Ever notice that when you’re pouring sweat on the last hill of your spin class, your instructor still manages to look…glowy? Yes, it’s their job to look great for a living, but there’s more to it: they’ve gotten the business of caring for their skin down to a sweaty science.
So how do they do it? We asked top fitness instructors across country to spill the skin-care secrets and rituals that they swear by and that get them through a SoulCycle marathon, teaching back-to-back barre classes, or cranking up the heat at boot camp.
Here’s what the nation’s sweatiest do to keep looking, well, hot… —Brittany Burke
(Photo: SoulCycle instructor Taye Johnson by Melisse Gelula for Well+Good)
Fifteen minutes between double FlyBarre sessions, where she’s teaching people to plank and pulse during the athletic barre class, is just enough time for 29-year-old New York City instructor Zwick to wash her hands…and give her face a quick swipe with witch hazel towelettes. “It’s a 100% natural toner, so it balances the pH of my skin before I get out there to do it all again.”
You’ll also find her pounding a bottle of water for great skin. “I used to drink a gallon, but that was too much. I usually drink at least three bottles during and after classes, and then to get up to a daily total of about 90-some ounces, I tote a refillable bottle around with me.”
(Photo: Alyse Zwick)
Sure, you sweat out some toxins during a hard workout—but 33-year-old Christine Bullock doesn’t stop there. “Once a week I dry brush my entire body before a shower,” says the Los Angeles-based trainer, whose DVD workout combines high intensity drills, bodyweight training, and Pilates.
“Dry brushing helps detoxification by stimulating the lymphatic system and removing dead skin cells,” says Bullock. The practice is toning, and great for “decreasing cellulite, strengthening the immune system,” she swears.
(Photo: Alex Ardenti)
“Facial muscles need as much exercise as the rest of your body,” Lorenz says. That’s why, for the 36-year-old Chicago resident whose group classes include everything from HIIT to kickboxing and dance, exercise is part of her skin-care regimen. “Four times a week, I work out my neck and jaw muscles as well as my forehead.”
What does that mean, exactly? She’ll lift her eyes all the way to the ceiling, pucker her lips, and blow air out for five seconds, or make a V-shape with her index finger and middle finger in the inside of each brow. She then spreads her fingers so there’s no line between her brows, holds for five seconds, and squints for resistance. And she doesn’t take any chances when it comes to moisturizing her body, either. “I’m never without coconut oil—I slather it on everywhere.”
(Photo: Jillian Lorenz)
For Santa Monica-based yogi Liz Arch, 32, her body’s connection to the earth doesn’t stop with her dynamic, martial-arts inspired yoga practice. It extends into her skin-care regimen. “Great skin doesn’t have to come at a high price—to revitalize dull skin, I simply reach for a ripe papaya. It’s high in vitamins A and C and contains enzymes that nourish exfoliate the skin,” she says.
You could call her approach a raw, plant-based one (which makes sense since she’s the girlfriend of chef-restaurateur Matthew Kenney). “I just scoop out the pulp from a ripe papaya and massage it onto my skin when it’s damp, then leave it on for 20 minutes before gently washing my face. It gives my skin a healthy, radiant glow, completely naturally.”
(Photo: Liz Arch)
If you think you’re hot and sweaty after bike dancing through a 60-minute Soul Survivor, imagine doing it three times a day. That’s a day in the life of badass, New York City-based instructor Taye J., so she goes to extra lengths to get fresh and clean. “I shower after every ride, and then slather oil everywhere to lock in the moisture,” says the 25-year-old.
When she’s not in studio, she keeps up the pace: “I exfoliate my face and body three times a week to get rid of dead skin cells, which is especially necessary in the winter,” she says. “I also steam my face with a home steamer—the whole process leaves me feeling glowing and refreshed.” Agreed.
(Photo: Melisse Gelula for Well+Good)
Combatting the dry Texas heat is enough to make anyone coddle their skin—add to that, a long day of teaching high intensity, low-impact, Megaformer Pilates classes, running two studios, and working out up to three times a day, and you have 33-year-old Slapnicka’s daily struggle.
Her secret? “I only wash my face once a day. Sweat helps my skin re-hydrate, so I just towel off, let my skin dry, and go from there. If I really need to look fresh-faced before a meeting, I’ll rinse my skin with water, then re-apply moisturizer and a hydrating eye cream to hold me over until my evening shower.”
And when she does wash her face, it’s with an oil-based cleanser. “The oil actually grabs onto the dirt more than typical facial cleanser,” she swears. “It deeply hydrates, too, leaving my skin softer than it’s ever been.”
(Photo: Brian Flannery)