Just when our skin has recovered from the cold and we’ve started to sport a springtime glow, Texas summer arrives to complicate things. Add a little outdoor boot camp, and we’re not sure how to keep our face fresh. So we turned to Renée Rouleau, celebrity esthetician (Demi Lovato makes her client list) and spa owner to tackle all of our sweat-inducing skin care questions.
Should you wash your face before a workout? Rouleau says it depends.
“Truthfully, it’s actually more important to wash your skin after working out rather than before working out since oils, bacteria, and sweat have accumulated on the skin. But if you are wearing a heavy foundation, it’s good to wash your skin with a mild, non-drying cleanser,” she says. Follow it up with an alcohol-free toner and lightweight oil-free lotion.
Try: Renée Rouleau Gentle Gel Cleanser, $35.50, before and Renée Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel, $35.50, post-workout (reneerouleau.com)
Wear sunscreen if you’re exercising outdoors. If you must wear makeup, Rouleau recommends dusting on SPF-infused mineral power for coverage and protection from UV rays. Eye makeup and lipstick are safe, she adds.
Try: Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30, $35.50, and ColoreScience SPF 50 Mineral Powder, $60.50 (reneerouleau.com)
Combat post-workout tomato face.
“If you have a lot of redness in your skin after your workout, look for moisturizers or skin serums with soothing ingredients like white tea, sea whip, azulene, chamomile, and bisabolol to help to calm the skin down by taking the pressure off of capillaries,” Rouleau says.
You can also apply a gel-based mask to help cool heat-activated skin and calm pigment cells. Tip: Keep the mask in the refrigerator.
Try: Renée Rouleau Bio Calm Repair Masque, $49.50
What you put in your body affects the way your skin looks. Rouleau recommends taking a Vitamin C supplement 30 minutes prior to working out.
“Since one of the major contributing factors to the aging process is the production of free radicals caused from exercise, it’s very important to take antioxidants to minimize the damage,” she says.
Drinking water doesn’t replace your moisturizer.
“Since you lose so much water from perspiration, it is crucial that you replace it by drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after workouts,” Rouleau says. “Surprisingly, however, drinking water is the least efficient way to hydrate the skin. Skin hydration levels have much more to do with what you are using topically on the skin.”
Heat can cause brown spots. That’s terrible news for hot yoga lovers. Take note:
“Research now shows us that it isn’t only from direct sunlight, but heat will also increase the possibility of getting skin discoloration,” Rouleau says. “If you are someone prone to pigmentation and are trying to get it to fade, an important goal is to keep the temperature of the skin as cool as possible.”
Swimmers, take extra measures to guard your skin against chlorine and sun.
“The chlorine in a swimming pool can be very drying for the skin,” Rouleau says. “If you're swimming indoors, apply five drops of a natural oil, like safflower or jojoba, to the face. You can apply it to the body as well. These oils will act as a barrier to prevent the chlorine from drying out the skin as much.”
If you’re swimming outdoors, wear a water-resistant sunscreen.
Runners, go accessory shopping.
Rouleau suggests wearing a hat and sunglasses to minimize sun exposure to the face.