Skin Care for Bodybuilders and Fitness Competitors

I have such real admiration for fitness competitors. Their dedication to improving their fitness and prepping for competition is incredibly inspiring. Have you ever heard the fitness regimen that competitors take on in the months before a competition? Well, friends, it’s next level passion and dedication! In the process of the intense workouts and restrictive diet, the changes to your body fat and your water intake alters the balance of your skin’s oils and can create challenges with your complexion that you may not normally experience or make your skin more sensitive. I’ve got some skin care pointers for any athlete that might be seeing some changes in their complexion.

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Keeping Your Skin Clean After a Workout

Keep your skin clean and cleansed after workouts to avoid blemishes and breakouts. As your body fat goes down with your intense workouts, the possibility of breaking out can go up. The amount of water you drink throughout the day is also crucial for balancing your skin’s natural oils. (This should go without saying, but the best thing you can do for your skin is to hydrate!) Make sure you’re washing your face after each workout and remember to use makeup wipes that are formulated for sensitive skin. After that, using a cleaner can also be helpful.

Best case scenario is that you use all of these steps, but we all know that life gets in the way of all of your best intentions. Just do what you can! You’re already working your body to the max and should be so proud of yourself.  

Exfoliate Your Skin

Exfoliating your skin before a competition is so important! Take time to exfoliate, especially your body (shoulders, arms, back, etc.). Two great products I recommend are scrubbing gloves and Korean wash towels. As your skin grows more sensitive, it’s important to reduce the amount of sweat sitting on your skin to reduce your risk of getting body acne. Remember - don’t pick at breakouts! Allow them to heal on their own.

Be Careful of Your Skin and Hair Care Products

Less hydration, especially during your peak week of training, means you could develop more sensitivities to your normal skin and hair care routine products. Your skin, including your scalp, can get very dry. Refrain from chemical treatments like color or relaxers especially during peak week to avoid irritation.

Facials are another routine to remember to avoid during the last few weeks before your fitness competition. The process for the ingredients of the products run the risk of irritating your increasingly sensitive skin.

Waxing or Shaving

For the competition, most fitness competitors are meticulous with their personal grooming tactics. We’ve found for most competitors that waxing works best at least 2 weeks out from the competition, usually starting the week before peak week. I know peak week is busy and full of last-minute to-dos, so you’ll appreciate one less thing to remember.

For those who have sensitive skin naturally or are prone to ingrown hairs, shaving is always an option. If you plan to shave, wait until the night before you tan. Shaving too early could leave you with a “five o’clock” shadow under your tan. As far as products, you’ll want a shave cream that’s formulated for sensitive skin and a sharp razor like a safety razor to minimize skin irritation. Even if you don’t normally have sensitive skin, this is a bigger possibility after your intense training period. The trick is to do the smallest amount of passes with the razor, so a sharp razor is crucial.

Once you’re finished waxing or shaving, be sure to thoroughly remove any residue from your skin to ensure the product doesn’t interact with your tan or prevent it from adhering properly.

The biggest thing to remember is that your skin needs to be treated kindly always, especially when it and the rest of your body are going through the stress and intensity of your training regimen. Be kind to yourself and take care of the you that exists right now while your mind is focused on achieving your fitness goals!

Bridget Moore