You can definitely find cheaper exercise gear, but after trying lots of different brands, I can confidently say that Lululemon really gets working out and makes clothing perfectly suited for practically any activity. That’s because Lulu pieces exist at the intersection of comfort and functionality, whether you’re doing yoga in the stretchy, second skin-like Align pants, or stashing all of your supplies (phone, keys, energy gels, etc.) for a long run in the pockets of the Fast & Free tights. In fact, Lulu’s soft, moisture-wicking, and seamless Swiftly shirts and tanks now comprise most of my running wardrobe, because they’re not as scratchy and cause less chafing than a lot of my other tech gear.
So when Lululemon dropped its “self-care” line of beauty products last month (its tagline promises “solutions to sweaty problems”), I was intrigued. There’s a dry shampoo for cleaning up after a workout; two deodorants for keeping odor in check during a working out or just a full day at work; a lightweight moisturizer the brand says won’t feel heavy on your skin while exercising (and helps calm and hydrate skin afterwards); and a lip balm to prevent moisture loss during a dehydrating run or gym session (and replenish it once you’re done). Like similar products from Clinique’s CliniqueFIT line or the E.L.F Cosmetic Active collection, Lulu’s products are part of a growing trend of skincare and makeup designed to perform while you’re working up a sweat.
I’ve definitely used products that left me feeling less than fresh after exercising (like thick moisturizers that sit on top of sweaty skin or deodorants that don’t last), so I had high expectations for the new line. I picked up a travel-size (or gym bag–ready) version of each product and put them to the test. Read on for what got high marks (the dry shampoo), and what did not (the lip balm).
Over the long July 4th weekend, I did something I’ve never done before in my life: went for a run and didn’t wash my hair immediately afterwards. I must have a particularly sweaty scalp, because my hair is always drenched after a workout. But since I knew I’d just be sitting by the pool and not venturing out in public, I thought it’d be a time to try out the dry shampoo.
My biggest issue with the product came before it even touched my hair: It comes in an aerosol container, and I end up inhaling a bit of the spray. But beyond that, I was pleasantly pleased with the results. I have dark brown hair and the shampoo didn’t leave any white, powdery residue, plus I found it easy to comb through my hair with my fingers, no brush required. It also cleansed my hair of any sweat smell, and seemed to absorb any greasiness, leaving my hair feeling and looking relatively clean. I’ve since spritzed the fine mist on my hair on days I didn’t work out, and I actually prefer it to any other dry shampoo I’ve tried. It doesn’t weigh down my hair or build up on my scalp, and even after a long day my hair feels soft, bouncy, and not at all greasy.
I have to admit I was scared to try this moisturizer. I’m extremely acne-prone, but thanks to a carefully calibrated skincare routine (and a course of Accutane), my skin is mostly under control. The thought of adding something new into the mix, though, freaked me out. That said, my current moisturizer (the rich and hydrating First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer) is not always pleasant to use after a workout, as the thick white cream would often slide down my still-sweaty face and refuse to blend in.
When I finally worked up the nerve to try Lulu’s hyaluronic acid- and vitamin E-infused gel moisturizer, I was impressed by how quickly it absorbed into my skin and left my face feeling smooth. Best of all, it didn’t break me out. Because it’s a gel, it won’t be as moisturizing as a cream, but if you have oily skin or just can’t rub on a cream post-workout, it’s enough to keep skin from feeling tight and dry. I do wish it had SPF, though, so I could eliminate one more step when getting ready.
I typically use a stick deodorant. But I was beginning to suspect that the deodorant itself was starting to smell like my armpits (and not vice versa), so I was excited to try this spray-on one. My first reaction after spraying it on my freshly shaven underarms was that it stung, but after the bite wore off, I took a sniff and liked how I smelled. I don’t know what “aloe lotus” is supposed to smell like, but it has a fresh and clean scent that reminds me a little bit of baby powder and stays on all day. And unlike my stick deodorant, this has no surface for bacteria to grow on, so it feels clean no matter how many times I use it.
Lulu’s deodorant does not contain aluminum, so it’s not an antiperspirant, but it has some ingredients found in natural deodorants (like zinc and witch hazel) that help control sweat. I’m a heavy sweater, but wearing this, I didn’t feel like I was sweating more than with my usual antiperspirant. Like the dry shampoo, though, it comes in an aerosol container, which I don’t love. But other than that, it’s a reliable everyday deodorant.
While I prefer the smell of the aloe-lotus version, if you’re looking for a deodorant that’s earthy and a little bit spicy smelling, this one has the same effective formula. Plus, both scents go on clear so there’s no need to worry about white smudge marks on your clothes.
Like the moisturizer, I feel like this lip balm should contain sun protection (especially if you wear it while exercising outdoors). But other than that, it’s a solid option for treating and preventing dry lips. It’s thicker than Chapstick but less gooey than Aquaphor, and has a slightly sweet, buttery vanilla scent that I personally like. I can go a few hours without reapplying (which isn’t the case with all lip balms), but nothing about it felt workout-specific, and you can definitely get an equally good balm for less than $14.
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