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Skincare and Working Out While Grinding 80+ Hours a Week
Level 2 - Value Investor
Welcome Avatar! We’re working with various niche experts in the jungle to come up with some free content that will improve your life. While Ox is the resident fitness expert we do get emails from bankers asking about staying in shape while doing the dreaded coast to coast flights and 8+ meetings a day with the standard black car. Therefore we’ve combined two sections, one for your skin where Fawn is the resident expert and our old notes from back in the Wall Street days.
Part 1 - BowTiedFawn - Skincare Stacy
TradFi bros, this one's for you! Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just a cartoon deer on the internet with a background in chemistry and a hyperfixation on skin. This is not medical advice.
TLDR: Taking two minutes to moisturize and use retinol at night is the highest ROI choice you can make to improve your appearance right now.
The biggest misconception about skincare is that you need more than five minutes to take care of yourself properly. Skincare isn’t some expensive habit reserved for the wealthy - it’s a practice of basic hygiene that we can leverage to slow down the aging process and improve your perceived competency. In this piece, we’ll discuss:
The basics of skincare
The best anti-aging solution you can implement right now
Leveling up from beginner to intermediate skincare
The Basics of Skincare
At baseline, you should consider a routine including the following three steps:
You can read my full breakdown of a basic skin routine here, but basically, you’ll want to rid your face of the dirt and sweat that accumulates throughout the day and replenish your skin with lipids. The former is to keep your face clear by preventing inflammation and pimples, and the latter is to ensure you age well by keeping your skin barrier intact. I linked my favorite drugstore brand cleanser and moisturizer above; the formulas are clean and devoid of basically all irritants and potential endocrine disruptors. I use them myself!
If you’ve got dry skin, you can get away with rinsing in the morning and cleansing at night, but if you’re oily/acne-prone, I’d suggest you cleanse twice a day. If you’re dealing with pimples or blotchiness, you can also consider leveraging a 2% salicylic acid cleanser at night. Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that will dissolve the gunk in your pores and allow it to be washed out.
Additionally, you should consider wearing facial SPF. I wear SPF on my face and hands daily as a preemptive strike against the cumulative damage of isolated UVA radiation over time. Sunlight consists of UVA and UVB rays, and we need both for vitamin D synthesis. Think UVA for aging and UVB for burning. When you’re sitting indoors, you’re getting entirely UVA through windows with none of the proposed protective benefits of broad-spectrum sunlight, including infrared. This will asymmetrically upregulate the aging process of your skin with particular focus on areas where it’s thinnest: the face, neck, and hands. This is my favorite mineral SPF - no benzene derivates for UV filters and SPF 30+ with broad-spectrum protection.
Retinol, The Best Anti-Aging Solution You Can Implement Right Now
If you’re strapped for time and over 25 years old, there is exactly one ingredient you need for anti-aging purposes: retinol. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that your body metabolizes into retinoic acid. When retinoic acid binds to your retinoid receptors, you essentially kickstart your body’s engine to up-regulate cell turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production (think "skin cell printer go brrrrr").
After a few cell cycles, your skin will glow, and your fine lines and wrinkles will be less noticeable. Since you're too busy to deal with a complicated skin routine, retinol is easily the best way to improve your appearance as it takes two minutes to apply and works over night. Here’s how to use it safely:
Apply a pea-sized amount of retinol to your finger, dot all over your face, and gently rub in until absorbed
That’s literally it. Start with three nights a week and work your way up to five as tolerated. You may experience some minor purging, irritation, and dryness, but in 3-6 months, you will look visibly more attractive. Eventually, you can upgrade to stronger retinoids, but over-the-counter retinol is an easy and affordable place to start.
Note: Do not mix retinoids with exfoliating acids, vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, or any other caustic agents. Retinoids are not suitable for those pregnant or nursing.
Leveling Up From Beginner Skincare
We discussed beginner skincare in the first section and barely intermediate skincare in the second. Leveling up from beginner skincare includes slightly more effort with significantly greater rewards. Some examples include:
Leveraging a gentle exfoliating acid like mandelic acid 3 nights per week. Due to its relatively large molecular size, mandelic acid is a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that works by dissolving the lipids holding the top layer of your skin together, allowing it to be sloughed off and for younger, brighter skin to shine through
Applying an exfoliating moisturizer like 12% lactic acid on your body after your evening shower a few nights per week to clear up hyperpigmentation and turn over old, dead skin
Using a vitamin C serum in the morning for free radical neutralization and antioxidant effects. Over time, topical vitamin C essentially works by downregulating excess melanin production to maintain an even skin tone and stimulating collagen production. The downside is that it’s a finicky molecule with low bioavailability. Thus, it is difficult and expensive to stabilize in solution. If you’re going to use this, I suggest applying in the morning between cleanser and moisturizer.
