Style Beauty

Thursday 18 July 2019

Ruth Griffin: Gym bag beauties - the essential gym bag beauty kit

Working out can leave our skin dehydrated and hair frazzled. This season, why not invest in an essential gym bag beauty kit?

Gigi Hadid for Reebok
Gigi Hadid for Reebok
Ruth Griffin

Ruth Griffin

Confession time: I have not darkened the doorway of a gym in almost two years. I have no idea how that time has slipped by, since my old career as a model had me in a regular workout routine for over a decade. Sometimes, we just gently slip out of our healthier habits without really taking stock, so this year (even though I normally never make new year’s resolutions), for 2017 I have made it my goal to get back to the gym.

Outdoor yoga and ballet barre at Form School ( are two of my favourite workouts. I do love it while I’m there, and of course the feeling afterwards, but the parts I can do without are all the faffing about with packing gym bags, post-workout showering, the constant hair washing, and dehydrated skin, that come with a gym routine.

To combat this, today I’ve put together a gym bag beauty list that should see you through every hair and skincare concern relating to workouts. I’ve found that the key is to have your gym bag perpetually packed with your products, with your towel being the only item you need to change (if you have to re-pack everything every time you go to the gym, it’s just another reason to give it a skip.)

If I can give one important gym-related skincare tip, it’s this — try and remove all your make-up before your workout. A hot, sweaty workout and heavy make-up do not a clear complexion make. Using multi-tasking products will help keep what you’re carting around to a minimum, and if your hair is feeling the frizz with all the extra washing, pop on a leave-in hair conditioning concentrate pre-workout for some multi-tasking beauty buffing.


Model Gigi Hadid is the face of Reebok’s ‘Perfect Never’ sportswear campaign that challenges women to accept their bodies and use sport to empower themselves through physical fitness. Gigi, who is an ex-horseback rider and volleyball player, says, “Working out isn’t only physical for me, it’s mental. It helps me escape the noise in my head. It’s the only time my mind goes quiet. In sport, it is my mistakes, my imperfections that motivate me most.”

10 of the best gym bag beauties


Streamline your gym beauty bag by using multi-tasking products like this American Crew 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash, ¤11.50. This is marketed for men but I think it’s perfect for women, too. Available at

TIP If your hair is getting seriously dried out from over-washing post-workout, try smoothing on some Kiehl’s Smoothing Oil Infused Leave-In Conditioner, €24, Kiehl’s and department stores nationwide.

Body (and Bones) AfterCare

With epsom salts, arnica, essential oils, sage and basil extract, this bath soak is perfect for some aftercare TLC for your body and bones if you’ve been out of the gym for a long time. Mio Liquid Yoga Bath Soak, €31, selected salons nationwide and

Hand Protection

If you lift weights, you’ll know how calloused and rough the skin on your hands can get. Massage in some non-greasy, high-performing cream before slipping on a pair of training gloves to protect and hydrate your hands. Cetaphil Moisturising Cream, €17.50, pharmacies nationwide.


A good quality de-tangler brush is an essential gym beauty bag item, as our hair can get damaged and dry from all the extra washing that happens when we’re working out more regularly. Try Aveda’s Wooden Paddle Brush, €26.88, department stores nationwide and


For a mega strong, streak-free deodorant that is safe to apply overnight in case of an early morning workout, try Sure Maximum Protection, €7.35, from all leading retailers nationwide.

Travel Sets

Model and fitness trainer Laura Scanlon recommends using travel-sized face creams and leaving them in your gym bag permanently instead of constantly re-packing your bag. Check out Ole Hendriksen’s Travelling Wonders Skincare Set, €45.80, for every face skincare product you’ll ever need. Debenhams stores nationwide and

TIP Another option is to decant your usual skincare lotions into plastic travel pots.


I know lots of women can’t go completely barefaced at the gym, but please if you can, take off your make-up before hitting the gym — your skin will thank you for it. A speedy and gentle wipe option is Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes, €3.53, Boots nationwide.


This one is for the germaphobes — spray this JK Naturals Yoga Mat Spray, €9.50 plus shipping, on your floor, yoga mat or equipment to make sure it’s sparkly clean. With peppermint and lemon essential oils, this is a divine-smelling anti-fungal and anti-bacterial natural disinfectant.

Body Cream

Our skin gets seriously dehydrated after a tough workout, so inject some moisture back in by smoothing on Rituals Samurai Touch Of Happiness Body Cream, €15.50, after your shower to avoid that horrible “tight” skin feeling. Available at Arnotts and

Wellness Mist

If you’re a fan of calmer workouts like Pilates and yoga, try spritzing this wellness mist on your face and body before and after your sessions. The mix of rosewood, neroli, patchouli, cedar wood, cardamom and vetvier combine to both invigorate the body and calm the mind. Saje Wellness Yoga Transformation Mist, ¤12.50 plus shipping,

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