Off the Mat: After BJJ Class Facial Care
Updated: Apr 10
It’s good to soothe your face after giving and taking a few beatings. Here is my after-jiu-jitsu class facial care.
There’s nothing like learning and rolling in a jiu-jitsu class. You’re sweating and working hard trying to learn everything you can. Throughout the rolls, your face is scrapping across the mat (or you’re not doing bjj right). Not to mention the addition of someone else’s rough gi rubbing across your face, their shoulder crossfacing you, and their forearm going across your neck for chokes. Also, not to gross you out as you’re reading this, and as sanitized as the mats are before and after classes, your face is getting filled with other people’s sweat and other people’s germs.
To deal with the constant wear and tear and germs, an after-training shower accompanied by a great after bjj class facial is the best thing you can do to soothe your skin. Because facial care is a big part of maintaining my ideas of femininity, I wanted to share my after class facial routine and the products I use. I hope it could be helpful to anyone who really wants to take care of their skin after a jiu-jitsu class or for everyday care.
A note about my skin care routine and this post
Also, note to any dudes reading this, sorry this possibly isn’t your avenue. But facial care for men is also important, especially if you train often. I’ll do some research later and provide resources for bjj guys as well.
I have normal skin aka not overly oily or dry (except when I don’t drink enough water or in the winter), that’s prone to hyperpigmentation. So, my skin care is geared towards treating my hyperpigmentation and putting enough moisture into my skin. If you also have this type of skin, these products might help you too. Adjust to whatever skin you got, do your research, and talk to a dermatologist or esthetician. This post is more so about the order of my products and why I do what I do. These products really do work for me, and it makes my skin feel really good.
Also, if a dermatologist or esthetician happens to read this, would love to know if these routines are good or how they can be improved.
I broke up my facial care into two routines: my quick-n-lazy routine and my luxurious queen routine. Both routines might contain some of the same products. So, here goes:
Quick-n-Lazy Skin Care Routine
My Quick n Lazy routine is for the nights I shower at the gym because I literally just want to come home, brush my teeth and go to bed. As indicated by the title, I don’t use many products and am not as focused, but the main goal is to make sure my face is clean and moisturized.
You always have to start off with a great cleanser. You need to get all that sweat, grime, and stuff from the mat and other people off your face.
For the past few months I’ve been using Youth To The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser. I first discovered this cleanser in Sephora just while standing in line and was intrigued by it saying “Vegan skincare” I had no idea what that meant for my skin but decided to try it. I like the fact that it isn’t drying on my face, and it feels like it’s stripping off the stuff that I don’t need while keeping the moisture and nutrients I do need.
After cleansing, it’s important to get any impurities that are left on your skin and close up those pores with a good toner. I have been using THAYERS Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera Formula.
I’ve used both witch hazel and rose water separately. I like the fact they’re natural and have many benefits for the skin. So, when I found this toner, I thought it was a win. I saw a TikTok where an esthetician said that this toner was super drying for your face but I haven’t had a problem with my skin being dry after using it. I think that might be due to the Aloe Vera as well.
I know that under eye bags are a problem that many of us have especially if we don’t sleep enough. So, finding a great eye cream that is gentle enough and hydrating enough for under eye skin is important.
I have the Atomy Herbal Skin Care Anti-Aging Eye Cream. I actually bought this Atomy eye cream from a friend in China who sells Korean skin care products. She has great skin and although she’s Asian, I always admired how soft and hydrated her skin looked on a daily basis. So, of course I trusted her and bought this eye cream. It’s amazing! And because the texture is soft and silky, it doesn’t pull on my under-eye skin when I apply it. Also, I don’t need to use that much, and it has been lasting me a while.
Serums for me depend on the night. I just started using retinol as I write this and after reading some articles about how to use it, I use this retinol first and then the hyaluronic acid after to make sure my skin stays hydrated (apparently retinol can be drying). I only do this method three times a week. Just looking at reviews, I bought the Tree of Life Retinol Serum for Face Wrinkles, so far it’s been great.
Other nights because I want to address my hyperpigmentation, I use a vitamin C serum with the hyaluronic acid. I know vitamin C serum is better during the day, but I think it makes me feel a little bit better about my skin.
You can also get the retinol, Vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid serum in this three pack. After I ran out of hyaluronic acid serum from Tree of Life, I got this Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum based on reviews of course. Not gonna lie, the thickness was weird to me but apparently *thicker is better*… when it comes to hyaluronic acid.
Luxurious Queen Routine:
This is the facial routine I have when I plan to really take care of myself and tap into my “femininity”. This routine is sometimes paired with an Epsom salts bath, a bath bomb and some lavender oil. This facial routine just makes me feel nice and my skin always glistens after. Some of parts of this routine I start outside of the bath or shower and then the parts that take a while, I’ll do while I do other things.
I use the same cleanser as mentioned earlier but maybe I take more care and do two washes.
I really like this vitamin C exfoliant from Precision Beauty Skin Care Solutions Brightening Vitamin C Exfoliant (I can’t find it but maybe there is something similar). It’s gentle and says you can use it most days. I tend to use it on the days I don’t plan on using retinol just because you can’t mix retinol and vitamin C products.
If I do plan on using retinol, I use Youth To The People Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant which is supposed to be gentle on skin. If I use this exfoliant, its usually after I do everything else just because it just seems best to use it then.
First mask-clay mask:
I love Origins clay face masks! I first discovered them in the airport while traveling back to Shanghai from South Korea. Again, since South Korea is known for having great beauty products and people with flawless skin, when the sales attendant showed me these masks, I was down. It also helped that her skin was awesome. I use Original Skin retexturizing mask with rose clay and Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask.
Nothing new about how I use the toner in this routine. Same toner, just different process.
Second mask-Sheet mask:
Now if I’m being EXTRA extra, I like to use a sheet mask here. It just rounds everything together for me. I use this while I’m brushing my teeth or just going around the house after bathing.
I usually pick up some sheet masks from Sephora or go for Dr. Jart. I like the Dr.Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Deep Hydration Mask Sheet, Dr. Jart Dermask Water Jet Soothing Hydra Solution Mask, or Dr.Jart+ V7 Brightening Mask.
After I sheet mask, I go for my retinol and hyaluronic acid or vitamin C and hyaluronic acid every other day.
Here are some other products I use sometimes with my routines if I want a hydrating boost or to make my skin softer.
I usually use this in the wintertime or when my skin feels extra dry. I spray or wet my face with water and then apply this mask before I go to bed. I wake up with nice, moisturized skin.
I like rose water for hydration if you don’t feel like buying origins. It’s pretty affordable and you can also make your own if you have some dying roses or rose tea lying around.
These oils are great for skin and are a good sealant when using the Origins or if you spray your face with rose water. These oils are so light on the skin and have so many benefits. You can also use these oils on your hair, so it’s multi-purpose.
The Importance of Skin Care
I think that proper skin care is a great way to make sure that my skin is well taken care of after I train and all the beatings my face takes. It also goes into my rituals of femininity and staying grounded there.
Do you have a skin care routine after you train? Let’s talk on Instagram @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj