Fitness grooming essentials lotion gym workout
(Photo: Gregor)

No-Sweat Gym Grooming Essentials

Nine tools to get you cleaned up as workouts move indoors.

Fitness grooming essentials lotion gym workout

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There are a million excuses to skip the shower after a gym workout, but consider this: even if you don’t stink (pro tip: always assume you do), sweating buckets weakens skin’s defenses while sparking a microbe population boom. That can mean breakouts or dandruff if you’re lucky, or conditions like athlete’s foot and ringworm if you’re not. These quick-drying, multitasking essentials will keep your locker-room grooming routine short, sweet, and effective.

Kiehls Cross-Terrain All-In-One Wash

| (Kiehl's)

Unlike bar soap, this multipurpose cleanser can be used multiple times a day—even on hair—without drying you out. The herbal-scented coconut-derived suds are gentle but still rinse away every last trace of sweat and oil. A little goes a long way: a week of regular use barely put a dent in our bottle. $18,

The Body Shop Body Polisher Exfoliating Cloth

| (The Body Shop)

To prevent bacne flare-ups, leave the bath puff at home. This scrubby nylon cloth is extra long, so it loops around even broad frames for effective two-handed buffing of the whole back—no yoga-style contortions required. $8,

Gaiam Thirsty Yoga Hand and Mat Towels

| (Gaiam)

No towel service? No problem. Gaiam’s microfiber Thirsty towels are nearly as plush as the ones at home but dry in half the time, so you can wipe down and hit the shower without sogging up your gym bag. They’re also perfect for taking the drip and slip out of mat work and stretching: tuck the 30-inch-long Hand size under knees, glutes, and hands, or opt for the 68-inch Mat to cover all your bases. $11.98 and $24.98,

Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20

| (Jack Black)

Muscles get all the attention, but skin also performs better with proper post-workout TLC. Jack Black’s lightweight Double-Duty lotion has it covered, with phospholipids to balance and restore, blue algae and antioxidants to subdue inflammation and redness, and SPF 20 to give skin a break from damaging rays. From $17,

T3 Featherweight Compact Hair Dryer

| (T3)

Throwing a beanie over a wet head saves time, but it also creates stubborn hat hair and turns the scalp into a haven for microbes. This travel-size dryer from T3 weighs just over three pounds and packs down to smaller than a shoe. It also dries hair in record time—under five minutes for even the thickest mop, under ten for long locks—without frying it to a crisp, thanks to infrared heat and static-busting negative ions. The price tag is hefty compared to standard full-size dryers, but for a travel-friendly fast pass to great hair and a healthier scalp, we’ll take it. $150,

Badger Balm Pomade

| (Badger Balm)

Need to whip hair into shape? Badger’s classic burgamot-infused pomade blends Babassu palm and coconut oils with beeswax to deliver medium hold and shine without feeling sticky or greasy. And just like the company’s other trademark balms, the all-natural formula nourishes and fortifies, and soothes chapped skin in a pinch. $16, 

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa Deodorant Spray

| (Bigelow Chemists)

Body spray can’t take the place of a shower. But use after bathing and it can help skin dump excess heat and give the brain a little aromatherapy assist during recovery. We pack Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa deodorant spray because it’s virtually impossible to overdo and smells classy as hell: refreshing lemon and bergamot mingle with spicy ginger, cedar, leather, and incense for a refined cologne that’s just as comfortable in the boardroom as it is on the trail. $42, 

The North Face Apex Gym Duffel

| (The North Face)

With 45 liters of space, the water-resistant Apex swallowed everything we threw in it. For fast-and-light days, compression side clips keep the silhouette slim; unclipped, the Apex becomes a wide-mouth tote that works great showerside to keep your soap handy and your towel dry. And the volume doesn’t end at the main compartment: a vented external-zip pouch fits sweat-soaked duds, two pairs of shoes, and boxing gloves with room to spare. Bonus points: the internal stash pocket is lined with felt to keep devices extra safe. $74,

Buff UV Half Buff

| (Buff USA)

Good: the burn of working up a good sweat. Bad: the burn of getting that sweat in your eyes. The Half Buff looks like our favorite cotton bandana but relieves the scalp of buckets more sweat for a less drippy and itchy session. Plus if you hang it up for a breather, it’ll truly dry in minutes to help keep you warm when you head out the door. $13,

Lead Photo: Gregor

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