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Skin Care Routine for Marathon Runners - The Skin To Love Clinic

Best Skin Care Routine for Marathon Runners

Running a marathon has a place on many of our bucket lists and, with over 100 marathons taking place annually in the UK alone and applications for the next London Marathon at a world record high, this long-distance challenge has become more popular, and achievable, than ever.

Crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles will leave you marvelling – once you’ve recovered – at what you (and your body) can accomplish and the hours spent pounding the pavements in training will result in fitness levels at an all-time high. But whether you’re a marathon newbie or a seasoned racer, it’s important not to neglect your skin care routine while you’re testing how far your legs can carry you.

As you build up your weekly mileage, all that time spent outdoors will leave your skin exposed to the elements more than usual, which, combined with sweat and dirt, can have a detrimental impact. So here are our top tips to give your skin a little extra TLC throughout training.

Stay protected

Even on the most overcast days, you still need to protect your skin from damaging UV rays. Look for UV resistant clothing and hats to significantly reduce your exposure in a way that won’t sweat off. And protect any exposed skin with a good high-factor SPF cream such as Heliocare 360 SPF50 – taking extra care of vulnerable areas such as the ears, lips and shoulders. Remember that when you’re running long distances, sunscreen will sweat off, so take a travel size bottle and reapply regularly.


The friction caused by skin rubbing on skin or on clothes, particularly under the arms and breasts, and on inner thighs, can be incredibly painful. Reduce the risk of chafing by choosing sweat-wicking fabrics and well-fitting clothes and sports bras, investing in an anti-chafing stick and moisturising regularly.

Go bare faced

Sweat plus makeup is a recipe for blemishes. Makeup will clog your pores, leaving your skin unable to breathe or eliminate toxins, so don’t be tempted to pick up the powder before heading out.

Training will leave your face exposed to all sorts of dirt, sweat and other impurities, so make thorough cleansing a twice-daily routine. Clarisonic’s patented sonic frequency removes more build-up than manual cleansing, with 300 movements per second, yet is gentle enough to use twice a day.

Take care of your feet

Choosing good quality, comfortable and well-fitting running shoes is an obvious necessity, as is looking after your feet – blisters, cracks in the heels and ingrown toenails are all common complaints, so see a podiatrist to stop issues in their tracks before they become a bigger problem.

Stay hydrated

Keeping your body well-watered will always benefit your skin, but during marathon training it’s more essential than ever. And ramp up your fight against harsh weather and salty sweat by applying a super hydrating serum such as Swisscode Hyaluron after your post-run shower.

Support your skin

The more active you are the quicker you metabolise the naturally found support systems in your skin (and other tissues) such as your hyaluronic acid, elastin and collagen. That’s not to mention the impact pounding the pavement has on your skin; the force can cause abnormal stretching so the skin can become prematurely lax.

You can help to counteract the degradation and depletion of your skins critical with good quality supplements. We love Gold Collagen Rx liquid supplement as not only does it contain vitamins and minerals, it also contains hydrolysed elastin, hydrolysed collagen and hyaluronic acid (it’s also gluten and sugar free) to give you that much needed support.

So while marathon training may never be a breeze, with a little effort you can make sure that your skin – alongside your body and mind – experiences all the fantastic positives this amazing challenge delivers. And if you need a little extra advice as you start adding on those miles, just pop in and talk to us about the products and treatments available to help support your skin.

Before taking any supplements or topical products, check that you are not allergic or have an intolerance to any ingredients.

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