Face it, we’re all busy. Some days, we adhere to our schedule like clockwork and, on other days, anything that seems even a *tad* unnecessary gets the boot. Showering post-workout lives in that category.
Now, some people might say that’s disgusting — you’re sweating, after all, don’t you want to be clean? — but I see that as rather judgmental. When you’re running late for plans or took a not-so-sweaty class, like barre or yoga, it’s understandable why showering would take a backseat. Truth be told, a lot of studios don’t even have showers — what’s a well-intentioned person like you to do?
For those times when sudsing down just isn’t going to happen, there are many products you can keep on hand to save yourself from any sweat-related woes—odor, acne, you know the ones. Here are a few options that are bound to save your skin.
The 6 Best Cleansers To Try
Recess Deodorant Wipes ($26)
Anyone who has ever exercised before work, and realized there wasn’t a shower nearby, knows that there’s no greater level of panic (and nothing more uncomfortable than putting clean work clothes over a sweaty body). Fortunately, you can avoid this anxiety by keeping emergency body wipes in your bag. The Deodorant Wipes by Recess have saved me more times than I’m willing to admit. They’re all-over body wipes, safe for all skin types, that remove sweat and dirt —which is important for everyone, but especially those prone to body blemishes. With ingredients like tea tree oil, acai extract, chamomile and citric acid, you can expect to feel and smell fresh, not sticky or stinky. They’re also compostable — which I didn’t know a body wipe could be.
Like the Recess wipes, these Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Wipes are a welcome respite from the overly wet, sticky residue wipes we’ve settled for in the past. Unlike the former, though, these are scented with lemon and sage, so you’ll feel clean after using them and roll up to wherever you’re going smelling like a spa. These wipes are also a preferred option for people who just want to throw one pack into their bag, and have multiple faux-showers, instead of hoping you haven’t run out of single-serving wipes. Did I mention they’re mild, non-toxic and...plant-based? That’s right, you too could join the plant-based movement, just by using 'em.
Bottom line: If you’re keen on reducing your body odor, I’d recommend these simply because their scent is a bit stronger and masking. However, if you’re more concerned about body acne, use the Recess ones.
Enough about body wipes — if you’re serious about keeping body acne at bay, you’re going to need something with a little more juice. Murad’s Clarifying Body Spray has a bit of a steeper price point, but it utilizes the power of salicylic acid to treat existing acne and prevent future flare-ups. It’s easy-to-use, dries quickly and is soothing, not irritating, thanks to allantoin and blue lotus extract. Simply apply the spray wherever you typically break out, let it dry and move on with your life. Note: Murad doesn’t recommend spraying this on your face, however, since it’s been formulated for use on the body. It functions sort of like a toner, so for the best results, use this on your back and chest.
The most obvious — but perhaps most important — part of any cleansing routine is to wash your face. Whether or not you shower after exercising, leaving sweat and dirt there is a categorical no-no. While yes, sweating can help clear build-up from our pores, if you let that grime stay on your skin, it will eventually sink back in (we’re talking acne, irritation and excess oil accumulation.) If you’re prone to breakouts, you’ve got to wash up right after a workout, and the Everything Cleanser is one of my forever go-to's. It’s gentle but powerful, and utilizes ingredients like tea tree, pine bark and lemon to remove impurities, prevent acne and unclog pores, amongst other benefits. This cleanser should work for any skin type, and can be used up to twice daily. Throw it in your gym bag for a quick refresh post-sweat.
LOLA Cleansing Wipes ($10)
In the same way that you shouldn’t put soap in your eyes, you shouldn’t put synthetic preservatives on your feminine parts. Cue LOLA’s Cleansing Wipes —made with gynecologist-approved, hypoallergenic ingredients and a 100% organic cotton wipe. On those days when you don’t sweat much, but feel like you need a boost down below, these are a godsend. Unlike many feminine wipes, these contain no additives or fragrance (both of which tend to be irritating) and won’t leave you feeling overly dry either. Unrelated bonus: LOLA’s mission is to make menstrual care more accessible for women across the U.S. and they’ve donated over 2 million period products to those in need. In other words, these wipes were already worth the purchase, but it feels good to know your purchase gives back, no?
With the right tools in your arsenal, not showering after a workout doesn’t have to feel so unsanitary. Should you shower later when you’re home? Of course. But in the meantime, these products can hold you over by helping you smell better and feel better, no matter where you’re off to next.