I’m currently in my ‘non-gym’ phase so of course I’m looking for EVERY excuse to swerve the gym. So, you can imagine that when I read that exercise can negatively impact my skin the news gave me a momentary feeling of validation – for allowing my gym pass to gather dust. In all seriousness though, our skin is our largest organ so it’s inevitable that intense exercise will have some kind of impact on it.
So, can exercise cause skin breakouts? Well, precautions like not wearing makeup when you exercise and making sure you drink enough water are at the forefront of our mind when it comes to skincare and exercise. But, it’s worth knowing that there are a few overlooked things that we should all be aware of that will help to keep those non-hormone related breakouts at bay.
Grab those anti-bacterial wipes
You’ll never look at the cross trainer in the same way again but each time we touch a piece of gym equipment we are coming into contact with bacteria that can cause illness and can be easily spread. In some cases it can lead to acne and nasty skin infections. Wherever possible wipe down gym equipment with some anti-bacterial wipes and never touch your face without washing your hands first. Yes – we sound like your mother but take heed…
Don’t skip the shower
You’ve done your evening workout at the gym and you can’t face the prospect of faffing about in the changing rooms. You’d rather wait till you get home and shower in the comfort of your own home. Scrap that! Why? Because, you may be doing more harm than good – and not just to your fellow public transport passengers. Impurities from sweat, flushes out of your skin and can linger if not washed off properly. The skin then begins to re-absorb which can make the pH factors change and could lead to rashes or irritated skin. Rehydrate by drinking plenty of water during and after your workout and ensure you cleanse after a workout and shower off any sweat. Showering immediately after working out will remove excess oil, bacteria, dirt and other impurities.
Up your facial skincare regime
If you’re a regular gym bunny or exercise fiend it’s important that you deep cleanse your face regularly to make sure that you are getting rid of all the impurities that your body is flushing out through your skin when you sweat. This can be as simple as a home facial steam or a salon deep cleanse facial.
3 tips to help prevent exercise related break outs
health + aesthetics, are a multi-award winning cosmetic medical clinic based in Farnham, Surrey . Their resident doctor, Dr Rekha Tailor, has given us three tips to make sure that your exercise and skincare regime remain as problem-free as possible.
Ditch the sweat towel
Sweat towels can harbour a lot of bacteria especially if that towel comes into contact with gym equipment. Said towel can easily spread bacteria leading to acne and nasty skin infections by rubbing it on your face. Towels washed in harsh detergents will also make your acne worse.
When exercising try to refrain from constantly drying your face and let the sweat evaporate on its own then shower as soon as possible. If you can’t live without a gym towel use a microfiber towel as these are dirt resistant and absorb water quickly. Whatever you choose to use ensure it is washed in a fragrance-free, eco laundry detergent.
Remove makeup before working out
It’s advisable to remove makeup before working out as cosmetics will mix with the oil and perspiration from your skin. This congests the skin and prevents the pores from being able to release sweat – leading to break outs, black heads and can cause skin irritation.
Take a cold shower
Cold water is very beneficial after any exercise as it helps to prevent any swelling from the workout. It also helps to reduce your heart rate and increase your circulation which will help you to recover faster. Cold showers can also help to relieve muscle soreness after a strenuous workout.