Post-Workout Beauty Tips

Sometimes, it’s all you can do to squeeze a workout during your lunch hour or before the evening PTA meeting. In an ideal world, you’d also have time to shower, fix your hair, and dress to impress. But in the real world, you don't always have time for all of this. Instead of skipping your workout altogether in lieu of extra shower time, consider some of these shower alternatives for time-pressed exercisers.

Workout Clothes
There are many different ways to refresh your body, from head to toe, starting with your workout clothes. Sitting around for hours in sweaty clothes isn't very comfortable or appealing to your co-workers. Bring a change of clothes to the gym, everything from socks, to shirts and even undergarments. Women especially need to bring a change of underwear to prevent yeast infections that might arise when wearing damp or sweaty undergarments for too long.

Consider buying exercise clothes made from synthetic fabrics that are specifically designed to whisk away sweat, keeping you cooler and drier, such as Dri-Fit by Nike, Double Dry by Champion, or Cool Max. Cotton clothes retain sweat and moisture, making your sticky and stinky. Also, wear breathable socks, not dress socks, while you work out. Women should always wear sports bras, not only for support, but also so that they can change back into a clean, regular bra when finished.

Head to Toe
If you have long hair, pull it up or back while on the treadmill or lifting weights. This way, it’s less likely to fall down onto your neck or face and pick up the sweat that lies there. Carry a small towel with you to wipe off excess sweat while you exercise. Never touch your hands to your sweaty face, as this spreads bacteria and increases the likelihood of acne. Just use your towel (blotting, not wiping) instead!

When you are done with your workout, let your hair back down. You can apply hair freshening products (in spray or powder form) after exercising to help neutralize or refresh the smell of your hair, such as Aveda Light Elements Reviving Mist or KMS Turnstylr Do-Over Cleansing Spray. Powder products also help decrease moisture and oil, keeping hair looking and smelling great until you have time to shower later.

Bring some disposable body wipes or towelettes (available at most drug stores and online). These wipes remove excess oil from your skin. Some varieties are gentle and can be used on your face, while others can be used all over your body. These are great option when you don’t have time to shower and they're small enough to keep a pack in your gym bag or car. Try Crabtree and Evelyn Citrus Travel Towelettes, L'Occitane Green Tea Refreshing Towelettes for Hands and Body, or Avon Clearskin Deep Cleansing Cloths.

A foot deodorizer can also help you feel clean after a heavy workout. After removing your workout socks, apply foot spray or powder directly to your feet before putting your regular socks back on. Some of these products go directly into your socks or shoes, and even baking soda works well. Either way, look for a product that kills germs and bacteria (which thrive harbor in warm, damp areas and cause foot odor), such as Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder or Crystal Spray Foot Deodorant.

Shower Time
Obviously, showering after a workout is the best option. It cleans the sweat from your body and helps prevent both acne and that post-exercise funk. Just in case time allows, stock your gym bag with flip flops for the locker room shower, a clean towel, and a shower caddy. Save yourself packing space and time by bringing along travel-size and double-tasking toiletries, such as a shampoo that cleans your hair and body.

It’s great that you’ve chosen to work up a sweat and fit exercise into your busy day. By packing just a few extra things into your gym bag, you can freshen up and go about the rest of your day with confidence.
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Member Comments

some good ideas Report
thanks Report
Awesome...thanks for the tips! Report
Shower is best. The rest of this read a lot like an advertisement for various products. Report
Thank you for the tips! Report
helpful ideas when a shower is not possible Report
Thank you for sharing Report
Good need-to-know information! Thanks! Report
Shower if possible! OR swim! Report
My hair is long and sometimes I don't have time to wash, dry and style after a workout. I looked up the two suggested items for hair, but one has been discontinued. The article is 14 years old--might be helpful if someone reviewed and updated the articles periodically.
Even if I don't have time to wash my hair, I always make time for a shower--just takes a few minutes. I would be humiliated and want to crawl through the floor if someone happened to smell body odor on me. Report
Great article! Report
Great article! Report
Our martial arts facility did not have a women's shower. Once, a golden gloves boxer offered to guard the door to the men's changing room while I showered. Sounded so good as I started for the door. I stopped and said, 'I can't go in there. My husband is in there.' We started laughing and I went back to the women's room where I rinsed my face.

Another time, it was especially humid. When I started to change clothes, my bra was soaked. I threw it in my bag. On the way home my husband said something about one of the women not wearing a bra after class. I said, 'NONE of the women wore a bra out of the dressing room.' Later he asked when I had taken off my bra. I repeated, 'NONE of the women wore a bra out of the dressing room and I am a woman.' Report
Great ideas - thanks Report
Good ideas. I, however, need to shower after a workout. Just a personal thing with me. Report


About The Author

Liz Noelcke
Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.