Treating clients' fitness-related skin irritations

Q: What’s the best way to treat clients’ fitness-related skin irritations?

The fitness industry is one of the fastest growing in the UK, valued at just under £5 billion, according to Leisure DB’s 2018 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report. People are now spending more time and money on their overall wellbeing, investing in a lifestyle that encompasses a healthy diet, exercise, and beauty products and treatments.

There are several short and long-term benefits to exercising: it increases blood and lymphatic circulation, detoxifies, boosts metabolism, increases cellular oxygen levels and muscular strength, promotes weight loss, improves sleep quality and relaxation, and raises the production of stress-relieving endorphins, which help fight against anxiety and depression – some of the common issues clients are facing today.

But exercise can present some challenges when it comes to skincare. There are many aggressors that can be linked to a workout, both endogenic and exogenic, such as perspiration, dehydration, intense muscle and joint activity, rubbing and airflow restriction from clothes, weather conditions and excessive showering. 

The consequences of this include skin irritation, clogged pores, breakouts, an unbalanced skin barrier, dehydration and lipid deficiency, all of which can lead to an increased sensitivity of the skin.

To maintain the wellbeing of a client’s skin if they are an active gym-goer, you need to get them into a good skincare regime. Advise them that they need to cleanse and moisturise before and after every workout – so not just morning and night – to minimise irritations. When exercising outside, it’s important they use an SPF to prevent sun damage. 

Choosing the right homecare products is vital too. Your client’s skin will need nourishment, rehydration and rebalancing, so products that soothe and comfort need to be factored into their routine, like a lightweight serum and hydrating cream. 

With the right homecare products for every individual skin type, the skin barrier gets stronger against outer aggressors and is well protected and clean, meaning clients can enjoy the feel-good factor of exercise.

Minna TakaloMinna Takalo is the UK national education manager for French skincare brand Sothys. She has 12 years’ industry experience.

Check out our article on active skincare that promises to keep gym-goers looking good while they work out