5 Tips to Prevent Post-Workout Breakouts
by Clem Mestre
Countless scientific studies attest to benefit of regular exercise on overall skin health, but unfortunately sweaty workouts sometimes lead to unexpected breakouts. Don’t let those pesky blemishes leave you questioning your fitness regimen; check out the simple post-workout tips below to keep your skin in check while you get in shape!
1. Shower Directly After Your Workout
After a workout you’re likely exhausted and looking to chill out or down a healthy snack before jumping in the shower, but skincare experts say such post-workout lounging is an open invitation for acne formation. When muscles begin generating heat from exercise your pores open up releasing skin oils and warm sweat; add in any dirt or bacteria from gym equipment to the mix and can things get gross pretty quick.
Instead of delaying your after-exercise shower—or waiting until you can return to the comfort of your own bathroom—dermatologists encourage fitness fanatics to be proactive. Rinsing off right after exercise will not only cool you off, it can cut your risk of breaking out nearly in half! Make sure to use an anti-bacterial soap and lather up multiple times to banish any lingering sweat and bacteria. If you’re wary of gym facilities or strapped for time, just make sure to take a soapy washcloth to areas you typically break out then finish the job as soon as you get home.
2. Wear Minimal Make-Up
In an ideal world we could all workout to our heart’s content without the slightest concern for what we look like, but reality doesn’t bear that out. Hunky guys and gyms go hand-in-hand, so for many working out completely au natural is out of the question; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about it.
Before exercising wash away any heavy make-up products, creams, sunscreens, or moisturizers that could gunk up your pores when the sweat starts to flow. If you want to re-build your look before feeling the burn, stick to bare mineral make-ups and water-proof mascara, the goal being to keep all facial products to a minimum. Just be sure to wash it off soon after your workout to guarantee a clear complexion the next day!
3. Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing
While it may be convenient and cost-efficient to wear an old T-shirt while exercising, you could be doing your skin a major disservice. Many cotton blends act like a sponge during exercise, soaking up oils, dirt, and sweat, leading to random body pimples and bacne.
Instead, ditch the old duds and pick up “moisture-wicking” workout shirts and shorts, made with fabrics which pull sweat away from your skin and allow it to evaporate. The newest lines of such wonder-materials even have built in anti-bacterial fibers and odor neutralizing technology to keep you sweet-smelling and sanitary from start to finish!
4. Avoid Touching Your Face
In the middle of a workout it may be tempting to wipe hair or sweating out of your eyes with your bare hands. Don’t do it! Especially in warm, sweaty environments such as the gym bacteria thrives, and it only takes a single nudge to transfer all sorts of microscopic nastiness directly onto your face.
Whether you’re exercising at home, on the trail, or in the gym, keep a clean towel handy for when sweat starts to accumulate. Gently pat your face dry instead of rubbing to avoid irritating skin, and make sure to store your cloth in a (relatively) clean place or pocket. Sweatbands can also do wonders for keeping hair and moisture completely out of your way. Whichever you choose, just make sure it makes it into the laundry basket after every workout!
5. Eat Healthy
If you’re hitting the gym regularly chances are you’re keeping a careful eye on your diet as well, but few realize exactly how much diet factors into skin health. Even if you end up burning away the calories on the elliptical, consuming foods containing sugary high-fructose corn syrup and hormone-heavy dairy products can leave your skin sensitive and breakout-prone.
Make sure you pair your healthy exercise habits with a diet full of vegetables, fruit, and lean proteins to get the most out of your skin and workouts. Many dermatologists also recommend people incorporate omega fatty acids, such as fish oil supplements, into their diet to neutralize some of the undesirable effects of these foods and draw out your skin’s natural luster.
Just follow these five tips and we guarantee that your skin will see the full benefits of a fitter lifestyle! Looking for other ways to keep your skin fresh and radiant? Schedule a private consultation with a certified skincare specialist near you by contacting HSP today!
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