So you are regularly attending classes at Sunstone, working hard, sweating like crazy, all the while loving the change that your yoga practice has created in your life. BUT, as you spend more time with your practice, you are noticing changes in your skin and hair.
We have been there! Here are a few tips on how to care for your external body during your practice… Fellas–this isn’t just for the ladies
Skin: Although we think of skin as external, it must be cared for from the inside out. Be mindful of what you’re putting into your body–it will be reflected by your skin’s hydration and clarity. Hydrating throughout the day and eating lots of fruits and vegetables (which contain lots of water naturally, as well as antioxidants and nutrients) will help you feel good during class, and your skin will benefit looking fresh, even dewy.
Embrace sweat! Through sweat, your body is flushing out toxins and opening up the pores. Resist the urge to constantly wipe away sweat during class. During class we are grabbing our feet, touching the floor and the mat — no matter how recently you pedicured your paws, you don’t want to be touching your face after Forward Bending, or Hands to Feet. Just let the sweat flow. (Consider trying a YogiToes hBand or other type of headband to keep your hair out of your eyes and face.)
Before class make sure your face is clean. You do not want to wear dirt, grime, or makeup into a heated room–all of these things can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Lots of companies now make pre-moistened facial cleansing cloths that make it easy to wipe off makeup or environmental buildup before your workout.
Do not load up on lotion or scented body products before entering the hot room. Your neighbors will not appreciate your Drakkar Noir in hot, sweaty proximity, and recently moisturized skin turns into a slippery mess when you’re sweating hard, making it tough to keep your grip in Standing Bow.
After class, your pores are open and clean. Rinse off using gentle, non-comedogenic cleansers, followed by light moisturizers, if necessary. If you struggle with breakouts on your back, be sure you’re getting everything thoroughly rinsed and cleaned back there; some of our students have successfully treated their back breakouts with Neem and Tea Tree Oil.
Over time, you may find that your skin reaches its natural balance and you don’t have to use heavy creams or stringent cleansers. Finally, make sure you are changing your sheets and pillowcases regularly.
Hair: If you’re noticing your hair is a little drier after consistently practicing in the heat, consider putting a little hair oil or leave-in conditioner on your ends before class. It will soak into your hair throughout class and protect it from the heat. Just be sure you aren’t using a super-pungent product–it will be even more powerful in the hot room and distracting to you and everyone else. (Some people use coconut oil instead of buying expensive hair products.)
Many of our students and teachers have found that they use shampoo much less frequently–if at all–as their hair and scalps adjust to the heat and humidity. Experiment with what works for you and your hair type. Some people just rinse and condition their hair after class. Others shampoo every other day or just a couple of times a week. Consider trying a sulfate-free shampoo that will not strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture.
Remember that your exercise routine has changed, and so your skin and hair-care regimens will, too.