Exercise can be beneficial for our skin. It can shoot up blood flow to the skin cells, getting oxygen and nutrients in, and removing waste which may help in healing. A lot of studies have already found out that exercise can also help reduce stress and increase the happy hormones inside our bodies.
However, going to the gym and release a good sweat can also bring acne-causing bacteria and yeast that can live in your skin which causes more chronic breakouts. If you’re here to find out if exercising causes you to have acne and how to prevent post-workout acne, then we’re here to help you with some tips!
Tips to Prevent Post-Workout Acne
If you think that workout is the culprit, don’t put down your exercise equipment yet. You don’t need to stop exercising. Follow these tips so you can still have clearer skin while playing sports and hitting the gym.
1. Wear loose-fitting clothes and accessories
When working out, it’s important that you wear clean clothes that are loose-fitting and moisture-wicking that won’t cause friction to the skin. Avoid clothing and accessories that are too tight, including bra straps, headbands, or spandex garments that can result in a type of acne that occurs at the spot of repeated friction.
2. Remove makeup before working out
Do you wear makeup going to the gun? We suggest that you stop doing it and cleanse your face and remove makeup before exercising. Why is this is important? When we exercise, an increase in blood flow to the skin occurs. This increased blood flow will make the pores of our skin open. So, if you’re wearing makeup, it can cause sweat and bacteria to become closed in the enlarged pores. If you continue to do this in the long run, it can result in clogged pores and acne. Nobody wants that!
If washing isn’t an option, you may use an oil-free makeup remover towelette.
3. Apply sunscreen when exercising outdoors
If you like to exercise outdoors, it’s recommended to apply a generous amount of sunscreen on skin that’s not covered by clothing before you go out. The harmful UV rays not only cause premature skin ageing and skin cancer but unprotected exposure can lead to breakouts also. How? The sound dries out our skin, causing more oil production. To prevent this from happening, consider applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Opt for formulas that are waterproof and labelled “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic” or “acne-prone” products.
4. Tie your hair
For those who have long hair, you must keep your hair away from your face. Our hair has natural oils and some of our hair care products can be transferred to our skin. Our hair can also confine moisture on our skin which can clog pores and develop fungal growth, leading to breakouts.
5. Never share protective equipment
If you still share protective equipment such as shoulder pads or helmets, it’s time that you stop it. These things are filled with acne-causing bacteria and oil, which can cause you to break out. And since we’re talking about equipment, it’s important that you wipe it off before using it. If you will use the equipment with your hands, of course, then wipe your forehead, you’re only spreading acne-causing bacteria and oil from the equipment to your skin.
This is why it’s crucial that you avoid touching your face all the time with your hands during a workout. All the kinds of oil, bacteria, and dirt you’ve touched can get transferred to your skin only clogging your pores and bring infections to your skin.
6. Sweaty clothes should be changed immediately
Don’t stay in your sweaty clothes forever! After your workout, make sure that you immediately change out of your sweaty clothes, especially if you want to avoid having backne. Also, your exercise or gym clothes should be laundered prior to wearing them again because dirt and pore-clogging oils can get trapped there and be passed on to your skin the next time you exercise.
7. Shower after your workout
If it’s possible to shower after finishing your workout, do it. This will remove any dirt, oil, and bacteria that may have piled up. It’s also a great idea to use face and body cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide to rinse acne-prone skin. This formula can help lessen the amount of the bacteria that causes acne called Cutibacterium acnes.
However, if benzoyl peroxide is too rough for your skin, you may use a gentle cleanser that’s oil-free or micellar water instead to get rid of oils and bacteria after your exercise. If it’s not possible to shower after exercising, you should be able to wash your face at a bare minimum.
8. Consult with a dermatologist
If these tips aren’t really working for you, try to see a dermatologist. If these self-care measures are not effective for you, a dermatologist can suggest medications that can help treat your acne problems. Aside from that, they also know how to heal excessive sweating which adds up to your post-workout acne.
Also, if your skin accumulated scars and discolourations because of acne breakouts.
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