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.
Yay products!
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!