5 Skin Things Every Gym Junkie Should Keep in His/Her Bag: Nastia Liukin
Think about the last time you packed your bag for the gym. Chances are, you packed your workout sneakers (duh), maybe some hair ties, and an outfit in a bag. But what if I told you you've been packing it all wrong? That the way you pack and what you pack affects your skin? (Bam, mind blown).
Believe it or not, everything in our bag ends up touching our skin, and there's no stickier situation than at the gym when they do. So here are five little things in my gym bag that I feel every gym junkie should have for a healthy body and healthy skin!
Pfffft I already have that!
And I'm sure you do, but not all hair ties are skin-friendly. You might not realize it, but hair ties are full of bacteria from the times we drop them on the floor or have them roll around in our gym bags. So when we place those hair ties back on our wrists, we're welcoming the bacteria to enter through our permeable skin and cause infections that can pile up into serious conditions.
BUT before you snatch off your hair tie and toss it in the trash to disown them forever, know that these infections aren't super common. But because it's always good to be safe than sorry, I always pack Sport Pony hair ties in the plastic case they come in (instead of on my wrist), and the plastic keeps them fairly sanitary from the other stuff in my gym bag. Not only that, they're soft, stretchy, yet good enough to secure your hair in place, preventing any excessive pulls on your scalp.
The Right Sneakers
Gym shoes vary from person to person, but a quality I always look for is breathability. Any pair of shoes can be lightweight, durable, and supportive, but the right shoes can breathe. Without this quality, heat, sweat, and smell are trapped within a tight space, eventually increasing the probability of getting athlete's foot or encouraging stinky feet. Just like how sweat shouldn't stay on our skin, it shouldn't stay in our shoes and should be vented out through tiny, breathable air holes within the sneakers.
That's why I bring my APL Sneakers with me to the gym for maximum breathability, comfort, and support. The skin on our feet is no different than that on our face, and we need to take care of it!
(Courtesy of POPSUGAR)
Travel Shoe Bag
There's so much bacteria crawling around your gym shoes. Not only do your feet sweat in them, but they also touch public bathroom floors (where who-knows-what has been) and gym floors with droplets of other people's sweat (eek!). You don't see it, but every step you take latches on hundreds of bacteria that increasingly creep up. So why put these creepy-crawlers near your clothes, hair tie, or anything at all of that matter?
Best practice is to keep a separate bag for your shoes, but if you're too tired after a hard workout to carry two bags, use a travel shoe bag to at least separate them from your other items. That way you prevent cooking up a (microscopic) sticky mess of bacteria and sweat. After all, the pores on your skin open up when you sweat, making them more vulnerable to these bacterias so go buy a shoe bag!
Cleanser & Mist
When you sweat, impurities are removed from your skin and a natural, healthy antibiotic called Dermcidin is excreted. So it's all happy and good but only until you finish working out. If you don't wash up after, the grime that sweat removed from your skin is left lingering on the surface of your body, encouraging rashes, breakouts, and irritations.
That's why I always pack TULA's Purifying Face Cleanser to help me really get those impurities off my face without any stripping or over-drying after effects (which is a plus since my body's lost some hydration due the workout). I also keep their Urban Defense Hydrating Mist in my bag because it immediately boosts the hydration of my skin without me having to slather on any thick cream after a sweaty workout. Not only that, the nutrient-packed spray protects my freshly cleaned skin against any environmental toxins that can irritate it, keeping me fresh all the way home!
Sure, gentle face wash, creams, mists, and whatnot keep skin hydrated, but the best practice for hydrated skin is to drink water. Sweating makes us lose most of our internal hydration so it's important to bring it all back before, during, and after your exercise by following the recommended amounts for the respective times.
In order to keep up with my water schedule, I never forget to pack my Swell Bottle: the double-walled stainless-steel bottle that keeps my drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for up to 12. It's sleek and, unlike many other bottles, has a wide mouth, making it easier to clean. Hydrated body equals hydrated skin!