Miko Lim/Fitness MagazineBy Kari Molvar
Whether you run, lift, or are into Spinning, we know you don't let beauty challenges get in the way of a workout -- especially when you're armed with these easy fixes for the biggest skin, hair, and nail bummers that affect active women.
Related: 5-Minutes to Bouncy, Post-Gym Hair
My hair is a frizzy mess after yoga.
Before hitting the mat, mist a dry shampoo, such as Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo ($8, drugstores), all around your hairline, including the nape of your neck, where sweat often collects and causes fuzz. If you have supercurly or hard-to-manage hair, comb a light leave-in treatment, like Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Overnight Miracle Repair Serum ($6, drugstores), through the ends to seal in moisture and form a barrier against frizz, says Gregory Patterson, a hairstylist for Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar in New York City. Then pull hair into a high topknot and slip on a mesh head wrap, such as the Lululemon Athletica Bang Buster Headband ($14, shop.lululemon.com), to soak up sweat. After class, blow-dry your hairline with the head wrap still on, pushing it back just a bit. "This will force the curly, frizzy hairs down so they dry smoother," Patterson explains.
My skin feels tight and itchy after swimming.
Before you get in the pool, apply a thin coat of skin protectant to form a shield between you and the drying chlorinated water, advises Adam Geyer, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. A good one: Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5, drugstores). After your swim, take a shower, says Elizabeth Hale, MD, also a dermatologist in New York City. While your skin is still damp, slather on a moisturizer with aloe or ceramides, such as Kiehl's Creme de Corps ($48, kiehls.com). "The regular application of a nourishing moisturizer helps keep skin healthy and diminishes the itch," Dr. Geyer says.
I don't have time to take off my makeup before my lunchtime workout.
A good rule of thumb: Go light on makeup on the days you're working out. "Avoid ingredients such as mineral oil and petrolatum because they may clog pores," says Mally Roncal, a celebrity makeup artist in New York City. Instead, "stick with sheer cream-based products that allow your skin to breathe and won't clump," advises Troy Surratt, a makeup artist in New York City, who recommends using a tinted beauty balm, a long-lasting lip crayon, and a waterproof mascara that adheres tightly to lashes and won't smear. We like Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream ($9, maybelline.com), Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm ($16, clinique.com), and Mally Beauty Waterproof Volumizing Mascara ($20, qvc.com). After your workout, mist water on your face and reblend your makeup with a sponge, or pat your cheekbones and nose with premoistened wipes. "Then just reapply a touch of makeup where needed before heading out," Surratt says.
My lips get chapped when I run. I carry lip balm with SPF in my pocket, but I can't seem to shake the flake.
"Dry lips are often a sign that our internal water balance is off," Dr. Geyer says. "Coffee, alcohol, and certain foods have a dehydrating, diuretic effect, so bump up your water consumption to eight glasses a day." The way you breathe may also be a factor. "Many runners are mouth breathers, which really dries the lips," Dr. Hale says. "Make an effort to breathe through your nose whenever possible." To help open up your nasal passages, try Breathe Right Nasal Strips ($5, drugstores). Whatever you do, don't lick your lips. "The enzymes in saliva dry out skin; as saliva evaporates, it wicks moisture from your lips," Dr. Geyer explains. With that in mind, use your lip balm to seal moisture in, and apply a generous layer of it before bed to soften any flakes, Dr. Hale says.
Related: FITNESS Beauty Awards: Gym Bag All-Stars
My ponytail or bun won't stay put during Spinning class.
A bun is best held in place with a corkscrewlike accessory like the Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin ($7, drugstores), which works on all hair textures, Patterson says. Insert the pin in the crease of the bun closest to the scalp and twist away. "As you turn the pin, it grabs both the bun and the hair underneath for a secure hold," he says. For a firmer ponytail, use a holder with a hook on either end, like Ricky's NYC Rickycare Bungees ($5 for four elastics, rickysnyc.com), to prevent any strands from falling out. And a shot of lightweight hair spray never hurts.
My makeup always cracks in my gym bag.
Look for a makeup bag with compartments to keep products from bouncing around, or line the inside of a regular cosmetics case with a thin towel or cloth. "This will add extra padding to protect your breakables," Roncal says. For even more cushioning, wrap your palettes and any glass bottles -- for instance, your foundation -- in tissue and keep them separate from one another. Surratt is a fan of padded makeup bags from brands like LeSportsac and Vera Bradley. Our favorite: Sephora Quilted Organizer in Black ($32, sephora.com). Still have breakage? Consider switching to products packaged in tubes rather than glass.
