Now that I’m back in triathlon training I am reminded of the havoc it wreaks on my skin (and hair). I feel as though this isn’t addressed as much as I’d like to read and want to open the dialogue so I can figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’ve sort of found a routine that works for me for now but I know as I progress into Ironman training my skin/hair is gonna need more help.
What kind of help you ask? Well, I’ve got some issues. No, not the getting lost in the country and hitchhiking issues, but skin issues.
I’ve written down my issues with a corresponding “solution.” Keep in mind that these solutions are what I’m doing right now and are subject to change and/or get me ridiculed by those of you who are much farther along in this journey than I. I will take ANY and ALL suggestions.
Let’s discuss, mkay?
Issue: Melasma. In college I started noticing in pictures what appeared to be a mustache. On me, not my dad. And I’d look at the photo, run to the bathroom, and see nary a hair in sight. When I told my wise, older sister, she laughed and told me it was melasma. As it turns out, melasma is a very specific darkening of the skin on the upper lip caused by hormones and/or birth control (gee, thanks again Mother Nature). I have tried more than a few different birth controls and always the same result: a ‘stache Tom Selleck would envy. Oh, and guess what? Being in the sun brings it out. Yay for living in Florida! Boo for looking like Burt Reynolds.
|I could always move to Pawnee.|
Solution: I’ve found several products that are skin lighteners. There’s a long list of them on Amazon but the ones with hydroquinone seem to work the best. Also, intense SPF prevents the darkening. Right now I’m using Ambi for the lightening and Garnier for daily SPF.
Issue: Acne. I think I’ll always have a random pimple here and there. Always. I will be 85 years old with a big old bottle of Cetaphil and perhaps some Clearasil for good measure. Sweat and running/cycling with dirt and oil for many hours does not a clear skin make.
Solution: I’m still tinkering with this one. I love Cetaphil as a face wash but I’m not good about using a toner. I need to go back to an acne body wash as well because nobody likes “back-ne.” Ew.
Issue: Dry skin. Oh yeah, the perfect contradiction to the item listed above. I have oily skin in some places, hence the pimples, and super dry skin in others. This dryness is only exacerbated by chlorine.
Solution: I love Clinique’s “yellow” moisturizer for everyday and I like their heavy stuff for night. For body I like Aveeno and TriSwim lotion is AMAZING for neutralizing chlorine oder.
Issue: Chapped lips. See above.
Solution: First of all, drink more water. I’ve noticed that the more water I drink the less chapped my lips are and the less dry my skin is in general. Yeah. Duh. However, I love love love Baby Lips Medicated by Maybelline.
|Someone loves chapstick. And unicorns.|
Issue: Saddle sore. How this made it to number six and not number one I’ll never know, but I got my first legit saddle sore. I freaked out and immediately contacted cyclist friends to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do about that.
Solution: Again, working this one out still. Since I haven’t tried this out yet, I’m going to see how it goes. My buddy told me to use Aquaphor for pre-ride to prevent the saddle sores. I normally use chamois butter too but it didn’t help this last time. I’m open to suggestions for prevention and treatment.
Issue: Fading hair color. Due to the numerous showers I take a day my hair color fades with the quickness. What? I color my hair to “enhance” it. Or cover the gray.
Solution: My hair stylist told me to wet my hair in the gym showers before getting in the pool. This way the regular water is absorbed before the chlorinated water. I’ve also used Redken’s color shampoo and conditioner. I’ve heard that cold water is better for color treated hair but eff that noise.
Allllllll righty then! I think I’ve hit most of them. Again, I’d love recommendations and tips on any of the items listed above. And just because I’m super duper thankful for them, here’s a picture of Mr. T riding a unicorn. Happy Thursday!
Try Dermalogica clean start line for the acne, it's worked really well for me, it's not cheap, but it's also not crazy expensive. They sell a little starter/travel kit that has the whole line, it's the only thing I have found that works on the breakouts on my sports bra line.
And for your hair, instead of constantly shampooing, rinse and then condition the ends, my hair is crazy oily so if I do that I have to get a dry shampoo to spray on the roots, but it saves the color 🙂
I need to find that TriSwim lotion! Where do you get it? My legs are so freakingly dry and itchy that I seriously have scratched until I've bled. No lie. It sucks and I hate it. I think that after-pool itchy feeling is the worst part of tri training for me, except maybe bike/run bricks because I suck at those.
I think I spend more time on my saddle sore regimen than on my face. Make sure they stay really clean – I use tea tree oil after workouts to keep them disinfected, and a lot of bag balm or Body Glide's saddle sore stuff on my skin before I ride, then I cover the saddle with chamois butter. And I reapply a couple of times on longer rides. Hope this is your last one!
Before I gave up and just let my hair go grey….hello timesaver!…I would use Reflect H20 Pre-Swim gel. You can put it on wet or dry hair and it helps to protect. Or a regular conditioner put on pre-swim can work too.
Best fix ever for chapped lips are Eos (looks like a little egg) for during the day and neutrogena night lip chapstick. It's the only thing that saves me during brutal winter runs!
I have melasma, but think it's really due to my lack of hormones. I have found it gets way worse with sun, so I try to really cover that area with Neutrogena 70 face sunscreen. Oddly enough I found washing my face with filtered water made a bigger difference than any face cream. also getting ride of foods that apparently bothered my stomach.
I really love my organic hair care, I swear it's made a huge difference. then again, i'm crazy so take it all with a grain of salt 🙂
I love your tips! I'm def getting a few more saddle sores than usual- but i've been using Hibiclens (its like a hospital grade cleanser) to clean them and it seems to help. During rides- aquaphor and chomois butter!
I use Loreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner and it seems to help hold my color. Also, after some of my workouts I use coconut oil in my hair (a little goes a long way) and leave it in either overnight (doesn't get on sheets) or leave in for an hour or so and wash it out. It has worked wonders for making my hair healthier and has produced hair growth. Also, I get acne and it doesn't break out my face, it even helps with dry skin on my face without breaking it out. Good luck!
I think I will be dealing with acne even when I am 6 feet under.
Definitely experience a lot of these with training. I REALLY want to dye my hair right now but know that it's going to change due to chlorine… seriously, can't a girl just try and look good?!
I use Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash, it's the orange kind that looks "cloudy." Great for the body acne.
As for moisturizing, I love me the Clinique yellow stuff too.
Chapped lips? I gob straight up vasoline on them at night to help curb it during the day.