The winter months can be rough as a motorcycle enthusiast, but spring is the light at the end of the tunnel. Even as warmer weather makes it more pleasant to ride, however, it comes with its own challenges, especially for your skin. Long days spent in the sun, wear and tear from the wind, plus all of the dirt, road grime, and sweat can be tough on your skin.
A little discomfort is never enough to stop you from riding, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take action to address skin issues. Here are some simple skincare tips to help you protect your skin before and after your next ride and all through the season.
How to Prepare Your Skin Before You Ride
Before you hit the road, there’s a lot of prep work to be done. In addition to preparing your bike and putting on your own gear, you should take a moment to protect your skin as well.
It’s best to wear minimal makeup when riding because it will only clog your pores as you start to sweat.
Plus, what’s the point making the effort if you’re just going to have to wash your face after the ride? If you haven’t already washed your face that day, give it a quick splash of water to help remove excess oil that could further clog your pores as they accumulate dirt and sweat.
You should also take the time to apply heavy sunscreen at least 35 SPF (the higher the better). Apply it to all areas of exposed skin, paying particular attention to your face and neck. Slather it on at least 30 minutes before you hit the road and bring it with you so you can reapply as needed. You should also wear sunglasses or a tinted visor to protect your eyes and to help prevent skin damage.
When choosing sunscreen, look for something that does more than just protect against UVA and UVB rays. Moisturizing ingredients can help further protect your skin during the ride and may help reduce irritation from saddle rub.
Taking Care of Your Skin During a Ride
When it’s just you and your motorcycle, you lose track of time. You find yourself double-checking your gauges to make sure your bike is okay, but you probably don’t spend a lot of time worrying about yourself. Even so, you should take quick timeouts during your ride for skin care basics like applying lip balm and sunscreen.
Apply lip balm as needed to treat or prevent chapped lips and apply sunscreen every two hours. If you find yourself getting particularly dirty or sweaty, quickly wipe your face with a cotton pad soaked in micellar water to remove sweat, dirt, and grime. Another option is to buy a pack of micellar water facial wipes so you can simply grab one when you need it. Just don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen after wiping your face.
Don’t forget to hydrate as well! Drinking water may not have an immediate impact on hydrating your skin, but it supports total body health and that includes your skin. It’s easy to carry a hydration bladder (like Camelbak) so you can sip throughout your ride without having to hassle with a water bottle.
Post-Riding Skin Care Tips
After you’ve put your motorcycle away for the night, it’s time to take care of yourself. Wash your face as soon possible after your ride to remove dirt, debris, sweat, and oil so it doesn’t clog your pores and cause breakouts. Use a cleanser appropriate for your skin type and follow it with your preferred moisturizer. If you have dry or acne-prone skin, you may want to take an additional step and apply a hydrating face mask, wrinkle or acne treatment. Treat sun-burned skin with aloe or another after-sun treatment.
Spending long hours in the sun can be tough on your skin and may accelerate the skin aging process.
Keeping your skin clean and hydrated goes a long way for preventing age spots and wrinkles, but you may want to consider adding an anti-aging serum or wrinkle cream to your post-ride routine.
Once you’ve taken care of your face, be sure to wash your helmet pads and straps as well – anything that comes into contact with your face during the ride. You don’t want to undo all your hard work by putting on a dirty helmet.
No one wants to choose between healthy skin and doing what you love. Sun, wind, sweat, and grime will never be enough to make you stop riding but you don’t have to settle for the negative effects these things can have on your skin. Be sure to follow these skin care tips before, during, and after your next ride to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.