Are you really into fitness and working out? Do you also happen to have acne-prone skin? If that is the case, then surely you must’ve asked yourself the question of whether sweating has any effect on acne, and whether that effect is positive or negative.
Sweating is great for us, we’ve all heard that at some point. It’s good for our physical bodies and our mental health. Everyone likes the feeling of pushing hard at the gym and achieving the goals you set out for yourself, but does it compromise your clear skin?
There are already so many myths regarding fitness out there, and there’s no need to complicate the problem even further by adding myths about acne in the mix. This article will answer the question of whether sweating causes acne and how to prevent acne from forming during your gym hours.
We will look at both face acne and body acne since they are quite different in their own right and have different treatments. So, let’s get started.
Here is a simple truth – sweating itself doesn’t cause acne. In fact, sweating is good for our skin. Working out helps us manage stress better, improves our sleeping patterns and releases a protein called dermcidin which has been shown to help kill acne-causing bacteria. When you sweat, your pores open up which helps them get any dirt or other unwanted stuff to get out, leaving you with fresh and clean skin.
When you’re working out, sweat along with bacteria and dirt is building up on your skin. The problems arise when you’re not washing your face and body afterward and leaving that gunk to marinate on your precious skin. This causes your pores to become clogged up and upset your skin.
The clogged pores occur when the natural oil that’s produced by your sebaceous glands to moisturize your skin is trapped by dirt, causing a large amount of oil to accumulate.
Now you can see just why it’s so easy to perpetuate this myth of sweat causing acne.
But you don’t have anything to worry about. Whether you exercise two times a day or two times a week, you can prevent sweat acne from forming regardless of your routine. There are certain guidelines you should follow, and we’ll get to those later.
For all you makeup lovers out there, while you were reading this article this dilemma must’ve popped up in your mind.
Not all of us have the luxury of having clear skin. And the truth is, the more problematic our skin is, the more we try to hide it from the world. But does that mean that people who don’t have crystal clear skin should avoid working out? Quite the opposite is true. As I’ve mentioned before, working out is beneficial for our skin. If you’re into wearing makeup while you’re working out, here are some tips you can follow in order to avoid any unwanted breakouts.
Generally speaking, it’s never a good idea to work out with heavy makeup on your face. Applying heavy makeup before working out is an almost guaranteed way of suffocating your face and your pores. After all, your skin needs to breathe at all times. But is the answer always all black and white? No.
Not all skincare products are created equal. Some products have a higher chance of clogging up your pores, while others are deemed as non-comedogenic. What does non- comedogenic mean exactly? If a product is considered non-comedogenic, it means that it scores low on the comedogenic scale, meaning it’s not likely to cause any breakouts or congestion. If, on the other hand, a product scores high on the comedogenic scale and is considered comedogenic, it means that it’ll likely cause congestion and clogged pores and you should stay away from it. This is important especially if you have sensitive skin or are planning on working out with the product on your face.
If you do want to use makeup while working out, go for it. Redness, acne, and hyperpigmentation are generally what we want to cover up when we go to the gym or take a class. The important thing to remember is to always use a non-comedogenic foundation, or, better yet, a hydrating and light BB cream that will protect your pores and your skin. It’s generally a good idea to avoid any heavy bronzers, highlighters, blushes, primers and setting sprays in your gym workout routine.
Here are some general tips to keep in mind before you step into the gym or your workout class.
If you don’t like wearing makeup during your workout, make sure you remove it completely before you start to sweat. This is best achieved using makeup wipes, or some micellar water and a cotton pad. Wipe the makeup off and you’re ready to begin!
We talked about the distinction between two types of acne that might be a result of improper care after sweating: face acne and body acne. If you want to avoid the latter, make sure you put on clean clothes for your workout. Nasty things get trapped in our clothes while we sweat that almost certainly can cause you to break out all over your body. to avoid this, make sure your clothes are washed before you get out of your house.
Are you an outdoorsy person that likes working out in the sun? Adjusting these tips to your routine won’t be a problem for you. There are a few additional tips to keep in mind though.
All of us should wear SPF on a regular basis. But this is especially true if you like working out outdoors. Make sure you protect your skin from harmful UVA and UV rays by applying non-comedogenic sunscreen around 20 minutes before you begin your outdoor workout. The sun’s harmful UV rays can cause sunburn, irritation and premature aging, so this tip is crucial for preserving clear skin. There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when searching for the perfect sunscreen.
Make sure you buy one that’s at least SPF 30 or higher. Ideally, it should protect against both UVA and UVB rays, since that will ensure your skin is perfectly protected from the sun. Since you’ll be sweating a lot, choose one that’s easy to carry around and is water-resistant. If you have sensitive skin, picking a sunscreen that is oil-free, non-comedogenic and is specifically designed for people who have sensitive skin is a must!
We discussed how to prepare your skin for the next sweat session to make sure that you’re preventing any unwanted congestion and breakouts. Now let’s delve into all the steps you need to take so that your skin stays protected from the sweat while you’re sweating. There are a couple of things you need to remember in this regard. Firstly, if you’re the type to sweat excessively from your face (I know I am), make sure you use a towel to wipe off any sweat regularly. You need to make sure that the towel is clean and washed prior to using it.
