A Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Skincare

A Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Skincare

Struggle to know when to do your skincare routine around early morning runs or lunchtime workout classes? Want to know how to prevent breakouts that can occur post-exercise? Read our simple guide.

Before working out

Whether you’re heading for a jog or going to a HIT class, it’s important to exercise with a clean face. Avoid wearing makeup when working out, which can lead to congestion and breakouts once mixed in with sweat and grime.

If it’s the early hours, you can get away with applying a little moisturiser if needed and follow with your full morning routine post-workout. Squeezing in a lunchtime class? Make sure you remove your makeup (if you’re wearing any), then repeat your morning routine afterwards. You’ll want to ensure you’re using a gentle cleanser to avoid stripping the skin. 

Skin Rocks The Cream Cleanser

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturising Cleanser

If evening workouts are more your thing, remove any makeup you may be wearing, apply a little moisturiser and do your full evening routine when you get home/once you have finished.

Skin Rocks The Moisturiser

Emma Hardie Vitamin C Radiance Gel Moisturiser

Don’t forget to apply your SPF if you are working out outside or going for a run and it’s daylight.

Garnier Super UV Invisible Serum SPF 50+

Coco & Eve Water Gel SPF 50+

If you’re off for a run and it’s particularly windy/chilly outside, applying a small amount of facial oil under your moisturiser is a great way to shield the skin from the elements. Our Support Oil is often called a ‘fire-extinguisher-in-a-bottle’ as it helps to calm stressed-out skin and is clinically proven to reduce redness*, making it ideal post-exercise, too! 

Skin Rock The Support Oil

Byoma Hydrating Recovery Oil


First things first, you will want to cleanse as soon as you have finished exercising, as leaving sweat on the skin can congest the skin and trigger breakouts. Using a cleanser containing salicylic acid is a brilliant way to help decongest the skin post-workout, cutting through sweat, oil and grime and unclogging pores as it cleanses. Massage into wet skin and leave on for 60 seconds to get to work before removing.

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Cleanser

If you are an early morning exerciser, you may be in a rush to shower post-class and get to work, and this means, washing your face in the shower. Whilst we would always recommend you do this at the sink, if you are washing your face in the shower, turn the heat down so it is at a lukewarm temperature, as hot water can exacerbate redness (not what you want after an intense workout!) and dehydrate the skin.

After cleansing, calm a flushed complexion and rehydrate the skin by spritzing on a cooling, hydrating mist. If you’re short on time and cannot wash your face until you’re back home from your workout, we recommend applying the Clinisoothe mist immediately after exercise. This purifying facial mist has an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial formula to help prevent breakouts and calm red, inflamed skin – a particularly great choice for those who find that exercise causes their skin conditions to flare up.

Curél Deep Moisture Spray 

Clinisoothe+ Skin Purifier

If you’re working out in the evening or early hours of the morning, continue with your usual AM/PM routine post-exercise. Sweating can be very dehydrating, so focus on replenishment with a hydrating serum locked in with a moisturiser.

Deviant Skincare Essential Hydration Serum

Skin Rocks The Rich Moisturiser

For more advice broken down by exercise style, check out our Founder’s comprehensive guide on the Skin Rocks app: 

Skincare Routines When Exercising 


Words by Katie - Team Skin Rocks

Qualifications - BTEC, Beauty Therapy Applied Sciences

*Based on 47 participants using the product daily for 4 weeks. Independent Clinical Study 2022.

    Popular Articles

    Introducing Skin Rocks Premium

    Introducing Skin Rocks Premium



    Introducing: The Gentle Acid

    Introducing: The Gentle Acid

    Cheat Sheet - Milia

    Cheat Sheet - Milia