There’s plenty more too, but I’ll leave it there for now! You can head over to my Twitter profile for daily skin and biohacking alpha. For full, problem-specific protocols, you can find them here:
Note: you can now book consultations with me! Check it out here or DM me on Twitter to book with ETH
Part 2- 80 Hour Hotel Work Schedule
Back in 2016 when we wrote Efficiency, we were going to add an overview on hotel travel and working out. At the time, the audience was a lot younger and now many of you are multi-millionaire trolls in the interwebz. So. If you’re still in the grind here are some ways to make sure you stay in shape without killing your performance on the job.
Step 1 - Prepare: If you know that you will have a long week including travel you should think about it the following way: 1) Heavy leg workout the day before you leave, 2) grab compression socks and wax matrix niacin and 3) if you’re really concerned about bloodflow you can take a baby asprin.
Why? During flights you will recognize that your feet are inflamed. Badly. If you want proof of this simply take off your shoes on the flight and try to put them back on when you land. *Note, don’t be one of those gross people walking around the plane without shoes on* We’re simply giving you a way to prove out that it is damaging to your body. Blood clots are a real risk to flying.
Bare minimum? Just get a pair of compression socks and do your leg workout the day before the flight. Compression socks will significantly reduce the risk of blood clots. No. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying business class or economy. The air pressure is simply terrible for you.
Step 2 - Know Your Body: Since we know that your body is going to be under a pressure chamber, you actually *don’t* want to do a cardio workout when you land or even within the first 24 hours. We know, this is exactly what everyone does. Vast majority of Wall Street and other white collar professionals have a strange obsession with running on treadmills and riding bikes.
Instead the first workout can be as little as 35-40 minutes. You want to do stabilizing/elongating exercises. Think the following: 1) planks, 2) pull-ups, 3) dumbbell lateral raises, 4) yoga/active stretching and 5) cable flies - use dumbbells if its a real small hotel.
The goal is clear, you want to do exercises that generally try to stretch out your muscles more or that increase blood flow. This will wake up your body and get you ready to go for the next day. If you’re wondering, yes minor injuries have definitely occurred when jumping off a flight and going for a run or trying to lift heavy. Don’t bother. By the time you’re traveling a lot you’re probably around late twenties to early 30s and your instant recovery is gone (early 20s).
Step 3: After about 24 hours, your cardio can go back into play. Good time to knock this one out in 35 minutes or so. If you have access to Equinox (most major cities do have one), then you want the row machine. The row machine is the best “bang for your buck” in terms of calorie output and time efficiency. If you’re in a major hotel with a large pool swimming is the next best followed by running then biking. Main issue with biking is well known, takes an hour to burn any real calories even on high resistance settings. As a rule of thumb if you can get about 6,000 meters in, that’s going to be more than enough for a quick workout. If you have time you would add dumbbell based back exercises to the end of the workout.
Step 4: After 48 hours, you can start to go back to your regular routine if you have even more stuff to do that week. The trick with limited equipment is to stick to higher-reps and more dumbbells. For example if you need to do another leg workout, you should focus on really three workouts: 1) single leg deadlift, 2) lunges and 3) single legged squats. If you’re *already* in good shape, go with burpees with dumbbells, that should cause maximum pain even with hotel amenities
DB Manmakers 23 second mark
Step 5: Diet, Diet, Diet. Since you’re going to get that travel credit anyway, be sure to max out the health benefits. Those $12 juices should be bought right after the workout. Don’t bother going to unhealthy and long dinners (they burn too much time). Get food to go which can range from sushi to organic salad places. The rule of thumb is to eat *less* calories but higher quality. This is because your workouts are shorter and you are strapped for time. It sucks but that’s how it goes.
There you have it! Now you have a rapid skin care routine and a rapid workout routine for your 80 hours work weeks. If you follow BowTiedOx he probably has 100 different exercises for you with dumbbells.
If you have questions on Hotel/Travel workouts while grinding 60-80 hours a week leave it here and we can address it. Also. If you have skin care specific questions, Fawn will also jump in the comments. Stay healthy!
Disclaimer: None of this is to be deemed legal or financial advice of any kind. These are *opinions* written by an anonymous group of Ex-Wall Street Tech Bankers and software engineers who moved into affiliate marketing and e-commerce. We’re an advisor for Synapse Protocol and on the JPEG team