Bronze medal winning team GB Olympic athlete Laura Deas may only just be recovering from Sunday’s closing ceremony after party, but chances are that when she gets back on the workout wagon, she’ll be bookending training with a cosmetic warm-up and cool-down, at least if her Instagram is anything to go by. Like Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover MBE , she’s declared herself a fan of the ‘active’ skincare brand Pretty Athletic , a suitably British-made range that features lightweight, easily absorbed 95 per cent natural and vegan skincare products that aim to target the skincare needs of regular exercisers. Just how do the skincare demands of gym goers differ to those that are less active?
According to Pretty Athletic, clogged pores , redness , irritation and inflammation are just a few skin issues aggravated by exercise that constitute key customer concerns. We’ll throw acne into the ‘active’ skincare problem pile, because if you’ve ever suffered with even mild breakouts, you’ll be aware that a sweat-session can very often make the spot situation worse, particularly if you don’t wash your face pre and post workout. According to a 2017 Google consumer survey, 51 per cent of us forgo cleansing after fitness alone, so there’s that. In the same survey, 78 per cent stated that they didn’t know what kind of products or skincare to use before or after exercise, although the good skin-tentions are there- Cult Beauty recently told Vogue that enquiries and demand for ‘gym-bag’ beauty, whether specific workout-friendly formulations or more portable products, have seen a noticeable increase of late.
Brands capitalising on our modern sporting commitments could be setting themselves up for success.
Global market research agency Mintel would corroborate this- new research indicates that gym friendly, on-the-go skincare is a hit in the US in particular, with three in ten women willing to pay more for multipurpose products, 69 per cent interested in waterless facial cleansers and 81 per cent keen to add exfoliating wipes to their speedy daily skincare regime. In a skincare market that’s highly saturated, Alison Gaither, Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, reckons that brands capitalising on our modern sporting commitments could be setting themselves up for success:
“Brands that offer quick and easy-to-use formats that make the most out of beauty routines while travelling and going to the gym, such as waterless facial cleansers and portable sunscreen sticks, will do well with consumers as they seek out more convenient products.”
Basically, we’re speed freaks both in our spin classes and the showers, but we still want to look after our skin. Which is just as well, given that everything from sweating itself to using shared equipment and working out in confined spaces can increase the likelihood of bacteria transferring to our skin. Said bacteria then festers, becoming a veritable petri dish if we fail to wash our faces after working out. In an ideal world we should be cleansing pre-workout too, as adding the likes of longwear foundation into the sweat-mix is bad news for clogged pores, blemishes and excess sebum, to name but a few issues of working out in makeup (not to mention, melty). Sometimes, however, a full double cleanse just ain’t feasible at the end of a long day, so instigating a post-exercise skincare ritual becomes all the more vital. But why would this differ from your usual routine?
The reasons could constitute a blend of the practical and the dermatological, however, both are pretty lifestyle, preference and skin type dependent. If you’re perfectly content hauling your usual lotions and potions to the changing room, and your skin’s happy, you could well file ‘active’ skincare under ‘gimmick’, but it does have some draws for the athletically inclined, for instance non-comedogenic moisturisers that sink-in quickly to replace moisture lost as you sweat, portable SPFs that allow for high-factor protection on the run and redness neutralising post-workout primers to take down tomato face. None of which need be marketed specifically as ‘sports skincare’, of course, but providing such troubleshooters all under one brand or range, with both lightweight formulations and packaging, is certainly convenient for the consumer. Here are three fitness focused brands and ranges aiming to set the pace: