My gym skincare routine

I wrote an article for Yahoo the other day about people’s gross gym habits so I thought this was the right time to do a gym skincare routine post.

Did you know one in ten people have never washed their gym clothes? I  mean, I don’t even know what to say to that.

On the back of these statistics, I thought I’d share with you the products I use as part of my gym skincare routine.

It has taken me a while to pick these beauty products and I feel pretty certain they all serve their purpose. The purpose, for me at least, being that they don’t leave me with spots.

Gym kit bag skincare - Caroline Allen
Gym kit bag skincare - Caroline Allen


I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Wash for the gym. I use this a lot – I spoke about it in my recent Sunday Riley Good Genes review, too.

I swap between this and the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, but I find the balm a bit too oily post-gym. Plus, the Emma Hardie tub is quite difficult to travel with, whereas the Kiehl’s Facial Wash is in a tube.

What’s good about the cleanser is that it dissolves oil, dirt and debris after a workout. Gel-based formulas are better for their functionality whereas I find creams and balms to be almost too luxurious. Sometimes you just want to get the sweat off your face, you know?

Travel Dispensers

If you go to the gym (and/or travel) a lot, you might find it easier to keep your favourite products in travel bottles.

I use these. They’re squeezable, refillable and leak proof – pretty much the three main things you need from something you’re going to decant products into.

Shampoo & Conditioner

I usually just use what I’ve got. At the moment I’ve got this Maui Vegan Shampoo, £5.99.

I like it a lot, specifically for the gym. The idea of the agave formula is that it smooths, revives and quenches your hair. After going to the gym, my hair is always a bit straw-like. I think it benefits from a bit of care and attention.


If I’m going outside, I will always put SPF on. I don’t usually put make-up on after the gym unless I’m going out, but if I am, I will put this on as the last stage before my make-up.

I use the Ultra Light Daily UV Defense from Kiehl’s. It’s SPF50, so it’s almost a sun block.

Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older but I’m not at all bothered about having a natural tan anymore. Fake tans are so good and don’t give you skin cancer, so I lather this on and sit in the shade!

Gym kit bag skincare - Caroline Allen

Face masks

If I’m feeling fancy (and this isn’t often) I’ll do a facemask while I dry my hair.

I mostly stick to using face masks at home but sometimes I feel like my skin just needs something a bit more – especially after Spin when I’m a sweaty, red mess.

I have two masks I take around with me. Again, this is purely down to the ease of carrying them about. They’re both in miniature tubs.

The first is Emma Hardie’s purifying detox clay mask. I pick clay masks for the gym because they’re great at unclogging pores and reducing excess oil. I also think the two masks I use are great for cooling the skin down and decreasing redness.

The other one I’ve been trying recently is the Floragy banana and coconut clay mask. In the pot it looks like a powder but when it’s mixed with water it makes a clay. It just feels so good and the refreshing coconut feels so nice on hot skin.

Gym kit bag skincare - Caroline Allen

Facial Mist

This is probably the most important part of my skincare routine. There’s nothing nicer than spraying face mist on your face when you’re hot. It feels so nice.

The Avène Thermal Spring Water will always be a favourite of mine, but at the moment I’m almost finished a very good one from Mavala. It’s the Alpine Micro Mist. I wouldn’t re-purchase it because it’s £17.50 which I think is too much for what is essentially water, but it’s so refreshing.

The idea is that it gives your skin a little kick if you’re feeling really hot. I’ve also taken both of these on holiday with me before and I spray it on regularly when I get too hot.

Shower Gel

I am a big fan of foam (Apart from at Amadeus nightclub under 18s when I nearly died in it). I almost need my shower gel to lather up in order to feel clean and Rituals Foaming Shower Gel does that really well.

The cap isn’t amazing to travel with and you can’t decant it unless you really do want to be transported back to under 18s Amadeus, so that’s one thing to be mindful of if you’re going to travel about with it.


If you are going to put make-up on straight after the gym, you will need to put on a Primer. Your skin will just eat up the make-up if you don’t and you’ll look like a red balloon (just me?)

Rimmel does some amazing colour-correcting primers. I’m currently using the Lavender Brightening CC Primer. If you get really red after a workout, you might be better off picking the green one.

My gym skincare routine

I just wanted to reiterate the importance of having a skincare routine post-workout.

Just think about all the things you touch when you’re in the gym – also whilst touching your face and pushing your hair out of your eyes.

It’s actually a hotbed for fungal infections and you can protect yourself from ending up with bad skin by putting together a gym skincare kit.

Cult Beauty do a good gym skincare bag which doubles up as a travel bag. I’d highly recommend it just for keeping essentials in. It’s also see-through so you can take it through airport security.

I know it might seem a bit of a faff to do all of this after a workout but your skin will thank you.


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