Beauty risks: Breakouts on your cheeks or back from contact with your mat, or rashes on your back or chest from a combination of perspiration and tight clothing.
Improve your game: Mats are a hotbed for germs, so bring your own to the studio or gym. If that’s not possible, “Lay a clean towel on top to shield your skin from acne-causing bacteria and other residue,” says Dr. D’Anne Kleinsmith, a cosmetic dermatologist in Royal Oak, MI. Always wash your hands thoroughly after class and avoid touching your face in between poses, since germs can travel quickly and clog pores. Devotees of Bikram yoga are especially prone to uncomfortable heat rashes thanks to soaring room temperatures, so it’s worth the investment to buy moisture-wicking clothes designed for this type of practice. As soon as you can after Savasana, suds up with gentle body cleanser to rinse away germs and help discourage skin irritations.
Beauty risks: Dark spots or freckling on the backs of your hands, forearms and neck, or sunburn on your neck and ears.
Improve your game: Apply sunscreen containing an SPF 30 or higher all over exposed skin—including the back of your neck and ears—and reapply every two hours. “That’s about every nine holes,” says Gilman, who is the spokesperson for the Skin Cancer Foundation. Golfers need to be especially diligent with sunscreen since sand traps and ponds reflect the sun’s dangerous rays up, meaning you can’t solely rely on a hat for protection. Choose a formula with zinc oxide, which tends to stick better even when you’re sweating, and wear a hat with a broad brim of at least three inches. Lastly, prevent aging hands by keeping them covered with golf gloves every time you tee off.
Beauty risks: Static-y hair (thanks to knit caps and goggles) split ends, and dry strands overall.
Improve your game: Frequent trims (at least every eight weeks) are a must, according to Jessica Gillin, a stylist at the Marie Robinson Salon in New York City who has helped Olympic gold-medal skier Lindsey Vonn care for her long, blonde locks. “Ice and snow can stick to hair and cause stress and breakage,” she says. “So it’s important to eliminate damaged ends.” Another surprising texture offender? Perspiration. “Hair expands when it comes in contact with sweat, then contracts when it hits the cold air,” Gillin says. “This constant pattern makes it more fragile and prone to breakage.” Before you head for the slopes, apply a deep conditioner with hydrating vitamin E (Gillin likes Colorist Cure) to dry strands, then braid your hair or pull it back into a bun under your hat. Off the mountains, protect hair daily with a light serum applied to ends to prevent breakage, and avoid alcohol-laced hairsprays, which can be even more drying to already stressed hair.
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