A fitness routine may be good for mind, body and soul, but how do they affect your beauty and wellbeing?
It’s all well and good having a jam-packed fitness routine, but if you’re not careful exercise can leave you feeling exhausted and prone to bacne (!) breakouts – especially in summer!
Our beauty editors reveal the gym-bag necessities that keep them feeling on top of the world during and after a workout…
1. The nutritional safety net
During exercise our body’s nutritional demands increase, which is why it’s so important to eat before and after a workout. But busy lifestyles often mean that it’s more difficult to squeeze a nutritious snack in before a lunchtime HIIT class, or that when we do have time to grab a snack, it’s quick-fix energy – aka carbs – on the go. Not to mention exercise causes you to lose all manner of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, too.
To keep our bodies fighting fit a multivitamin is a good nutritional safety net, and there’s none we love more than from Vitabiotics. Containing 28 different nutrients, Wellwoman Sport is a comprehensive multivitamin formula specially selected to help support women who want to excel in sports, as well as meet the needs of an all round active life.
2. The natural deodorant
Did you know that your body absorbs 60% of what you apply to it? And while the jury is still out on whether or not antiperspirants are bad for you, making the switch to something a little more natural is a good idea when it comes to exercise. If you’re anything like us, you’ll likely apply and reapply multiple times a day when you work out, which is why we love The Natural Deodorant Company.
Alcohol-free, these pots of natural loveliness are packed full of essential oils and moisturising shea butter that will leave your underarms feeling smooth and smelling fresh. We love Orange & Bergamot Active Deodorant Balm – perfect for more ‘demanding’ days.
3. The SPF
As Baz Luhrmann has been advising since 1998: wear sunscreen. An essential part of anyone’s skincare routine, SPF is vital to protect skin from UVA and UVB damage. When choosing SPF to wear when working out, it’s especially important to make sure you choose waterproof – and sweat-proof! – options.
We love Ultrasun Sports Formula Transparent Sun Protection Spray SPF50, which has been specifically designed to withstand water, sweat and friction. A clear, non-sticky, non-greasy formula, it is fragrance, emulsifier and preservative free, meaning it won’t clog up pores. Suitable for use all over body, including the face and scalp.
4. The surprise chafing hack
If you’ve ever suffered from chafing thighs and/or nipples thanks to the delightful combination that is the sun + sweat + synthetic/mesh athletic wear – and if you’re a runner, you definitely have – then nipple balm could be your summer saviour.
Albeit usually designed for breastfeeding mothers, nipple balm is an effective way to prevent chafing and relieve it when it hits. We love Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm, an effective treatment containing medical grade Lanolin, helping wounds to heal faster whilst providing hydration to dry, cracked or chapped skin.
5. The cleaner-than-clean shower gel
Whilst sweating it out is great for mind, body and soul – and your skin! – it’s important to make sure you shower off the impurities flushed out in the process ASAP… otherwise your skin will re-absorb them, leaving you prone to irritation and acne (hello – bacne is a real thing!)
Elemis Body Performance Revitalise-Me Shower Gel is an all-over body treatment that helps cleanse and revitalize the body. Sweet neroli oil and aromatic basil offer cleansing and calming properties, while thyme’s antiseptic properties clean and refresh skin.
6. The muscle saviour
Allowing your body time to heal post-workout is almost as important as the fitness routine itself. And while everyone loves to feel the burn while they’re pounding the pavement, stiff, aching muscles are actually a sign of microscopic damage to the muscle fibre. But don’t panic: feeling the burn for 24-48 after exercise is totally normal, and will actually encourage your muscle to recover stronger and denser than before (hello big booty!).
Just like drinking a protein shake, soaking in a hot bath post-workout will encourage muscle recovery and help prevent injury – though it won’t give you guns… Try adding Weleda Arnica Muscle Soak, which combines the natural aching, bruising and strain reliever of arnica with sensual rosemary and lavender.