My hair is dry because I wash it so much, but I can't bear not to shampoo it after a workout.
Lather up with a silicone-free moisturizing formula like Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Shampoo ($10, drugstores). If you use hot tools, don't even think about skipping heat-protectant spray; look for one that prevents damage from temperatures as high as 450 degrees. "Styling without it will do more damage than washing your hair every day," Patterson warns. Try Redken Iron Shape II Finishing Thermal Spray ($16, redken.com for salons). Get in the habit of applying a weekly hydrating mask. "You might also consider using a humidifier, because it can keep your skin as well as your hair moist," he says.
My nail polish always chips during CrossFit.
If it's done right, your mani should be tough enough for any workout, says celebrity manicurist Elle. Consider a salon or at-home gel manicure, like Sephora by OPI Gelshine At-Home Gel Colour System ($159, sephora.com), which uses a UV light to cure the polish so that it resists chips and stays glossy for weeks, says Jin Soon Choi, the founder of Jinsoon Hand and Foot Spa in New York City. Be sure to seal each nail by running a little color under the tip, where cracks often begin. Power up regular polish by applying a "sticky" base coat, like OPI ChipSkip Manicure Prep Coat ($13, opi.com for salons), so the hue adheres better. Finish with a keratin-infused topcoat, such as Dermelect Cosmeceuticals High-Maintenance Instant Nail Thickener ($16, dermelect.com), which strengthens and adds shine, Elle says.
I rush to shower after my gym session but break into a sweat as soon as I get dressed.
"Our core temperature rises when we exercise, and sweating is the way our body cools down," Dr. Geyer explains. "Even after your heart rate and breathing return to normal, it can take a while for your body to expel the excess heat." So do your cardio at the beginning of your workout rather than at the end. "If you wind down with stretching or light strength training, which requires less exertion, it will help bring your temperature down," Dr. Geyer says. Then drink cold water and take a lukewarm shower followed by a cool rinse. "This can also help minimize sweating," he says.
The baseball cap I wear while running flattens my hair, and I don't have time to restyle.
"Before your run, massage a dry shampoo with micronized cornstarch, such as Blowpro Faux Dry ($20, blowpro.com), into your scalp. The finely milled powder will work to reduce static and volumize hair at the root," Patterson says. "Then mist on a soft-hold hair spray to help lessen the friction of your hair against the hat," he adds. Our pick: Dove Style + Care Strength & Shine Flexible Hold Hairspray ($4, drugstores). Post-run, take off your hat, give your head a few minutes to cool down, then rake your fingers through your hair while scrunching your roots for body.
Related: Your Guide to Hair That Packs a Punch
I take two showers a day, including one after my lunchtime workout. But I don't have time to apply body lotion twice.
Try to keep both showers short, especially if there's no time for moisturizing afterward, and use soap sparingly. "One of the cardinal sins that lead to dry skin is overwashing. Suds only those areas prone to odor, sweat, and bacteria, like your armpits, and skip your legs, arms, and back if your skin is dry," Dr. Geyer says. Use a rich "moisturinser" shower cream, which moisturizes as it cleans, says Hale, who likes Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash ($6, drugstores). When you have a few minutes post-shower or at night, apply an extra-heavy cream -- not a lotion -- all over. "Lotions don't restore or protect quite as well as creams and ointments do," Dr. Geyer says. Try Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme ($8, drugstores).
Sunscreen drips into my eyes during my run.
Instead of an SPF lotion, try a water-resistant stick, such as Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 55 ($5, drugstores), which sinks into the skin. If you're supersensitive, consider a tear-free sunscreen made for babies, like Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Faces Ultra Gentle Cream Sunscreen SPF 45+ ($11, drugstores). Apply it lightly on the forehead to minimize the migration factor, and pat your eyebrows with a tissue before heading out, Dr. Geyer says. Sunscreen often collects in the brow area, and it will start to run once you sweat, he explains. Finally, "a sweatband is always a good option to prevent dripping," Dr. Hale says, "and a hat is a must to protect your face when the sunscreen wears off."
More from FITNESS Magazine:
Shake Up Your Snacks: 7 Fun Ideas
7 Waist-Slimming Ab Exercises
11 Healthy Ways to Detox
Miko Lim/Fitness MagazineBy Kari Molvar