The "Training Squad"(AKA the name of the line) is literally a group of serum sticks that, as the brand puts it, is "skin-care that works out with you." There are four different formulations included in the line, each of which is meant to target a different skin concern while you sweat. There's a detoxification stick made with activated charcoal; a firming option with spirulina; a brightening one with Brazilian pink clay; and a hydration stick formulated with vitamins A, C, and E. In addition to their main actives, each of the sticks is made with a proprietary coffee bengalensis stem cell, which the brand says boosts skin performance and helps protect against the environment.
As your skin heats up, your pores open (thanks, sweat) and the ingredients are activated—like magic. "When you start sweating, you don't want those really good stem cells to go in immediately—you want them to wait a little bit," says FaceGym founder Inge Theron, noting that the stem cells are encapsulated with moisture and typically break about 10 minutes into your workout. "Then, like a drone, they go in and deliver into your epidermis," she explains."You'll see a difference immediately, and over hours the hydration level is amazing because you've actually let the products go really deep—you'll actually be hydrated throughout the day, which is really what everybody wants." The stick form is more efficacious, she notes, because if you use them while you're working out, it allows the ingredients to penetrate and work their magic more deeply.
I tried the hydration stick during a particularly sweaty "Burnout" class at New York Pilates this morning, and could feel it start to tingle on my skin once the workout really got going (FWIW, tingling doesn't necessarily mean your skin care is working, but in this case, it did). It didn't drip into my eyes, which is always something I struggle with when I use facial products before the gym, and didn't give me the weird layer of grease that I've commonly found with stick-shaped skin care. I was most impressed when the class was over, though, and my skin had a natural glow—for what might have been the first time ever, I didn't immediately want to run to the bathroom and wash my face. And considering that sweat can actually be beneficial to your skin, that was definitely a good thing. That said, Theron does advise washing the product off post-class, then following up with your regular serum and moisturizer. Three hours post-workout, and my skin is still glowing.
The sticks launched this week in the U.K., and will be available in the U.S. on April 5th (you can pre-order them here as of today), when they will officially have a permanent spot in my gym bag—and on my sweaty skin.
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