One thing to keep in mind is that you really need to be gentle with the towel, especially if it has a rough texture. The same goes for when you’re washing your face – don’t rub the towel harshly on your skin, but instead pat it dry. If someone asks for you to lend them your towel, politely refuse to do so. Sharing a towel is one of the worst ideas for acne-prone skin, no matter how clean and hygienic the other person is.
When you’re at the gym and you’re using equipment that has direct contact with your skin, make sure you wipe the equipment off with an antibacterial wipe. The equipment is probably full of germs and dirt, not something your skin wants to be in contact with. So, avoid body acne by simply wiping the equipment you use before you actually start to use it.
While you’re out there breaking records and hitting new PRs, it can be tempting to touch your face with your hands. However, this is the last thing you’d want to do. Our hands are dirty enough as it is, but gym equipment, or any other equipment that’s shared among members or teammates, contains more bacteria than the toilet.
Yes, you read that correctly. Not only does this increase the chances of you getting a cold, but it also makes your skin more prone to breakouts, especially if you touch your face. At it happens to all of us, sometimes we’re so caught up in a workout that we subconsciously touch our face with our bare hands. It’s also a good idea to wash your face every half an hour or so, just to feel a tad bit more protected.
Now that you’ve finished the workout and you’re full of endorphins, don’t get so caught up in those good feelings that you forget to take a shower. Showering after a workout is crucial in order to prevent body acne. When it comes to the face, wash it in the shower. That way, you can take care of any dirt, bacteria, and oil that’s trapped in your pores during your workout.
Pay attention to the cleanser and body wash you use. Make sure they’re suitable for people with acne-prone skin and actually contain useful ingredients that will fight off any bacteria without causing any harm long-term such as benzoyl peroxide.
Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is the shampoo you’re using. You might be surprised to find out, but while you’re rinsing off your shampoo, some of it might get on your back and shoulders, thus causing clogged pores on your body. Make sure you’re done with the hair products before you wash your whole body. That way, you won’t have to worry about any silicones, parabens and other chemicals found in shampoos that might get trapped in your pores.
Another tip that’s important to include in this list (however awkward it might be) is changing your underwear frequently, especially after you’ve done a rigorous workout. Think about it – your underwear touches very delicate parts of your body for hours on end. If it’s full of sweat, bacteria and other gross stuff, then surely it’s bound to cause some trouble, right? If you suffer from butt acne, this might be the reason why. In addition, you’ll also want to choose soft and suitable materials for underwear.
Bras, as well as any other undergarments, also fall under this category. Make sure you’re washing all of those often and you won’t have to worry about that aspect of working out.
Now you know all the things you need to do before, after and during your workout. But is that enough to ensure that your skin is optimally taken care of?
Truth is, skincare doesn’t stop when you’re done working out. Athletes need to develop a proper skincare routine for both morning and night time so that they can get the best results skin-wise. And this goes for everyone, not just for athletes – a proper skincare routine that’s suitable for your particular skin type, needs and lifestyle is one of the most important things in your journey to clear skin.
What general habits regarding skincare do athletes need to acquire? Well, for starters, regular exfoliation goes a long way. Exfoliating on a regular basis gets rid of dead skin cells, leaving you with fresh, rejuvenated and soft skin. If you apply foundation often, this will do wonders for the way your skin looks after you’re done applying makeup. Pick up a conventional exfoliator from the store that’s suitable for sensitive skin, or you could also make one your own using ingredients from your kitchen such as baking soda, sugar, oatmeal or coffee grounds.
You’re already familiar with the importance of cleaning your face after you shower, but what about which cleanser you should go for? Cleansers range from ones that contain natural ingredients like tea tree oil to others which are entirely made of chemicals. And chemicals aren’t always a bad thing, as long as they’re non-comedogenic. Choosing an oil-free cleanser that’s specifically designed for people who have sensitive skin is probably your best course of action.
The next step is moisturizing the skin. Choosing the type of moisturizer you should use is never an easy task, since there are so many to choose from out there! But don’t despair, this article will be of immense help next time you’re shopping for a moisturizer. Just like cleansers, moisturizers should ideally be oil-free and non-comedogenic.
The next step will depend on your skin type and your goals regarding skincare. Ask yourself what do you want the products you’re using to do for your skin? If you have a serious case of acne, try something like a Retin-A cream. If you have visible signs of aging, Retin-A should also help with that. However, if you don’t suffer from severe acne, but get the occasional pimple here and there, you can try using OTC spot treatments or make one on your own using ingredients which you probably already have in your house.
Masks are quite the luxury if you’re short on time, but they make an ideal addition to your pamper night. Again, they’re available OTC, but it’s much more fun to make one on your own. Whether you choose a sheet mask or a DIY mask, you won’t regret it. Your skin will thank you in the morning.
Sweating is one of the best things you can do for your skin, and for your body in general. In regards to the skin, it is especially beneficial if you suffer from acne or any other kind of skin issue. You’re pushing yourself really hard, the blood flow is increasing on your face which helps postpone aging, your lungs are heavily supplied with oxygen. And its effects don’t last during your workout only. Your sleeping patterns will also improve, your stress levels will go down and you’ll be a much happier and more positive person in general, all of which is beneficial for healthy and glowing skin.
Just remember to pay special attention when it comes to proper hygiene and the products you use, and you’ll be ready for any endorphin flush and adrenaline rush.
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.