Many people think that exercise is bad for the skin because of sweat production. However, this is often not the case. There are many easy ways to keep your skin protected while exercising so that you can enjoy the many benefits of a workout and the positive impact it will have on your skin.
The Benefits of Exercise for Your Skin
Exercise is incredibly beneficial for whole-body wellness, including the health of your skin. These are just a few of the ways that a good workout routine can encourage healthy, beautiful skin:
Increase Blood Flow to Nourish the Skin
When we exercise, the heart beats faster and blood flow increases throughout the body. A healthy blood flow is necessary to circulate oxygen and nutrients to the skin and other areas of the body. Oxygen accelerates the wound-healing process and aids in cell regeneration so that the skin can maintain a healthy, beautiful glow.
Flush Out Toxins
Toxins from pollution, UV exposure, smoking, sugars, and other factors can lead to skin inflammation, acne, early signs of aging, and more. Increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage during exercise helps to remove these toxins from the body to prevent further skin damage.
Chronic stress is linked to many skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and rosacea. Exercise leads to the release of endorphins (hormones that make us feel happy) which can help decrease stress and anxiety. Decreased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) also help the immune system function so that it can effectively combat skin damage and keep your entire body healthy.
Prevent Signs of Aging
Exercise has a compound effect when it comes to wrinkle-free, smooth skin. Decreased stress levels, oxygenation in the skin, and healthy sleep regulation are all essential to maintaining a healthy, youthful look. So it’s helpful to realize that regular exercise also aids sleep quality. As little as thirty minutes of aerobic activities has been proven to help people look younger, so it’s important to find an exercise routine that works for you.
How to Protect Your Skin While Exercising
Exercising has many amazing benefits for the skin, but sweat and other factors can set back some of the positive effects. These are a few ways that you can protect your skin and make the most of your workout.
Skip the Makeup
It’s best to avoid makeup or wear a minimal amount since foundation can clog the pores. When foundation mixes with sweat, the pore-clogging effects are even worse. If you’ve been wearing makeup during the day, give your skin a quick cleanse before exercising to avoid acne and skin congestion.
Choose the Right Clothes
Workout gear that says “moisture-wicking” on the label is a great option. This term means that the material can absorb sweat and dry quickly so that sweat won’t stick to your skin and clog the pores. It’s also a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothing since tight leggings or spandex material can rub against the skin, leading to irritation, especially on areas where body hair has been recently groomed.
Disinfect Shared Equipment
Many gyms have disinfecting wipes available and these should be used on all shared equipment to avoid the spread of germs. When possible, bring your own equipment like yoga mats or exercise bands for added protection against skin bacterial, fungal, and viral skin infections.
Cleanse Your Skin After a Workout
When sweat is left on the skin, it mixes with body oils to create a film that clogs the pores. After your workout, it’s best to take a quick shower to rinse all of the sweat from your body. If you don’t have time to shower, use a gentle facial cleanser or salicylic acid pads to strip away excess sweat and oils on the face.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Jessica Krant is a board-certified dermatologist who understands the positive impact of a thoughtful lifestyle for whole-body wellness, clear skin, and healthy anti-aging. To develop a customized skincare regimen that is right for you and your specific skin concerns, we encourage you to schedule a consultation today at Art of Dermatology at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.
Jessica Krant, M.D., MPH, is a board-certified dermatologist with specialized experience in cosmetic, laser, surgical, and medical dermatology, but above all, Dr. Krant is most proud to be a caring, comprehensive physician who takes the time to listen and send her patients home with a smile.