How to Look Fresh After a Workout

In a perfect world, you’d be able to exercise, return home, take a shower, and spend an hour getting ready for whatever comes next. However, this is rarely the case. With a busy schedule – work or otherwise – it’s often necessary to pack in meetings, appointments, and errands on either side of a workout. This begs the question, how can you work out and still look fresh afterwards?

How to Work Out and Stay Fresh

As you know, getting 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day is one of the fundamental keys to being happy and healthy. But if you’re constantly worried about how you’re going to look, feel, or smell after a workout, you’re never going to consistently carve out time to get the physical activity you need. 


The good news is that it’s possible to work out and still look fresh and clean when you return to the office, attend that important meeting, or meetup with friends for dinner. Here are some of the ways you can make it happen:

Wear Waterproof Makeup

Nothing is worse than having your makeup run during a workout. Not only is it annoying and uncomfortable, but it makes you look like…well…you just worked out! Wearing waterproof makeup will lower this risk.

“Waterproof mascara’s a given, of course, but did you know they make waterproof eyeliner and eye shadow, too? There are also waterproof bronzers, blushes and even foundations,” wellness blogger Emily Leman writes. “With all the sweat involved in a midday workout, certainly can’t hurt.”

Layer on the Lip Balm

If you’re like most people, you sweat during your workout. And if you’re performing a cardio workout, like running or cycling, you also breather harder. To account for this increased demand for oxygen, you breathe through the mouth. This rapid breathing combined with gradual dehydration can lead to dry and chapped lips

To avoid the fatigued appearance that dry and chapped lips give off, make it a point to layer on lip balm prior to and immediately after your workout. This will reduce the dryness by keeping your lips hydrated and nourished.

Use the Right Athletic Wear

What you wear to the gym has a direct impact on how much you sweat and to what extent it affects you. By choosing the right athletic wear for your body type and workout regimen, you can look good and feel good during and after your workout. 

As a rule of thumb, wear something that’s breathable and moisture wicking. And if you’re working out during cold weather, always wear layers. This allows you to remove clothing as your body temperature rises. 

Use Anti-Perspirant

Anti-perspirant deodorant is a no-brainer, but did you know that you can also buy specially formulated products that are designed to control sweating of the face?

Products like Mehron Skin Prep Pro are easy to apply and make a noticeable difference in terms of reducing sweat on the forehead, upper lip, and bridge of the nose. It’s not something you want to wear all the time, but it’s useful in situations where you want to avoid excessive perspiration.  

Learn to Love Dry Shampoo

For most women, hair is the biggest concern. The question is, how do you keep your hair looking good after sweating at the gym?

“I keep a fully stocked gym bag in my car at all times with makeup essentials, face wipes, deodorant, and the wonder that is dry shampoo,” fitness blogger Julia Dellitt writes. “Then, if I’m at a gym with a shower, I can rinse off quickly, throw my hair in a low bun, and go.”

Dellitt’s strategy is actually pretty common among mid-day exercisers. Always keep a bottle in your gym bag and you can use it to quickly freshen up your hair without going through the mess of wetting and blow-drying. 

Take a Deep Breath

After finishing your workout and freshening up, take a few minutes to relax and lower your heart rate. Three to five minutes of mindfulness or mediation in your car can bring you back to a normal pace that allows you to resume the rest of your daily activities. 

Kiss Excuses Goodbye

Whether we realize it or not, we all like excuses when they’re convenient. There are days when we enjoy going to the gym and working up a sweat, but then there are also those days when we simply don’t feel like it. And on the days when we’d prefer not to work out, we use excuses like: I don’t have time, or I have an important meeting afterwards. But as you can see from this article, these aren’t valid justifications.

Whoever you are and whatever obligations you have in your life, it’s possible to make time to work out and still continue on with your day. Give it a try this week and experience the freedom that comes from working out at any time of day.