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10 Gym-bag essentials for summer

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

What's in your gym-bag?

The warming weather means shorts and bikini season is upon us, making our visits to the gym ever more important. Whether you're just emerging from a winter workout slump or simply want to pack your gym bag with everything you need to go from sweaty fitness class to the office, here are 10 gym-bag essentials that will keep you fueled and hydrated while protecting and nourishing your skin.

What's in your gym-bag?

6Jason Sport Natural Sunblock SPF 45; $12

When the weather heats up and you take to the outdoors to play tennis or other sports, protecting your skin with a high SPF that is sweat-resistant and doesn't burn your eyes is essential so you can play hard and reduce your risk of sunburn. The Jason Sport Natural Sunblock offers a non-greasy, water-resistant, tear-free formula for long-lasting UVA and UVB protection. Enriched with vitamin E, shea butter and antioxidant-rich green tea extract, this sunblock naturally nourishes and moisturizes the skin. Though a high-power sunscreen, you'll still have to reapply after swimming, sweating, and towel-drying, for the best protection.

7Dessert Essence Organic Jojoba Oil; $15

This multi-purpose skin care and beauty product can cut down on the items you keep in your gym bag. With post-winter dry hair or flaky, summer-chafed skin, you can use this lush oil as a body moisturizer, makeup remover or deep conditioning treatment for your hair (smooth over your hair and skin and sit in the sauna for 15 minutes for a self-pampering – and cheap – spa treatment). This organic seed-based oil moisturizes without leaving any oily residue, cleanses clogged pores and even helps prevent flakiness when massaged on the scalp.

8Sanitas Lemon Cream Scrub; $32

After a hard-core workout that leaves you – and your skin – feeling wiped out, jump in the shower and revive yourself with Sanitas Lemon Cream Scrub. This anti-aging mild cleanser softens, gently exfoliates and stimulates your skin with silica crystals, while nourishing it with lipophilic antioxidant-rich vitamin C and vitamin E. Sanitas' skincare line features active, biogenic, paraben-free and preservative-free ingredients in highly concentrated dosages that offer anti-aging benefits to give you healthy, beautiful skin.

9Aquaphor Healing Ointment; starting at $6

An ounce of prevention can save you a pound of workout-related pain. Before you sweat, save yourself from blisters and chafing by rubbing Aquaphor Healing Ointment on your feet, inner arms, chest inner thighs, under sports bra straps and waistbands. Even the biggest rush of endorphins can't dampen the annoying burn of chafed skin. Recommended by dermatologists, Aquaphor is made with glycerin, chamomile extract and provitamin B5, and is fragrance-free, preservative-free and ideal for sensitive skin. You can also use this healing ointment daily to protect your skin from weather and frequent hand washing.

10Jack Black Mr. Fix It ointment; $20

When blisters, scrapes, cuts and bruises do happen (at the gym and elsewhere), Mr. Fix It is an antimicrobial wound-rescue balm that uses the fast-healing benefits of silver. A crystal-clear lightweight gel, this soothing ointment is quick-absorbing, non-greasy and petrolatum-free. It goes beyond leading first aid treatments and has been shown to inhibit the growth of MRSA, E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, along with other germs and bacteria that often thrive in gyms and outdoor workout areas. Though Jack Black is marketed as a men's product, we women give it two-thumbs up.

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