If you're delving into the red-hot trend of Bikram yoga, chances are you've experienced the mental and physical benefits of toning, clarity and stress relief. Maybe you've heard Bikram-blessed women extol the detoxifying before-and-after skin miracles of hot yoga, but all you got was a red face and heat chafing. Turns out, there are basic Bikram yoga skincare routines that can complement the purifying intentions of this intense practice. With a few tweaks and a few weeks, you could be glowing while you do your "sun salutation."
Bikram Yoga and Your Skin
Because Bikram yoga is a continual series of yoga poses performed in a hot, moist environment, you will sweat out quarts of body fluid. As long as you are continually hydrating, this creates a beneficial cycle of detoxification and rehydration. As your skin is the body's largest organ, Bikram has the most impact on your delicate dermis, cleansing your entire body by way of open pores and free-flowing perspiration. Consider it a hot facial -- for your whole body.
Keep the Detox Going
The key to glowing, post-Bikram skin is to facilitate the detox process before, during and after your practice. That means going to your class with a clean, make-up free face, wearing sweat-wicking fabrics and cleansing and moisturizing your whole body when you're finished. Choose organic products to clean and moisturize -- there's little point to getting a great detox and then slathering yourself in chemicals and petroleum-based products.
Cleansing: Before and After
You may be hitting the Bikram studio straight from work, but take a moment to clean your face and remove makeup before you start class. No sink? No problem -- use an organic facial wipe to quickly remove everything the day left on your face. The worst thing you can do is mix sweat with dirt, makeup, oil and bacteria -- perfect for creating facial havoc. When you get home, hit the shower and use a creamy, organic cleanser on your face and body.
Once you've washed off the salty remains of your hot yoga session, it's time to moisturize. Continue to drink lots of water and use an organic moisturizer on both your face and body. This will soothe any irritation or chafing on the body, rehydrate and keep skin from getting dry or itchy later. If you have special concerns, such as acne, fine lines or rosacea, try using an organic serum or spot treatment before you apply your facial moisturizer. Your post-Bikram pores are open wide and ready to soak up those healing ingredients and your skin will say "Namaste."
Kathleen Gasior has over five years of experience as an editor, reporter and columnist for a chain of weekly newspapers in Northern New Jersey including the "Warren Reporter," "Phillipsburg Free Press" and "Belvidere News." She has been writing for over 30 years. Gasior has a Bachelor of Social Work from Monmouth University and over 25 years field experience. Gasior is also trained in cosmetology.