For many of us, quarantine meant a few extra pounds and likely wasn’t so great for our heart health either. Luckily with the world reopening, we’re able to reintroduce more of our healthy routines -- and we’re especially excited to get back to the gym.
Returning to the gym may not look exactly the same as before -- after all, gyms were a particularly risky setting during the height of COVID transmission. The CDC and several studies say it’s still safest to use a mask and keep 6 feet of distance, especially for the unvaccinated. They also have other guidelines like going during off-peak times to avoid crowding, washing your hands, and wiping your hands and equipment down.
So, it appears our new gym routines will require a new kind of self-care routine. To get ready for this new gym experience (and generally remind us what we used to put in our gym bag!), we put together a post-pandemic gym bag packing list. Here are a few key items you’ll need when returning to the gym to keep yourself safe and your skin clean and fresh post-workout.
6 Essential Items for a Quick Post-Workout Routine
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Body Wash
- Peppermint Bar Soap
- Hand Repair Cream
- Aluminum-Free Deodorant
- SPF Moisturizer
1. Antibacterial Wipes
The CDC recommends wiping down your gym equipment before and after with a solution of at least 60 percent alcohol to prevent the spread of germs. The wipes they provide at the gym might be ok for the equipment—but they will severely dry your hands if you try using them as hand sanitizer. Instead, bring a pack of our Antibacterial Aloe Wipes that have hydrating Aloe Leaf Juice to keep your skin soft and reduce inflammation while they disinfect.
2. Sulfate-Free Body Wash
After a hard workout, it’s important to wash your skin promptly to help prevent breakouts and clear the toxins you just sweat out. Yet most conventional body washes and soaps contain Sulfates -- an ingredient that creates a lather but ultimately strips skin of its oils and dries you out. To maintain moisture, BYO sulfate-free body wash! Our luxury body washes aren’t just sulfate-free; they have Jojoba Oil spheres to deeply moisturize and antioxidants to fortify your skin. Bring just the right amount in your gym bag by using our reusable travel squeeze bottle.
Are Sulfates Bad for Your Skin?
Sulfates, while helpful in removing dirt, ultimately weaken your skin’s ability to retain moisture, which is why it feels squeaky right out of the shower—and then dry and tight immediately after. However, you can get just as clean with a high-quality sulfate-free body wash.
3. Peppermint Bar Soap
If you’re more of a bar soap kind of guy, consider bringing a bar made with Peppermint Oil. Not only will it smell great and get you clean, but its native ability to stimulate circulation is great for getting ahead of muscle soreness. This same effect will also help cool you down quickly after a workout, so you don’t keep sweating after your post-workout shower. (Tip: This bar soap tin is a handy way to bring soap in your gym and/or travel bag.)
What are the Health Benefits of Peppermint Extract?
In addition to the circulatory benefits mentioned above, studies have shown that as an ingredient in grooming products, it has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties to keep your skin clean and calm. This is especially beneficial after working out (which can cause inflammation of the muscles and joints) and minimizing germs after using shared workout machines.
4. Hand Repair Cream
Workouts with heavy weights and/or drying chalk can do serious damage to your hands. Be sure to include a reparative hand cream in your dopp kit to use after your workout. It will hydrate your calluses to keep them from getting dry and cracked. Ours uses a rich 20% Shea Butter formula that deeply hydrates without feeling greasy.
How can I protect my hands when lifting weights?
If you want to avoid calluses from lifting weights (i.e. “gym hands”), try exfoliating them physically with a pumice stone—or by using chemicals like Salicylic Acid, which break down the bonds between dead skin cells. A combined approach is also highly effective. Using a rich hand cream to soften hard dry skin will also help.
5. Aluminum-Free Deodorant
If you go to the gym to improve your health, you probably have an interest in keeping your skin healthy too. Follow up your workout with a safe metal-free deodorant—the kind that doesn’t include aluminum and clog your sweat pores. Ours contains clean ingredients that help prevent bacteria that cause body odor and absorb sweat without the use of Talc.
Does aluminum-free deodorant work when you sweat a lot?
That depends on the deodorant. Look for clean ingredients like Corn Starch and Arrowroot Powder, which are highly absorbent. Those ingredients also won’t clump under your arm the way Baking Soda and Talc will.
6. SPF Moisturizer
Before you head back outside, make sure to apply SPF to protect your skin from the sun. We’d recommend a product (like this one) that combines SPF with a face moisturizer, so you can simultaneously restore your skin’s hydration. We offer SPF products in reef-friendly chemical, mineral, and hybrid formulas that make for safe, effective ways to protect your skin. They don’t include any harsh chemicals like Benzene, a solvent and known carcinogen that one study very recently found is in many popular sunscreens available today. Our SPF products never use Benzene or any kind of harmful or carcinogenic ingredients.
What Ingredients in Sunscreen are Harmful?
The FDA lists harmful sunscreen ingredients on its website and they include aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and trolamine salicylate. Many other ingredients are still being studied. For SPF options you can trust to adhere to the latest safety guidelines for sunscreen, check out our formulas. They’re made with hydrating ingredients that are clean and are also highly effective in protecting against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
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