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The Active Girl's Guide to Beauty

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The Active Girl's Guide to Beauty

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The Active Girl's Guide to Beauty
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Working out—it's great for your health but not always good for your looks. Between sweating and repetitive motion (think weight lifting or running), you're apt to encounter issues like calluses and bruised nails. Fortunately, we have pro pointers and products that can cure— and help you avoid—these problems so you can be buff and beautiful!

WORKOUT WOE
Body Breakouts

Acne on your back, chest, and butt is often caused by sweaty clothing rubbing against your skin, says Amy Derick, M.D., a dermatologist in Barrington, Illinois. And if you carry a golf bag or wear padded shorts on a bike, you're almost sure to trigger a fl are-up. "These items trap moisture against the skin, making your pores even more likely to get clogged," says Derick.

Treat It
"One of the best remedies for a body breakout is a daily vinegar rinse," says David Colbert, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. The acetic acid in vinegar helps kill off blemishproducing bacteria. Add one tablespoon of white table vinegar to a quart of warm water, sponge down the affected area, and rinse in the shower. At night, apply a benzoyl peroxide cream. If you see no improvement in three weeks, consult a dermatologist for a topical antibiotic, like Clindamycin—the foam version is particularly backand butt-friendly because it's quickly absorbed.

Prevent It
"Showering after exercising is the key to fending off breakouts," says Colbert. "Waiting too long after a workout gives bacteria a chance to grow." He recommends lathering up with an antimicrobial cleanser, such as Hibiclens Antiseptic/ Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser ($13; drug store.com). Washes with pore-unclogging salicylic acid, such as Murad Acne Body Wash ($40; sephora.com), are also effective.

WORKOUT WOE
Bruised Toenails

"Tennis toe"—the bruising and thickening of your big toenail—is the result of sports that involve quick stops and turns, which cause your foot to bang into the front of your shoe. Closely related is "jogger's toe," the loosening (or loss) of a nail, which also occurs due to repeated slamming.

Treat It
If the bruise is just at the nail's tip (not under the matrix, where nail growth starts), it will eventually clear, says Colbert. But to keep a bruised tip from getting worse (and possibly snapping off), cut the nail short and apply a thick balm, like Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($8; at drugstores), so it stays supple. If the nail is bruised at the matrix, follow the same regimen and bandage it (the nail will still likely fall off within a few weeks). If the nail's already off, apply an antibacterial ointment, like Rite Aid Bacitracin ($4; drugstore.com), daily for a week and keep it covered while the new nail grows, says Kathleen Davis, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City.

Prevent It
Shoes that fit well will minimize toenail bruises, says Davis. If you're not sure that yours do, consult an expert; one's usually on hand at a runner's shop. "And if the problem persists, consider seeing a podiatrist or an orthopedist," says Davis. "You may need customized inserts."

WORKOUT WOE
Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot is characterized by redness, itching, and burning, says Derick. The fungus grows in damp places, which is why it's often picked up when you go barefoot in locker rooms. Although experts aren't sure why, being affl icted once means you're more prone to pick up the fungus again.

Treat It
Over-the-counter Lamisil AT Cream ($16; drugstore .com) can reduce the symptoms within several days, says Derick.

Prevent It
Wearing flip-flops in gym showers or at the pool will help you steer clear of infection. Havaianas Slim Animals flip-flops ($24; havaianasus.com) are durable— and chic. For extra insurance, spray your soles and the insides of your gym shoes with antifungal Tinactin ($8; at drugstores).

WORKOUT WOE
Frayed Hair

Although a ponytail is the most practical workout do, it comes with a price: The elastic slides against your strands, causing tearing.

Treat It
A hair oil or protein mask can help put an end to breakage, says Eugene Toye, a stylist at the Rita Hazan salon in New York City. Smooth a tiny bit of either product under your elastic to keep your ponytail holder from rubbing. Toye likes Phyto Phytonectar Ultra Nourishing Oil Treatment ($30; beauty.com), with hydrating sunfl ower extract.

Prevent It
A fabric-covered scrunchie abrades hair less than an elastic. Try L. Erickson Ponies ($12 each; franceluxe.com).

WORKOUT WOE
An Oily or Dry Scalp

Workouts can make your scalp go to extremes: Sweat can trigger oiliness, while frequent post-exercise cleansing can cause dryness.

Treat It
Both conditions can be avoided if you use a dry shampoo after working out, says Toye. "It's the perfect post-workout cleanser because it sops up oil. And since you brush it out, it won't aggravate a dry scalp like a daily shampoo might." We like Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo ($18; sephora.com), with oat extract.

Prevent It Don't use the shampoo in the gym shower. "Even at upscale facilities, it's pretty harsh, since it's meant to deep clean sweaty heads," Toye says. So bring your own mild formula instead. Colbert recommends Neutrogena Clean Replenishing Moisturizing Shampoo ($5; at drugstores), which is formulated for frequent use. If you exercise every day and tend toward dryness, work the lather from your ends to your scalp, leaving a buffer zone of half an inch from your part, where oil is produced. To keep greasiness in check, massage shampoo into your scalp at your roots and let it sit for 60 seconds.

WORKOUT WOE
Calluses

Toughened areas of skin on your feet and hands are usually produced by repeated rubbing.

Treat It
Though calluses are nature's way of protecting your skin, most of us would still prefer to be baby-smooth. To achieve this without sacrifi cing your skin's health, Davis advises soaking your feet in warm water for 15 minutes before bed, then using a pumice stone—we like the Tweezerman Pedro Callus Stone ($20; tweezerman.com)—to exfoliate. Next, apply a thick cream, like Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Foot Cream ($5; at drugstores). Finally, slip on cotton socks to help the ingredients penetrate better.

Prevent It
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($3; at drugstores) before putting on your workout socks. "By creating more slip, you'll reduce the friction that's causing the callus," explains Colbert. And if you lift weights, fi sh, or golf, slip on gloves to steer clear of callused hands.

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