When you hit your local gym—whether it's to take a cardio class or give the machines a spin—no doubt you have a list of items you always make sure to have on hand. Comfy sneakers? Check. Water bottle? Check. Towel? Check. Headphones? Check. But if you’re planning on showering in the locker room—or even just quickly freshening up—once you’re done exercising, it makes sense to throw a few key beauty products into your gym bag, too. From makeup to hair styling products to skin care products, consider the following your ultimate gym bag beauty checklist! Basically, get ready to upgrade your gym beauty routine.
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #1: DRY SHAMPOO
Washing your hair in a locker room usually sucks. Most the time, you have to wait on line for a shower to become available, and then you have to rush the process so you don’t hold up everyone else who’s waiting. Plus, if it’s cold outside, you also have to blow-dry your hair before you leave, adding more time to the whole process. That’s where dry shampoo comes in. If you have brunch plans after the gym, simply spritz some on, throw your hair into a cute side braid or top knot, and you’re good to go.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo. This dry shampoo is formulated with three refined clays to instantly refresh your hair without any residue.
How to use it: Shake the can well before using, then hold it six to eight inches away from your hair. Spray the dry shampoo directly onto oily roots and lightly through the rest of your hair. Remember to brush through afterward!
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #2: MICELLAR WATER
The last thing you want to do is leave the gym with your face dripping in sweat. So, clean up with micellar water, a gentle cleanser. Never heard of micellar water before? Well, this French favorite is about to become your new go-to skin care product. Micellar water is powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—suspended in water. The micelles lift dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from your complexion—and you don’t even have to rinse it off. When the locker room is super-crowded, quickly cleansing with micellar water will help get you out the door faster.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types, L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water - Normal To Dry Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water - Normal To Oily Skin. Take your pick from these three micellar waters, choosing based on your skin type. Any of the three can help remove makeup, dirt, and oil from your skin in one step.
How to use it: Saturate a cotton pad with micellar water, then gently wipe the pad over your skin until it’s clean.
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #3: CLEANSING TOWELETTES
Like micellar water, cleansing towelettes or makeup wipes are another easy cleansing product you should consider tossing in your gym bag. For days when all of the sinks are being hogged and you’ve just taken a super sweaty hot yoga class, you don’t have to worry—you can simply reach for a towelette. These wipes are a convenient way to cleanse your face on the go, and like micellar water, they also don’t require any rinsing. Score!
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Radiant Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes. Formulated with vitamin C, these towelettes cleanse and gently exfoliate.
How to use it: All you have to do is wipe the towelette over your face—it doesn’t get much easier than that!
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #4: AIR-DRY STYLING PRODUCT
Let’s say you’re not in a rush after exercising, and you want to wash and style your hair before you leave the gym. Invest in an air-dry styling product so you don’t have to spend time blow-drying your hair (which, let’s be real, will probably take you at least 20 minutes). Now, we doubt you want to air dry your strands in the winter (brrr!), but stepping outside with wet hair is no problem in the summer. Go ahead and embrace your natural texture!
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray. This wave spray will leave you with loose, effortless waves that define your natural hair texture.
How to use it: Spritz the spray onto towel-dried hair, braid, and allow your hair to air dry. When you take your braid out, you’ll be left with beautiful waves!
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #5: MOISTURIZER
You already know that moisturizing should be a step in your daily skin care routine—in the morning and at night. But you should also be applying facial moisturizer after working out—especially if you’re showering. That’s because when you wash in high temps, that hot water can actually strip your skin of essential moisture. Eek! Throw your favorite moisturizer into your bag to slather on after your shower and make an effort to start showering in lukewarm water while you're at it.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Oily Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin. These water-based moisturizers are formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid and provide long-lasting hydration.
How to use it: Gently smooth any of the above moisturizers over your face and neck after cleansing.
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #6: SPF
More of a morning workout person? Then applying sunscreen after hitting the gym is a must. Spending time in the sun without protection can lead to sun damage, which can lead to visible signs of aging, like dark spots and wrinkles. Uh oh. Play it safe by applying sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF after you go through your post-workout skin care routine. SPF should be the last step in your skin care routine before you apply makeup, so put it on over your moisturizer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it’s possible to get burned even on cloudy days, so this is one rule you’re going to want to follow year-round.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Lotion SPF 30. This daily moisturizer is formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30.
How to use it: Apply as directed and remember to reapply at least every two hours!
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #7: CONCEALER
After getting your sweat on, you may want a little coverage. You’ve already got that workout glow (according to the AAD, findings from a few studies suggest that moderate exercise can improve circulation, which in turn may give skin a more youthful-looking appearance)—now it’s time to enhance it with full-coverage, waterproof concealer.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage. This full-coverage concealer has a waterproof formula that lasts up to 24 hours. It’s available in 25 shades, so find your perfect match and conceal away!
How to use it: Apply the concealer directly onto any imperfections and blend with your finger, a brush, or a makeup blender.
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #8: BB CREAM
BB cream is one of our favorite beauty products for a reason—and it’s definitely one worth making space for in your gym bag. BB cream is makeup that has skin care benefits. Like a tinted moisturizer, it provides coverage without feeling heavy. If you want to put something lightweight on your face after a grueling workout sesh, BB cream might be the right option for you.
Product pick: L’Oréal Magic BB Anti-Redness (For All Skin Tones). Hide any post-exercise redness you might be experiencing with this BB cream, which is formulated with encapsulated, color-transforming pigments that can help counteract redness.
How to use it: Apply the BB cream with your fingers, blending it out. The formula will transform from green to your customized shade, so don’t worry about looking like a witch after applying.
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #9: GLOSSY BALM
Who wants to apply a bold lipstick after sweating your butt off for an hour? Not us! Instead, reach for a glossy balm instead. You’ll get a natural look with a hint of color that’s appropriate for the office or happy hour.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Glossy Balm. This glossy balm is available in six pretty shades, ranging from mocha to coral to plum.
How to use it: Start in the center of your upper lip, working your way to the outer edges. Follow by gliding the balm across your bottom lip, making sure to follow the contour of your lip.
GYM BAG BEAUTY ESSENTIAL #10: MASCARA
Does anything pull a look together quite like mascara? If you’re in a time crunch when your workout is over, a little mascara could be all you need to get yourself ready for wherever you’re going next—whether that’s a morning meeting or dinner with your group of gals.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Lash Lifting and Lengthening Washable Mascara. If an instant lash lift effect is what you’re after, this is the mascara for you! The bendable brush makes application precise and effortless and makes it easier to access the harder-to-reach inner and outer corner lashes. Not to mention, it has a long-lasting, stretchable formula that doesn’t clump.
How to use it: Place the brush at the base of your lashes, gently sweeping it up to the tips.
Want more gym beauty tips? Read our article, The 6 Best Hairstyles to Wear to the Gym.
Discover more tips & tricks
Shop Featured Hair Care products