6 Grooming Essentials You Should Keep in Your Gym Bag

So you can look (and smell) as good as you feel

A sampling of the best grooming essentials to keep in your gym bag
A sampling of the best grooming items to keep in your gym bag.
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After a grueling, sweaty workout, the urge to head straight home and collapse on the couch is strong, but it’s not the healthiest course of action for your skin. Dr. Michele S. Green, a cosmetic dermatologist based on New York City’s Upper East Side, explained to InsideHook in 2020 that not immediately washing after a tough workout — or after perspiring in general — can lead to body and butt acne, particularly if you’re wearing tight-fitted workout clothing that can keep sweat trapped. It’s best to shed your gnarly exercise gear and hop in the shower directly after working up a sweat. 

So first you’ll need a gym with showers, but then all your grooming necessities as well. 

You could just sweep all your at-home grooming products into your gym bag each time you head out for a workout, but that’s a pain in the ass, and you’ll just wind up forgetting anyway. So we encourage you to have a separate set of grooming products conveniently stashed in your bag. You can stick with the same types and brands of skincare/hair products you use at home, or if you lack a structured grooming routine or just want to test out some new products, keep reading. 

We spoke with George Baxter-Holder, an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner at SkinSpirit, for a few skincare recommendations suitable for a post-workout wash, along with other recs from yours truly. 

Something to wash your face with

Washing your face is the most important grooming step for men’s skin health after sweating at the gym,” says Baxter-Holder. “I recommend a great face wash such as Oxygen Infusion Wash by SkinBetter. For an extra boost post-workout, I also love easy, on-the-go pads for the gym bag like ZO Skin Health Complexion Renewal Pads. For men with acne-prone skin, thorough cleansing followed by an acne-specific product, like Age Intervention Duality by Jan Marini, is ideal.”


Skin Better Oxygen Infusion Wash


ZO Skin Health Complexion Renewal Pads


Jan Marini Age Intervention Duality


Disco Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick

Something to protect your skin from harmful UV rays

“It is critical for men to remember their sun protection after the gym, and there are so many excellent options for men,” he adds. “If you’re looking for a double-duty sunscreen that helps with aging, SkinMedica’s Total Defense and Repair has a boost of antioxidants. For a lighter-weight sunscreen, I love the 35 SPF Essential Defense also from SkinMedica.”

(You can also check out our SPF recommendations.)


SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF 50+


SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 35


100% Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50

Jaxon Lane

Jaxon Lane Rain Or Shine

Something to keep your hair in tip-top shape

Maybe you’re getting a quick workout sesh in before hitting the town, or you just want to give your appearance a little extra oomph for the commute home (never know who you could meet on the train!) Your future sweaty self will thank you for putting product in your bag. 


Bevel Curl Creme

Public Goods

Public Goods Wax Pomade


Harry’s Sculpting Gel


Kiehl’s Grooming Solutions Texturizing Clay

Something to keep you smelling good

A few of our favorite deodorants, body washes and solid colognes for long-lasting odor control.

Bravo Sierra

Bravo Sierra Deodorant


Lumin Advanced Clarifying Body Wash

Fulton & Roark

Fulton & Roark Palmetto Solid Fragrance

Dr. Squatch

Dr. Squatch Fresh Falls Deodorant

A 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner that’ll get the job done efficiently and effectively

2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner is sort of like the pit crew of your post-gym shower routine. Its job is to get you in and out of that locker room. Still, you can’t have just any old gang repairing your tires. You want a quality multi-purpose product that’ll effectively cleanse and soothe your hair and scalp, like these options below:


Native Full & Thick 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner


Harry’s Anti-Dandruff 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner


Method Men 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner Sea + Surf


Jack Black Double-Header Shampoo + Conditioner

A pack of face and body wipes for when you’re in a hurry

Okay, you like reallllly need to leave and don’t have time to shower. At the very least, wipe yourself down with a handy wipe. 


Cetaphil Face and Body Wipes Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths

Pure For Men

Pure For Men Stay Ready Wipes

Bravo Sierra

Bravo Sierra Antibacterial Body Wipes

Athena Club

Athena Club Soft Face Wipes

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