Pretty Athletic

High-tech natural vegan skincare for active women

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Sweatproof Vegan Skincare

Sweat is Good

Exercise is amazing. It boosts your mood and wellbeing, promotes better sleep, helps keep weight under control, and boosts blood flow and oxygen to the skin. Yet whilst working up a sweat regularly is super amazing for your skin, we also know that sweating, regular showering, and exercising outside can strip away key lipid components from the skin’s surface and cause common skincare concerns such as clogged pores, redness, irritation, dehydration and inflammation.

Our Story

Rushing back to work after a quick lunchtime gym session, or meeting friends after a post-work run, I found myself struck by a lack of products and advice relating to what to use on my skin before and after exercise. I love skincare, and I love fitness – especially running, but had always struggled with my skin. Breakouts, bacne, redness, sweating – it’s not easy and there was almost nothing out there in terms of advice or products. I love how exercise makes me feel and I wanted to create skincare solutions that genuinely help people get better skin, be confident, and be active. After years of research and testing, we officially launched Pretty Athletic in 2018 to do just that.

No Gimmicks

From product conception, to product formulation and testing, our team of top British cosmetic scientists have created every product to meet the specific skincare needs of active women. Our skincare range is refreshing, lightweight, quickly absorbed, super hydrating and ultra nourishing. And did we mention it’s also 95% natural, vegan, and packed with scientifically-proven actives? Whether you’re looking for the best moisturiser for runners, an amazing gel cleanser for pre and post workout, or a soothing tonic to help combat gym skin – we can help. We are the go-to brand for active women, whatever your skincare concerns and needs.


We’re proud to say that all products are formulated and manufactured in Suffolk, England. We have a strict ingredients policy which means all our products are 95% natural, with essential oils blends rather than ‘fragrance’. No parabens, silicones, sulphates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, plastic microbeads or MI.Our products are vegan. We never test on animals. Our products contain a potent mix of botanical ingredients, scientifically proven actives and vital skin nutrients – for beautiful skin, no matter how hard you sweat. We are passionate about living your best active life and having great skin.


Why is it important to cleanse post-workout?

During exercise, your body perspires, releasing salty sweat, mixed with natural lipids and sebum, on to the surface of the skin where it evaporates and cools the body. Once you stop exercising, you start to cool off, you stop perspiring, and the sweat dries up, leaving the salts behind, alongside the lipids, as a thin film of residue over your skin. Most of these bacteria won’t do you much harm on the surface and in small numbers, but if they multiply around hair follicles and inflame pores then they can lead to acne-like spots developing. So it is important to have a gentle cleanse after exercising to remove the salt and oils and stop the spread of these skin bugs.

Does not showering immediately after exercise cause “bacne” (spots / sweat spots on your back)?

Not washing after exercise can increase the risk of folliculitis (which is what ‘back acne’ consists of for most people) due to the fact that the sweat and skin-secretions (salts and lipids) produced with exercise are not removed. Skin bacteria already present on skin tend to like living in a moister environment with some of the lipids that your skin naturally produces (sebum) to feed off. So not washing regularly after exercise leaves the components that bacteria like present on your skin. So a light wash after a cool-down post-excerise always helps to reduce the chance of folliculitis.

What about “buttne”?

Your buttock’s skin is pretty much like your back’s skin, so the advice for showing post-exercise applies here too. In addition, remember that most people keep their buttocks covered with clothing, so this area probably gets a few degrees hotter than your back and therefore sweats more and may produce a bit more sebum when you exercise.

What’s the best way to get rid of breakouts and sweat spots on the body?

Regular cleansing is always useful for all areas of skin, but not more than once a day – too much washing can have a detrimental effect by stripping away too much of the natural sebum that our skin uses as a defense against the outside world. Moisturising cleansers are useful in this regard, and not just plain soaps which can be quite harsh. Scrubbing vigorously at the skin is unlikely to be useful either – rubbing hard will irritate and inflame skin and hair follicles. Gentle circular motions are best, with gentle pressure. And where there is hair growth, then cleaning in the direction of the hair grain – like stroking a cat – going down your legs and arms, and not up-and-down repeatedly, is better as it will not irritate the follicles by forcing them the wrong way.

What are the best skincare products to use if you’re exercising frequently / daily?

Use products that are not too drying – plain soaps remove too much of the useful sebum layer. So a gentle cleanser, like Pretty Athletic’s Purifying Gel Cleanser, is good, followed by a moisturising product to keep the skin in a good condition. Spots would hopefully fade with time if you find the right regimen for your skin. Don’t overdo the cleansing!

What is the best practice regarding sun protection when exercising?

When exercising outdoors, especially in hot sunny weather and round the hours of midday, sun protection is key to prevent sunburn and skin aging caused by the UV rays in sunlight. Applying a SPF 30-50 containing product 20-30 minutes before outdoor exercise is key to protect your skin. And if you are out for more than an hour at a time, re-apply sunscreens as they tend to get washed off by your perspiring. Once you have finished your exercise session, shower off the excess sunscreens, as they won’t help your skin being left in place, alongside the natural sebum and salt present from drying sweat, helping to make a nice environment for skin bacteria to multiply.

I get rashes under my armpits when/after working out. What can I do?

Two things could be happening here – the friction from rubbing clothes could be irritating your skin, so wearing loose clothing is helpful. The other element could be sweat causing a mild eczema rash. Wash gently soon after exercise, let the area dry off, and use a light moisturiser to soothe the skin.

Can you get acne from sweat?

Sweat can make your skin a nice environment for bacteria to grow, and that can inflame skin pores/hairs. So wash after exercise, and clean your gym kit regularly!

Is “runner’s face” a thing?

There’s two things to consider here. One is the length of time you are spending outside in all weathers, often with little protection from the elements. The combination of extra UV exposure, plus cold, wind, & rain elements will lead to a “weathering” of your skin more than the couch potatoes who stay indoors all day long. But you could say the same about cyclists, fishermen, farmers, sailors who spend lots of time outdoors too. So use SPF when it’s sunny, and regularly reapply it, plus stay covered up with head gear, and try to avoid the worst of extreme weather (really cold, windy etc) The second thing is, given your physique will probably be leaner, with less facial fat especially as you age (sorry, everyone does) you might look a little older than your couch potato friends, as subcutaneous fat makes skin look younger.

Is sweating good for your skin?

Exercise and the skin are intricately linked and regular exercise helps to keep the body and skin healthy. Increased blood flow to the skin during and post-exercise helps to provide an oxygen-rich environment to keep your skin in top condition.