By Layla Rawji
Have you ever had a solid workout, felt great but then found yourself leaving the locker room with a red blotchy face? Or worse, woken up to a breakout the next morning? If you haven’t been there then you’re either blessed or you haven’t been putting that gym membership to use, which you should, sweating “it” out could do wonders for your skin.
It turns out that perspiring is not bad for your skin at all, in fact it helps create that organic dewy glow that people aspire to have, which is why saunas and steam rooms are such a staple at spas. As your body heats up, your pores respond by opening, allowing it to release some of the heat that has built up inside. At the same time, your body produces sweat which helps flush out any oil and dirt that may have been trapped in your pores. The even better news is that our bodies secrete a natural antibiotic, Dermcidin, which protects our skin from bacterial growth and kicks into high gear when we sweat. So why does our skin get irritated after working out if there are so many benefits to sweating? The irritation, milias, rashes, redness, acne and more could be coming from common mistakes we’ve all probably made.
Before working out
Whenever possible, wash your face and remove your makeup before you workout! The best thing that you can do for your face prior to exercising is cleansing it. Makeup can clog pores which counteracts your pores intentions of actively opening, breathing, and flushing out any dirt that has accumulated in them. If you don’t remove your makeup before you exercise, Dr. Manish Shah says it can settle back into your pores causing more irritation. An easy solution to this is to keep a pack of makeup wipes in your gym bag so you’re always prepared.
While working out
Take your own gym towel with you! Many gyms provide towels, but taking your own allows you to ensure when and how it was cleaned. The gym might use a detergent with ingredients that you are not used to and might even be allergic to, so why take the risk and just take your own with you. Dr. Shah suggests selecting a gym towel that is not too fluffy and plush as that would increase the likelihood of it holding bacteria, so make sure you wash it after every use!
If you have longer hair, it’s best to keep your hair pulled back and away from your face. If you use products in your hair, this is especially important as you do not want that product to get stuck in your open pores. In any case, pulling your hair back will help prevent oils from your hair to clog your pores and cause breakouts. It might be wise to avoid pulling your hair back with headbands though, headbands are great to keep the hair and oil away from your eyes and face but they trap the sweat on your forehead which could lead to a breakout there.
After working out
Wash your face gently post-workout, even with just a splash of cold water, or with cleansing facial wipes if you don’t have access to water or a sink. After a good sweat your skin only needs a gentle cleanse to remove any bacteria and sweat residue that could have accumulated during your workout. Using cold water will help prevent the breaking of any blood vessels and help the skin return to a normal temperature much quicker. After exercising your pores will close again and cleansing it will help avoid any of the dirt from anywhere around the gym or studio to be reabsorbed into your pores. Keep in mind that you really only need a gentle cleanse, in fact Dr. Julie Russak claims that people are far too aggressive with their skin after a workout, there is no need to exfoliate after even the hardest workouts.
Your body is likely dehydrated after a good workout, and so is your skin. Drink enough water to ensure that your body is not dehydrated. In addition, moisturize your skin once your body returns to its usual temperature. Try using a lightweight, non-comedogenic product that will restore your skin’s natural moisture.
Consider adding collagen supplements to your post-workout shake. Collagen is a type of protein in your skin which is key in anti-aging, maintaining firmness and plumpness. As we get older the production of collagen slows down, so why not include it in your post-workout smoothie? If you want to include collagen supplements in a different way try adding it to your coffee!
One of the many benefits of a good workout is the deep sleep you get after. Sleeping longer will give your skin more time to rejuvenate. Make sure you cleanse and moisturize before turning in for the night.
Keep sweating and don’t forget to wash your face! Or your towels!
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions related to this blog or if you have any other questions you would like answered or blogged about! Stay updated on all skin and skincare news with VERI Nano by subscribing to us. Remember, beautiful skin begins with exceptional skincare!
Oh no! I should really hit the gym more 🥺🤦🏼♀️😱