Gym Bag Essentials

If you commute to the gym from work, you know how important it is to have everything with you and a little bit extra in case you decide not to go straight home after.

Before diving into helpful clean skin care items to keep in your gym bag, if you are looking for one, a great gym bag for commuting is the UA The Works Tote 2.0. It has an over the shoulder strap + crossbody, which is great if you walk a lot, as well as multiple pockets for various items. The interior is also big enough for most things needed and it comes with a smaller wet bag that can be used for sneakers or dirty clothes.

All of the products mentioned below either come in travel sizes making it easy to keep in your gym bag. The individually wrapped products can be thrown in your bag a few at a time and replenished as needed.

Here are some great clean skin care & hair care products to keep in your gym bag that will make you feel great before and after your workout.



Facial Cleansing Wipes  |  

When running to the gym after a full day of work, you will want to have face wipes handy to take off any makeup and oil buildup from your face. Having too much substance on the skin, along with the added sweat from working out keeps your pores at risk for becoming clogged. Exercising with makeup on can also be a contributing factor to skin aging because it inflames the skin.

Conventional wipes tend to have harsh preservatives and ingredients in them, and while it is impossible not to include preservatives because of potential mold growth, you can choose from some of the greener options listed below.Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 5.04.03 PM

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 5.03.09 PMJuicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths -Boxed

Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleaning Clothes- Individuals

These bamboo wipes include organic honey and sunflower seed oil and no synthetic fragrances. It comes in both box form and individuals.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 5.10.15 PMAcure Organics Fragrance-Free Argan Oil Towelettes

The most budget-friendly out of the wipe options listed. They include olive oil and argan oil and come in a convenient travel package.

screen-shot-2017-09-27-at-5-11-49-pm.pngUrsa Major Essential Face Wipes

These are a personal favorite because of the ingredient list. They are individually-wrapped bamboo face wipes that include anti-inflammatory aloe as the first ingredient, birch sap to tone, willow bark to condition, and witch hazel to sooth. They also contain a 3% AHA/BHA to exfoliate.

Deodorant  |  

You will probably want to freshen up if you will be working out closely to other people in a class or on a machine. You can bring a full-size deodorant, but there are options if you need to save space or tuck these into small bags.Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 5.21.17 PMEO Deodorant Wipes

These wipes might be more preferable to people who go to the gym after work. They don’t just cover up bacteria and odor from a long day at work, they also cleanse and remove it very well before you exercise. These wipes have a simple formula of organic ethanol and essential oils.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 6.59.23 PM

Schmidt’s Naturals Travel Deodorant

Yes, the cult favorite comes in a mini travel size. This deodorant has various scent options and it is made from just arrowroot powder, baking soda, coconut oil, candelilla wax, and essential oils. It is more cost effective to buy the full size, however, if you want to save space this is a great option to have in your gym bag.

Hair Treatment  |

This is something that falls into the “a little bit extra” category and is not an essential, but it is a great hack. Keeping a travel sized hair masque or hair treatment in your gym bag allows you to remember to deep condition your hair and kill two birds with one stone.

Just apply it 1 or 2 times a week before putting your hair up, workout and wash it off afterward either at the gym or when you get home. It might make you even want to stay at the gym for longer, since the longer you leave it in your hair, the more effective it will be.Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 6.41.59 PMLani Tropical Hair Treatment

This comes in a small travel-friendly bottle, and only contains camellia seed oil, coconut oil, kukui nut oil, and macadamia nut oil. If you put oil in your hair during a hot workout class such as hot yoga, the heat helps the oil penetrate the hair shaft further.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 6.43.22 PMEVOLVH Travel Size UltraRepair Reconstructing Masque

EvolvH makes quality hair care products. This hair masque contains minimal ingredients and comes in a travel sized bottle. It is effective in smoothing coarse, curly, or frizz-prone hair.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 6.44.23 PM.pngCoconut Oil

Plain coconut oil is also a great option to have in your bag and use in your hair. If you already have it in your pantry, just purchase a small container to transfer some oil into. Keep in mind that in hot temperatures the oil will liquify so be careful when opening near your gym bag and clothes. As mentioned above, using oil on your hair during a heated class can help it penetrate the hair shaft for a deep condition.PoPo



Face Toner Pads   |  

Any of the cleansing pads mentioned above will work well to cleanse skin before and after you exercise. If you tend not to go home right away or if you have problematic skin, a bacteria-fighting toner might be what you need. These will not only prevent the sweat from drying on your face, they will provide a deeper cleaning, and also keep your pores from clogging.screen-shot-2017-09-27-at-5-12-48-pm.pngJuice Beauty Blemish Clearing Toner Pads

These pads exfoliate and manage oil with salicylic acid from willow bark. They help to tighten pores with witch hazel and soothe with organic aloe and cucumber.

