Get ‘skin fit’, by Cherry Woods
I’m Cherry, an anti-ageing facialist, a self-confessed beauty junkie and a “no boloney here”, straight talking kinda’ gal.
When it comes to skin care products and ‘proper’ facial treatments what really gets me excited is coaxing our skins into ‘working harder’ for us.
So, Vicki and I were out chatting over a juice (or a glass of wine, you decide) the other week and whilst we are all very focused, and rightly so, on being body fit, we wondered…can we achieve SKIN-FIT…? How does exercising affect our skin? What happens to our skin when we exercise? How can we counterbalance the BAD and enhance the benefits?
To properly understand a day in the life of ‘active’ skin, of course we have to look at what happens to our skin when we exercise, but we must also consider the context of a typical day and the usual ‘baseline’ stresses our skin has to deal with. Here are my top 5 (‘Cherry-Picked’) watch-points for maintaining healthy skin through exercise.
- Over washing the face. This can impair the skin’s natural barrier. With daily visits to the barre, you could easily notch up 3 showers a day (if you factor in your morning and post workout shower along with a possible cheeky bath at bedtime) so there is a chance you may be ‘over cleaning’ your skin. The impaired barrier function results in either dryness and/or breakout. In the anti-ageing stakes, an impaired skin barrier is a skin that ages faster. TIP -If you multi shower, Use a PH balanced face cleanser but only pump a pea sized amount and mix and dilute with water and if possible, don’t cleanse your skin in your morning shower.
- Increased sweating! Or do we call it glowing? Well some of us ‘glow’ a little more than others and whilst we can’t stop the sweat, what we need to know is that if you sweat on your face a lot during your workout and if your skin is naturally prone to breakout, sensitivity or eczema then this could worsen the condition. The salts in the sweat cause inflammation and irritation both in the pore and on the surface of the skin. TIP – The key to neutralizing these negative effects is to immediately spritz the skin with a mist of purified water straight after your class, and that means even before you hit the shower! I recommend you carry a tiny Evian mist (you can get these from most big pharmacies). Keep it with you in the studio, spray before and after your workout. This little trick will also keep the skin cool and calm which is the key to great skin.
- Regular exercise increases oil flow. For some skin types this is a good thing, however, excessive oil flow could result in an enlarged pore size, more blackheads and breakouts. TIP – Choosing the right moisturizer is crucial to avoid ‘overburdening’ a pore…rich heavy ‘fancy’ anti-ageing creams are a no-no if you are a regular barre attendee, they will sit like a heavy weight in your pores and relax them over time…so think light, water-based lotions and re think how you apply. Here is the pattern of application; neck first, sides of face, lips and upper lip and only apply to the T-Zone (centre part of the face) once a day. Extra TIP – Cool Cloths. This extra tip takes a bit of planning, but if you are mega organized you will be pleased with the results. Fill up your sink with tepid water, throw in a few Chamomile tea bags, throw in 8 soft cotton plain white face cloths really let the chamomile infuse into the cloths. Squeeze them out and put them in a separate ziplock food bag and put in the fridge. Throw one in your sports bag each day and after your workout, but before you apply your moisturizer hold the cloth to your whole face (without rubbing). This will tighten the pores, reduce oil flow and reduce the post workout ‘inflammatory cascade’ which can lead to sensitized skins. It’s really worth doing! This will also make your make-up last longer and sit better on the skin, although it’s best if you can avoid make-up application for at least 3 hours after a work out (and a facial for that matter!) as your skin is much more porous, so it will pull all the moisture from your make-up and be absorbed deep down into the pore… Blackhead alert! But don’t panic, I will sort these out in the Active Facial we have specially designed for you.
- Water loss! When you are working really hard at the barre, your body temperature increases, the capillaries in our skin dilate and our face goes red (some of us can get quite red) unfortunately this means the water in our capillaries evaporates to the atmosphere, I have a fancy word for this, ‘transepidermal water loss’. This ultimately means less water in the skin and if we want awesome skin we need it to hold on to water. TIP – Aside from more Evian spraying (see point 2) I recommend applying a little hyaluronic acid serum/booster 2 x per day and ideally just before exercise, which plumps up the skin like a sponge full of water. Skins that are ‘fatty acid deficient’ and lipid dry are more prone to water loss as their skin behaves a bit like a leaky colander, so the best tip is to regularly take a good Omega 3 supplement which will not only allow your skin to naturally hold on to water but reduce redness in the skin over time.
- Gravity! If you are active, and I know you are, then your lovely face is moving about a bit, this elevated level of activity does mean a little more loss of elasticity. Think how much more ‘facially’ active you are when your instructor gets you to hold that plank for another 20 seconds arrgggh! TIP – Topical Vitamin C serum with help stoke and stimulate collagen production which will improve elasticity and support an active skin (take an oral supplement too, this will be doubly fabulous). Beyond the Barre…do you run?? This is one of the most accelerated ageing activities..mostly due to environmental exposure (wind, rain, temperature changes, water loss, UV exposure etc) but also the facial movement from running (think of a jogger in slow motion and how their face moves!) and as we can’t wear a sports bra on our faces I suggest you apply your water based moisturizer, hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin C then blot and apply a layer of antioxidant rich sunblock on top, regardless of the weather outside. Supporting the skin with sunblock will act as a seal to ‘hold’ your moisturizer and serums in place, keeping your skin in a constant, controlled environment, perfectly hydrated and less blotchy. Toning facial muscles is as vital as toning the muscles in your body – and is a key component of the special ‘Active Facial’ I have created for Barreworks TRIBE members, once you have been introduced to my muscle lifting machine and my lifting facial massage, you will never look back!
So for you lovely Barreworks ladies and gents, I have exclusively designed a facial that perfectly targets all of the above and it’s your solution to getting Skin Fit.
My Active Facial is 45 mins (your first visit will be 1 hour which includes a skin consultation). Barreworks TRIBE members get 20% off the regular £85 price. The facial can be done bi-monthly if needed. It includes:
- Deep steam cleanse and exfoliation, plus blackhead evacuation
- Cool Chamomile cloth
- A cocktail infusion (using Sound Wave technology) of Vitamin C for collagen-boosting, hyaluronic acid for water boosting and growth factors for anti-inflammation and line reduction
- 5 min muscle lifting using both micro-current and manual lifting massage techniques.
Look forward to seeing you all skin fit and body fit soon.
You will find the Cherry Woods Skin Clinic at 19a King Street Richmond TW9 1ND or online here.