Through the lens of social media, it can look like everyone else has it easy. The toned body, the great clothes, perfect hair and glowing skin: it can seem effortless. But, as BodyRock trainer Jessica Shaw points out, it all takes a lot of hard work. In this blog, Jessica shares her skincare secrets with us, revealing that her glowing complexion is not a natural attribute. Like her fitness, it’s something she works at, every day. It’s a constant commitment that requires that she use the best products for her skin—no excuses. Just like you won’t get the best workout with equipment not designed for your goals, you won’t get your healthiest skin if you use the wrong products.
Jessica gives you all her top recommendations here. And we’re giving you 20% off our best-selling gear storewide in our Freedom Sale. After all, as Jessica will tell you, one of the best ways to get your most beautiful skin, inside out, is a healthy lifestyle founded on exercise, clean diet and sleep.
Keep reading for Jessica’s top skincare tips!
What does your post-workout skin care routine look like?
Sweat itself isn’t the cause of breakouts. It’s the bacteria that harvests on the moisture. It’s no secret I love wearing makeup to the gym even though I workout until I’m dripping sweat. Wearing makeup is a confidence booster, and although I can walk out of my house with a bare face, I feel more ready to take on the world when I put the effort into looking my best. Post workout, due to my pores not being able to breathe with makeup and sweat, I use Kirkland makeup removing wipes around the areas I commonly break out, followed by washing with a gentle cleanser in the shower. I find washing my face in the shower is the most effective way to cleanse the skin with the hot steam opening up my pores for the deepest clean.
Describe your daily skincare routine.
First off I can’t stress enough that it’s okay if your skincare routine varies quite differently than others. Everyone’s genetics are unique as well as the different stressors we put our skin through on a daily basis. That being said, what works for me may not work for you & vice versa. Also, living in Ottawa has challenges of its own for my skin regimen. The climate change from the freezing, dry winters to humid summers is a huge dermatology stressor which requires me to be flexible in how I handle my skin and what products I use.
On average, I wash my face twice/day. In the morning during dry seasons, I tend to simply rinse my face with warm water. During the humid summer season, I can get away with washing my face more often. It’s important not to overdo it with washing away all the skin’s sebum (natural oil produced by our sebaceous glands), otherwise it can be counter-effective as the body will compensate by producing an excessive amount. More oil means more moisture, leading to the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. This becomes a problem when dirt or dead skin cells clog our pores, which become inflamed by the amount of oil and substance trapped. Right now I am using the Fré skin care line which is formulated specifically for skin that sweats. After rinsing my face, I use the Revive Me deep replenishing serum followed by the Protect Me defense facial moisturizer with SPF30. I find these products have kept my skin super glowy & hydrated, without worsening my breakouts. Having sunscreen in your moisturizer is so important to help prevent the early signs of aging and wrinkles. I then go about doing my makeup and “putting my face on”. I try to wash my makeup brushes & sponges with a homemade vinegar solution (1/3 white vinegar, 2/3 warm water, 1-2 drops tea tree oil) on a biweekly basis. Again, this decreases the spread of bacteria causing breakouts.
For my nightly routine, I use Kirkland (Costco) face wipes to remove my makeup. I then cleanse my face with hypoallergenic face wash using my Foreo Luna fofo device. I love using this facial massager as its silicone surface is super hygienic (can be cleaned unlike an electronic brush), and has sensors that track the moisture and age of your skin by relaying the data to an app! The facial cleanser I am presently using is the Purify Me hydrating facial cleanser by Fré. This cream cleanser also acts as a gentle exfoliator, unclogging your pores. For those annoying blemishes, I like to use a gel spot treatment that contains a variation of salicylic acid, willow bark or tea tree oil. For an overnight moisturizer (especially during the dry winter) I love using AHAVA hydration cream mask, and I leave it on throughout the night.
What's your biggest skin care challenge?
My biggest skin challenge is acne. A common misconception about acne is that it’s the result of someone’s laziness to take care of their own hygiene. For me, that couldn’t be further than the truth.
I have struggled for approximately ten years with topical and cystic hormonal acne. It’s easy to say I have been through it all. Proactive, oral and topical antibiotics, retinols, cutting out food groups, the pill, and in recent years, Accutane. Some people say my acne wasn’t “bad enough” to go the length of using Accutane, but I was so disheartened of only being able to see the imperfections as I gazed in the mirror. I so desperately just wanted to see ME! I’m in my mid 20’s, and still dealing with acne. I sure as heck wasn’t about to face teenage-like blemishes and the beginning of wrinkles at the same time.
Having stubborn acne can be a huge burden on one’s mental health. When society views something that is out of your control as a flaw, you can feel helpless. There were times when I was so embarrassed and defeated by the blemishes on my face, that I would avoid social events and even going out in public to do mundane errands. Over the past ten years of dealing with acne, I not only learned healthy habits, but more importantly a healthy mindset. Nobody has perfect skin. Blemishes happen. It doesn’t define you as a person. It doesn’t mean you’re “dirty” or disheveled. It doesn’t mean you don’t already try to eat a clean diet, spend hundreds of dollars on skin care products or spend countless time fixing your cover up. At the end of the day, you have to recognize that people around you care a whole lot less about your zit than you do.
How do you deal with it?
Know your body. Know that everything you not only put on your skin but IN your body can affect your skin. Personally, I have come to know that after any wine & cheese party, I’ll wake up with a zit around my mouth. So I do my best to eat ‘pimple-prone’ foods in moderation (cheese & other cows dairy). Cows milk is often a culprit as it contains a high amount of added hormones, unbalancing yours when consumed. Another food I avoid are those with high amounts of sugar, as it can also spike your hormone levels.
Hydration is fundamental to maintain healthy skin, so I aim to drink over 3 liters of water/ day. To help facilitate this, I bring a large water bottle with me during errands, drink a full glass of water before meals, and for every cup of coffee or alcohol I consume, I match it with another glass of water.
Decreasing the transfer of bacteria to the face is crucial, so I make it a habit to change my pillowcase at least twice/week, thoroughly washing my face before makeup application, clean my phone with an alcohol wipe daily, wash my makeup brushes and sponges and avoid touching my face throughout the day.
I also know the times when I am stressed out, I’m more likely to break out due to increased stress hormones which leads to increased sebum production. I aim to prioritize self care and “me” time to reduce my stress. My favorite stress-buster is exercise. I love taking that time to focus on small goals achieved through weight lifting, and focusing on the simple act of mind-muscle connection. Not only does working out decrease stress, but you sweat out toxins and produce a rush of endorphins!
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After trying various methods to achieve healthy skin and are not satisfied with the results, it’s time to talk to your doctor. They might prescribe a medication or they may dig deeper into the root problem to your breakouts (ex. Stress, depression, food intolerances…).
Body Rockers work relentlessly toward their health and happiness; you guys deserve to have that healthy glowing skin you’ve dreamed of. I hope you are able to wake up and appreciate your reflection in the mirror, not just your breakouts and imperfections. Life is too short to spend at war with yourself.