The above-mentioned Ursa Major wipes also have a great formula for exfoliation and toning problematic skin after a workout.

Body Wipes  |  

If you tend to get really sweaty from your cardio sessions and you want to feel more fully refreshed after, it might be helpful to have body wipes handy for use.


Yuni Shower Sheets

These individually packed wipes are huge. They leave you smelling great, and you can give yourself a good wipe down to clean and deodorize your body. They provide a just-showered, fresh feeling and are formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances. Peppermint oil is one of the top ingredients and is a mild antiseptic as well.

Body Spray   |  

If you aren’t into the shower sheets, or you would rather spritz yourself all over to feel refreshed, a body spray formulated without synthetic fragrances is great to have in your gym bag.Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 7.42.08 PM.png

Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Body Mist

The full sized version is only a couple more dollars so it is more cost effective to purchase the 8oz and transfer the liquid to a smaller spray bottle. Or, if you can, just carry the full size in your gym bag. Yes, this is called After Sun, but it is meant to refresh the skin after heat and sweating. It contains soothing aloe vera along with cooling mint and therapeutic lavender.  Perfect for cooling yourself down and giving yourself a fresh scent after the gym.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.02.30 PM.png

Lotus Wei Aura Mist

Lotus way has a wonderful line of flower essence mists, and you can choose a scent based on how you want to feel after your workout. These are meant to change your state of mind with a transformative energy shift.

Hand Sanitizer   |  

A clean, travel size hand sanitizer that does not contain anti-bacterial ingredients (triscolan) is something to have handy for after your workout. Machines at the gym are pretty dirty.lavender-hand-sanitizer-gel

EO Hand Sanitizer

A travel sized sanitizer that contains ethanol as the active ingredient. It does not leave your hands feeling sticky and smells like lavender, perfect for winding down after a long day and workout.

Dry Shampoo   |  

If you tend to take it lighter at the gym and sometimes make plans afterward, a travel-sized dry shampoo in your gym bag might be the key to making you feel like you didn’t even go.Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 8.33.32 PM

Captain Blankenship Mermaid Dry Shampoo

This comes in a small container, and it is a blend of fine powders which mattify hair without leaving a white mess. It adds volume and leaves it smelling sweet and rosy.

Lip Balm  |  

This is essential because as sweat drips down your face, the salt can irritate your lips, which are more sensitive due to the lack of natural moisture and skin cell layers

Review for a great lip balm here

Multi-Use Makeup  | 

If you like to feel a bit more touched up after your workout, there are simple, budget-friendly, multi-use products that can be stored in your gym bag and save space.Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 8.54.38 PMCaptain Blankenship

This is a subtlely tinted organic lip and cheek stain that moisturizes too. It contains a blend of organic plant oils and butters and you can apply this to lips, cheeks and in the crease of your eyes as well to look rejuvenated.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.06.15 PM.png

Han Lip & Cheek Tint

These sticks are creamy, very pigmented, and are made from a hydrating formula infused with shea butter and argan oil. This product is also a multi-tasker that is compact in size for portability. They say that their shade clean sweep is a dupe for Nars Orgasm.

Muscle & Pain

Arnica  |  


Arnica is a plant that grows in mountainous areas. The flowers and root are used to prepare topical remedies for pain. Arnica is great for bruises, sprains, soreness, swelling, and muscle/joint pain.

Massage the forms of it below into any injured area with unbroken skin.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.15.45 PM.png

Herb Pharm Arnica Oil

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.16.46 PM.pngArnicare Cream or Gel

Muscle Rub  |  

Muscle rub can be great to have in your bag to apply right after you complete a workout. If you are looking for a balm that provides a cooling sensation or warmth as well as a mixture of herbs, try one of the formulas below.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.28.05 PM.png

Badger Balm, Sore Muscle Rub 

Rub it into affected muscle area to receive soothing warmth immediately. Made with extracts of ginger, rosehip and cayenne; and essential oils of rosemary, ginger, thyme, sage, cardamom, and lemongrass.


Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.30.10 PM.png

Battle Balm – Extra Strength

Herbal pain relief for arthritis, sciatica, and workout soreness. An organic formula containing menthol, wintergreen, arnica, and calendula.



I also like to keep a bunch of basic cotton hair bands in my bag to keep the sweat out of my eyes, individual eye drops, hair ties, a space-saving water bottle, and Pure Encapsulations Electrolyte Packets.

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