If you enjoy working out, you are probably accustomed to the sweating and stickiness that tend to come from an aggressive run, high intensity interval training class, bootcamp, spin, and the like. Sure, you are burning calories, and the adrenaline and endorphins might make you feel like you’re on cloud 300, but there can often be side effects.
What side effects? Acne, of course. Why? Excess sweat can clog pores, causing pimples to form. Now, you don’t have to stop working out. Daily fitness is a great way to get your cardio in, and keep your heart healthy and happy. But if you’re looking to avoid breakouts, the next time you ride a bike or do some weight training, here’s some ways to protect the skin at all stages of working out; before, during, and after.
Does sweat cause acne?
On one hand, working out can help prevent new breakouts, as regular physical activity can keep blood sugar levels that impact acne in balance. On the other hand, excess sweat from workouts, in partnership with dirt, oil, and bacteria buildup is the easiest way to clog pores. And, as you know, clogged pores are the root cause of all pimples and legions. For this, it’s best to adopt new hygiene habits to prevent acne from forming.
Before your workout, you should…
What is your pre-workout routine? Does it include a small snack? Lots of water? An intro stretch? While all this is great, it’s also important to make sure your skin is included in your pre-workout regimen — especially if you have acne-prone or oily skin.
Firstly, if you enjoy wearing makeup, don’t arrive with a heavy face full. And if you do want to look cute with makeup, opt for comedogenic makeup products, as they play better with sweat — they don’t clog your pores.
Secondly, always wear fresh clothes. This might seem like a no brainer, but re-wearing dirty clothes can introduce your skin to a host of dirt, bacteria, and oils that further clog the pores. Not to mention, too tight clothing can also irritate the hair follicles and oil glands, producing acne all over the body.
During your workout, you should…
Keep a clean towel in your gym bag to brush off the sweat from your face and body. This will help manage excess sweat, dirt, and bacteria when it comes to your pores.
Lastly, always clean shared gym equipment before and after use, as machines can contain acne-causing bacteria from previous users.
Post-workout, you should…
Shower and cleanse the skin with a mild cleanser to help rinse away excess sweat and impurities, nipping clogged pores at bay. If you are in a time-sensitive situation, and don’t have time to shower, splash some water on your face to help remove excess sweat as well or keep these post-workout wipes on hand. Here’s some tips for how to spend your recovery days.
You want to know how to keep your sweat under control? We got you.