Working out is great for your all-around health and also for your skin! Exercise gets your heart pumping, which is great for cardiovascular strength & endurance, but also increases the blood and oxygen flow to the skin. Sweating helps the body to rid itself of toxins and can unplug your pores. Also, studies show that exercise helps you to relieve stress, and stress causes some skin conditions! There are many, many benefits of exercise which is why doctors recommend getting in at least 30 minutes a day, 3-5 days per week.
Athletes may experience a variety of skin concerns, but you can keep your skin healthy & youthful by following a few healthy tips for when you work out:
- Wash off any make-up before working out. As you exercise, your face heats up and your make-up may melt and clog your pores, especially in combination with sweat.
- If you are going to exercise outside during the day, be sure to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Even on cloudy days, up to 40% of the sun’s rays still get through. There are a variety of sunscreens available that are sweat & water-resistant that are a great idea if you are doing a strenuous workout
- At the gym, be clean! Many gyms have anti-bacterial sprays or wipes that you can use to clean off your machine. Why is this important? Well, if you’re gripping the handrail and then put your hands on your face or in your mouth, you may pick up bacteria. We also recommend washing your hands before you leave the gym. Your facility may also have anti-bacterial gel, but if possible, washing your hands is preferred.
- Wash your face as soon as possible after your workout. Letting the sweat sit in your pores to long can lead to acne or breakouts. If you want or need to wait until you get home, we recommend at least rinsing your face with some water or using a cleansing pad (esp. if you are acne prone, our BellaDerma gly-sal pads can help prevent breakouts from starting in the time it takes you to drive home)
- When taking a shower at the gym, wear shower shoes to prevent getting athlete’s foot or other bacterial skin conditions that may be present
- It is recommended to wear a new set of gym clothes for every work out because bacteria and fungus thrive in damp areas like wet exercise gear. If you do need or want to reuse for the next work out, hang them up somewhere that they can dry out between your workout sessions. If the clothing is particularly tight (like compression pants), it is recommended to wash after every use because re-using these increases the risk of bacteria getting into sensitive areas…
For more information, please watch these two informational videos from the American Academy of Dermatology: