Health

Answers to Runners’ Top 8 Beauty Questions!

We asked our top skin- and haircare experts to find out how runners can stay fresh as we sweat through our day!


Sit down with any table of brunching women, and we bet the question of hair, skin or makeup finds its way into the conversation before the waffles arrive. Run with any group of girls, and you’ll likely hear the same thing—but the questions will sound a bit different. From post-workout breakouts to black toenails, runners deal with our own special set of issues. That’s why we asked our own running team—women in the Women’s Running office—to share their beauty questions. A team of experts dished on how we can remain radiant—and you can too!

I’ve tried a couple of different brands of dry shampoo to extend a blowout after I run, but my hair still ends up looking greasy by the end of the day. Is there something I’m missing? —Kara Deschenes, online editor

Answer: Dry shampoo, designed to absorb oil, can be a style-saver between workouts—but only if you’re using it correctly. Paul Labrecque, owner of Paul Labrecque Salons and Spas in New York City, says, “Dry shampoo should never be used when the hair is still wet from sweating and working out.”

Flip your hair over and blow-dry the roots before spraying. And make sure you hold the nozzle two to three inches away from roots. Labrecque recommends Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($39, oribe.com) and Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder ($35, bumbleandbumble.com).

I often run or work out twice in a day. Should I wash my hair twice too? I want to get the salt and sweat out, but I don’t want to strip the strands. —Jessie Sebor, editor in chief

Answer: Showering twice won’t damage your hair as long as you skip the shampoo during shower number two. “If you rinse your hair with just conditioner the second time, you eliminate the negative effects of sweat and avoid drying out hair, while maximizing hydration,” Labrecque says. Try Avalon Organics Awapuhi Mango Therapy Deep Moisturizing Conditioner ($11, avalonorganics.com). To further protect hair, use a sulfate free shampoo like DevaCurl No-Poo Quick Cleanser ($20, devachansalon.com) the first time you wash.

I’ve heard that tight ponytail holders can be bad for your hair if you use them too much. I have my hair up all the time (when running and after). How do I avoid breakage? —Caitlyn Pilkington, associate editor

Answer: Be kind to your hair by opting for something wide. “I suggest using a soft, thick holder, like a terry band, that doesn’t kink the hair or hurt when you pull it out,” Labrecque says. “Never use a hair tie with metal in it! Also it’s better to have some product in your hair when you use ponytail holders to help keep them in place.” One healthy-head combo: Spritz with L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Milk Reinforcing Milky Mist ($32, drugstore.com) before wrapping your pony in Run Pretty Far Hair Ties ($5, runprettyfar.com).

I have thick, waist-length hair and I have yet to find a headband that will stay put while I run. Any suggestions? —Gia Hawkins, advertising production manager

Answer: Few things break your focus like a band that slips steadily toward your crown. Even “non-slip” bands can do the backward crawl. In this instance, bigger is usually better. “The wider the headband, the better to contain unruly hair,” says Roy Teeluck, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City. If you’re still struggling to maintain a sleek pony, Teeluck suggests braiding your hair to keep it at bay during a run.

If all else fails, wear a hat, which also offers sun protection for your face, scalp and hair. We like TrailHeads Goodbye Girl Ponytail Running Caps ($24, trailheads.com).

I am always looking for a quick way to freshen up post-run. Is there a portable cleanser that I can use to clean my face after I work out that’s gentle on skin? —Cassie Chavez, audience development manager

Answer: Towelettes, which remove makeup, sweat and oil, are ideal for women on the run. Avoid brands with alcohol or exfoliants, which can irritate overheated, sun-exposed or sensitive skin. Orlando-based makeup artist Paula Abraham, whose clients have included musician (and runner!) Gwen Stefani, recommends Alcone Makeup Remover Cloths ($11 for 24, alconeco.com). “They are individually wrapped, so they are perfect to tuck in the pocket of your running shorts,” she says.

I wear a BB cream that contains sunscreen when I run. Am I getting enough protection, or should I also apply a separate sunscreen? —Erin Douglas, art director

Answer: Moisturizers with built-in sun protection are a great start, but top it all off with a serious screen. Arizona-based dermatologist Jennifer Linder says, “Foundations and BB creams with SPF are often not applied in adequate quantities. For proper sunscreen coverage, one full teaspoon of water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen should be used on the face and one ounce on the body.” Try PCA SKIN Active Broad Spectrum SPF 45 ($32, skinstore. com). For areas where sunscreen easily sweats off—the hairline, nose and ears—a waxy formula like Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunblock Stick SPF 70 ($11, drugstore.com) is best. Don’t worry— it works great on grown-ups too!

I always wear mascara at work, but it gets all over my face when I run—even when I remove it quickly beforehand. Is there a brand that won’t run down my cheeks? —Jessie

Answer: To get you through those tough workouts without looking like an extra in a horror movie, Abraham recommends L’Oréal Voluminous Waterproof Volume Building Mascara ($9, drugstores). She also suggests trying Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara ($25, dior.com) “if you’re up for a little splurge.”

When I rack up the miles, my feet often end up feeling dry and callused. And forget about keeping a decent pedicure! How can I make my toes more presentable? —Kara

Answer: Start softening soles with a moisturizer designed for your tootsies. Candace Szpiech, a manicurist who has worked with Chanel and Carolina Herrera, recommends “applying cream two to three times daily and remember to soften, not remove, the calluses as callused skin provides protection, especially while running.” She likes Red Carpet Manicure Youth Crème and Cuticle Elixir ($15 each, redcarpetmanicure.com). And to keep your feet peep-toe ready, try a gel pedicure. Szpiech says it’s not necessary to go to a salon: Use an at-home system such as Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit ($80, redcarpetmanicure.com) for “a high-shine, chip-free look that lasts for weeks.”