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Ask #LIVEMORE: do I really have to shower after a workout?
While it can be tempting to skip showering after the gym when you’re pressed for time, it isn’t the best idea – read on for why!
We’ve all been in a situation similar to this: morning spin class finished a little late, and there’s no time left to shower before that important 8 am work meeting. An internal debate ensues, and you question how bad it really is if you just spritz on body spray and throw on clean clothes. While it’s not the end of the world if you skip out on the post-workout shower once a while, it shouldn’t become a habit.
The #1 reason you need to rinse off after a workout
During exercise your skin releases toxins. If you don’t shower after a workout, they stay on your skin and irritate it: “The toxins are a source of inflammation and acidification” says sports medicine doctor, Dr. Lebar. This can cause pimples (on both your face and body), and mild skin rashes – not fun!
Wait 10 minutes to shower after an intense workout
While you probably want nothing more than to hop in the shower after a hot yoga class, you’re going to have to wait at least 10-15 minutes. Thirty minutes is even better, according to Dr. Lebar, because your skin is sensitized after a workout. Gradually allowing your skin to return to its normal body temperature is what will avoid irritation, and help it rebound after exercise. Use that time to stretch, walk around and bring your heart rate down.
Use hydrating skincare products in the shower
Once you’re in the shower, make sure the body wash you’re using adds hydration back into your skin, like Lait De Douche, or the new Skin Fitness Purifying and Cleansing Body Foam. Dr. Lebar explains why this is so important: “Your skin needs to restore its lipidic barrier, which becomes fragile during exercise, due to dehydration.” Follow up with body lotion to lock in moisture and to further nourish your skin.
It’s important to shower after every workout. However for those rare times that it’s impossible to do it, you should at least cleanse your face with a swipe of micellar water, like Biosource Cleansing Micellar Water. And don’t forget to wear breathable fabrics to the gym – they’ll help wick away sweat so that it doesn’t accumulate and sit on your body!