Did you know that breakouts or acne are primarily a result of poor workout hygiene? While exercising is good for your health and benefits the skin, it also might be why you are constantly breaking out. However, knowing that these breakouts are not enough reasons to quit exercising is best.
There are several benefits of exercise to the body. It promotes blood flow, which leads to an even skin tone and a lighter complexion. When you exercise, there is circulation to the skin cells, which takes away waste from the body. The increase in blood flow while exercising serves as nourishment for the cells. Our heart muscle helps circulate blood and oxygen to every body part. It means that the cells get well nourished, and the improved vitality leads to effective cellular repair. Exercise helps to reduce stress. When we undergo stress, it can be one of the causes of skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis and rosacea. Exercising also helps to balance the hormones in the body. For most women and men, hormonal imbalance is one of the major factors for acne breakouts and flare-ups. Exercising at least three times a week helps promote the skin’s collagen level. It reverses and prevents ageing. These benefits leave you wondering about the connection between exercising and breakout, right? Here is what you need to know.
While exercising the body, we work out a good amount of sweat. During exercise, blood circulation makes our pores open. When we ignore our skin after working out, it becomes easier for bacteria and yeast.
Here are ways to prevent and treat workout-related breakouts.
1. Remove your makeup
If you are going to the gym straight from work, it is best to remove your make-up. The facial wipe can cause friction, which may damage the skin barrier. Using cotton pads and shea butter(or any body butter) to remove your makeup is best. Not only will it leave your face clean, but the shea butter will also offer more benefits to the skin. You can also wash your face with a gentle cleanser before proceeding with your gym routine. While at the gym, the body experiences increased temperature, and we sweat, which makes the pores open. The makeup particles block the pores and can lead to an acne breakout. Next time you are about to work out, ensure your face is makeup free.
2. Cleanse your face after a workout
Most people head out of the gym immediately after working out. Washing your face after yoga, stretching or running on the treadmill is an essential routine for the skin. Remember, you sweat while working out, leaving the pores open. If there is no running water available, it is advisable to use cleansing facial wipes. If water is accessible to you, that is fine. Use a gentle cleanser and scrub your face lightly to remove all dirt and grime. Wash with running water (either cold or lukewarm). Pat your face dry with clean cotton towels. Let the rest of your face air dry, and remember to use a light moisturiser if you go out into the sun after working out.
3. Use clean towel
Towels are bacteria and dirt-absorbent. When packing your gym bag, wrap up a separate towel for cleaning the face after working out. There are several antibacterial face towels you can get for working out. Also, ensure to change or wash every towel you use. While a clean face towel is essential, towels are generally great for working out. Using a dirty towel on other body parts can lead to skin conditions.
4. Put the hair off your face.
Did you know hair products can cause whiteheads and other types of acne? Hair can trap moisture on the skin and clog the skin leading to acne breakout. It is best to pack your hair into a bun or pull it back during a workout. When the hair is off your face, it allows you to exercise better and saves you from an acne breakout.
5. Clean equipment before use
No, not all equipment but the ones that will touch your face. An equipment like your headphones gets to your face while working out. It could be a yoga mat, helmet or goggles, which you can share with others while working. Keeping these things clean removes the bacteria, dirt and oil from getting in contact with your face.
6. Wear moisture-wicking clothes
Moisture-wicking clothes are fabrics that serve the purpose of drawing moisture away from your body. Your workout clothes need to be loose and comfortable. When you wear tight clothes, it traps moisture, and this serves as a home for Malassezia, a type of yeast. Malassezia breeds in moist and conditions and can grow on the skin. The yeast leads to acne flare-ups. People often mistake this yeast infection for an acne breakout when self-diagnosed, leading to poor treatment. To avoid yeast infection on the skin, it is best to wear moisture-wicking clothes.
7. Shower after workout
It is essential to take a shower after working out. It helps to remove dirt, bacteria and grime. An intense workout can also cause a serious rash on the body. By taking a shower, you protect your skin from the chances of a breakout. Using a body bar free from chemicals and harsh products is best. You can choose a good and body-friendly bar to take a shower after working out.
8. Avoid touching your face.
It can be a lot of work to keep your hands away from your face, and you are not alone. However, constantly touching the face can be a way for the acne-causing bacteria to spread. While working out, any bacteria, oil or dirt you touch can be transferred to your face through your hands. It is one of the main causes of infection and clogged pores. Using a facial wipe to clean your hand or wash to get rid of bacteria is best.
9. Visit a dermatologist
If you have post-workout acne which won’t go away with the following tips, it is best to book an appointment with your dermatologist.
10. Take out the sweaty clothes.
Sweaty and wet clothes keep the pores clogged after working out. The sweat and the bacteria that happen after working out disrupt the skin’s microbiome. Not only do sweaty clothes cause acne breakout, but they can also lead to dermatitis. The sweaty clothes will also cause sweat to get trapped in the folds of our skin. It is best to change out of sweaty clothes and take a shower to change into loose and comfortable clothes.
By having healthy gym hygiene, you can prevent acne breakouts. Apply sunscreen before you go to the gym, as it will give extra protection to your skin. If it is possible, avoid sharing protective equipment like helmets and goggles while working out. Create a post-workout skincare routine that you can apply consistently. After working out in the morning, take a shower and proceed with your skincare products.
The fear of an acne breakout should not keep you from working out. Once your hygiene is checked, your skin will be healthy and glowing.
Do you know anyone who struggles with workout acne? Share this article with them today!