Working It Out: the post-gym routine

I only shower in my apartment on the weekends. Why? Because I really like my gym and I’m lazy.

I go to what could be considered a nicer Korean gym in the Gwanghwamun area (near the Blue House, which is Korea’s version of the White House). It offers newer equipment and weights, and plenty (on a good day) treadmills. There’s also the included sauna, which has showers, and hot pool and a dry charcoal sauna room. Hoorah to the sauna! This gym tires me out, so it makes total sense that the last thing I want to deal with when I get home is making sure I’m clean. Gross, right? Well, not when you cleaned yourself before you left the gym (and have, of course, brought spare underwear and clothes).

The most important thing that I bring with me to the gym is my toiletry bag; it’s imperative for me to have my body feeling super moisturized after my gym day, especially with it being so cold outside: here in Seoul we’ve been experiencing wind chills as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit (granted, it’s not Chicago in its worst winter, but still)! I definitely don’t want my body feeling as dry and cracked as Death Valley.

I recently collected toiletries from my Lux Staycation stays to use for my bag because 1) they’re small; and 2) hey, it’s nice to feel a little luxurious post-workout/sauna, even if I’m feeling absolutely exhausted. For my body, there are the products that are my constants, the sunbaes (선배) of my toiletry bag:

The Molton Brown was tagging along, too.
Kiehl’s Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer is a product I’ve been using since college, so we’re talking YEARS; I have super dry elbows and feet that get drier when they get cold, so I make sure to put the cream on first before I put on any other kind of lotion.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve and the Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant Cream are mainstays, too, though not to the degree of my beloved moisturizer cream. For my face, I use Elemis for the daytime. My mom got me onto Elemis after she had a facial treatment at one of the Walt Disney World resort spas a few years ago; I liked her stuff so much that she stocked me up on products before I left for Korea the first time (thanks, Mom!). I use the Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal first, and then the PC Marine Cream: it’s light enough where I don’t feel like I have product caking my face, yet heavy enough to give me some protection in the wintertime (the amount I actually use depends on the weather). I use Elemis’s Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Cleanser to wash my face beforehand.

If it’s nighttime and I’m going straight home (and to bed) afterwards, I switch up the routine for my face. Instead of Elemis I go back to Kiehl’s and use the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and its ocular companion. The sample sizes are tiny, but I can use my regular sized versions at home to refill as needed.


I rely on the toiletries I’ve acquired from my travels for my actual body cleansing and body lotion needs, mainly because they’re small and can fit easily. However, I am a bit particular about the body lotion I’ll use because of two important factors: how it makes my skin feel and its smell.

I’m on my third set of toiletries right now. I started with Le Labo’s Bergamote 22 Body Lotion and Shower Gel, both of which had a nice, light smell. Then I moved to Molton Brown’s Gingerlily line: the body wash was really nice, but the nourishing body lotion was almost too light, and I found myself running out of it quickly. I just started the third set, courtesy of Aesop: the Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser and the Rind Concentrate Body Balm.


I’m loving the cleanser right now: it has a fresh scent, and when it’s coupled with my sea sponge it makes me feel squeaky clean. I like it so much that I might actually buy a bottle of my own (they have an Aesop store in Seoul!). The body balm is heavier than what I normally use, but it’s perfect post-sauna moisturizer for the winter. It has a strong citrus smell, though, so if you don’t like that (like my mom) stay away.

That’s my post-exercise skin care routine. What do you do after you workout?

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