Super Simple Tips to Save Your Skin from Post-Workout Acne

Super Simple Tips to Save Your Skin from Post-Workout Acne

Though exercise is good for your weight, agility, stamina, cardio, and managing stress, it can also carry some unexpected and not very pleasant effects.

However, if we know what these side-effects are and learn how to control or prevent them, we can fully enjoy benefits of all form of exercising.

What we must first understand is this: exercise stimulates production of testosterone in both women and men. While testosterone offers more stamina and a more muscled body, it is also a major stimulator of sebaceous glands, which produce sebum (skin oil). Overproduction of sebum leads to oily skin and hair and furthermore may initiate acne cascade…no matter your gender, body type, or age.

Exercise also increases blood flow to the skin. This increased blood flow causes the pores to open, trapping makeup, skin products, sweat, and bacteria in the open and enlarged pores. Over time, this leads to clogged pores and acne.

Exercising can create the perfect conditions for acne-causing bacteria and yeast to thrive, causing more frequent breakouts. Following some simple tips can help stop breakouts before they start.

Keep your skin clean and dry.

Use natural medications that control bacteria and balance skin oil production.

10 tips that will keep your skin healthy after exercise

To prevent post-workout acne, use these tips to keep your skin as in-shape as your body:

1. Remove makeup and topical skin products prior to your workout.

During exercise, there’s increased blood flow to the skin. This increased blood flow causes the pores to open. Makeup can cause sweat and bacteria to become trapped in the enlarged pores. Over time, this can lead to clogged pores and acne.

2. If your hair is long, pull it back and off your face.

Natural oils from your hair and hair care products can be transferred to your skin. Hair can also trap moisture on your skin. This can clog pores and encourage fungal growth, contributing to breakouts.

3. Wipe down any shared or personal exercise equipment prior to use.

This is an important precaution for preventing the spread of Covid -19, but also will keep your skin healthier.

Workout equipment includes headphones and any sports equipment that touches your face, such as helmets or googles. Cleaning the equipment will remove oil, dirt, and bacteria that contribute to breakouts.

4. Avoid touching your face with your hands.

Any bacteria, oils, or dirt that you’ve touched can transfer to your skin, contributing to clogged pores and infections.

5. Drink plenty of water.

Water is an effective way to help flush toxins from your system, allowing your internal, acne-fighting abilities to operate more effectively.

6. Wear loose, moisture-wicking clothes.

Sweaty, tight-fighting clothes trap moisture next to your skin, creating the perfect environment for acne flares.

Additionally, a type of yeast called Malassezia, which is commonly found on the skin, thrives in the warm, moist conditions created by your workout clothes. When this yeast overgrows on your skin, it can cause a type of fungal acne infection. This type of acne is often misdiagnosed as bacterial acne, leading to improper treatment. Skin breakouts due to yeast overgrowth require oral antifungal medications.

7. Change out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible.

Though it may be tempting to wear your old gym shirt, it’s important to properly wash your workout clothes before wearing them again. Pore-clogging oils and dirt can get trapped in the material and transfer to your skin the next time you work out.

8. Shower immediately after your workout.

If possible, shower immediately after your workout to remove any sweat, oil, dirt, and bacteria that may have accumulated. Use mild cleansers to avoid over-drying or irritating your skin. Using more harsh cleansers causes your skin to produce more, not less oil (sebum).

It is also better to use warm and long streams of water versus very hot steam, to avoid stressing and over-drying the skin.

If it isn’t possible to shower after your workout, at a bare minimum you should wash your face.

9. Use non-comedogenic moisturizers on your face and body.

Your skin needs moisture to keep young and supple but also to avoid over-shedding the dead skin cells that clog pores.

Moisturizers should be free of oils, heavy perfumes, lanolin, and other heavy ingredients.

If you’d like to exfoliate, do so in the shower no more than once a week. If your skin is sensitive, only exfoliate once every two weeks. Do NOT over-exfoliate as it may injure the skin and make it susceptible to infection.

10. Use an all-natural, over-the-counter botanical therapeutic to control sebum production and kill bacteria that causes acne and, as a result, PREVENT acne from coming or getting exasperated by your exercise routine. 

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