting your eyes when you get really sweaty.

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