Skin care after workouts is vital to your skin health. After an exhausting workout, it can be tempting to get some rest rather than take a shower!
However, doctors from the American Academy of Dermatology warn that your skincare habits around your workouts can create a huge impact on your skin. In fact, certified dermatologist Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand explains that good hygiene during workouts can help prevent the clogging of pores and the spread of harmful bacteria, which can cause unwanted effects on your skin. (1)
So while exercise can do wonders for your health and skin, your hygiene habits can dampen that beautiful post-workout glow.
Here’s why you need to care for your skin after exercising—and how you can do it:
How Workout Habits Affect Your Skin
Poor Workout Habits Can Cause Acne
If you’re getting acne all over your body, your exercise routine is not to blame. Sweat and friction are actually the culprits that cause acne all over your body. This is case in point why skin care after workouts is so important. (2)
Additionally, athletic gear or tight clothing can irritate your skin due to the friction that it causes. Unfortunately, sweat can aggravate this even further by irritating your body acne and causing it to worsen.
Excess Sweat Can Make Your Skin Dry
Aside from inducing acne, excessive sweating can also harm your skin by making it drier. If you skip your post-gym shower, the build-up of sweat on your skin can cause your sweat glands to clog. This then overheats your skin and makes it dry up. It can even trigger sensitive skin conditions, such as eczema and allergic responses. (3)
Redness Due to Skin Sensitivity
Eczema is not the only skin sensitivity that you may experience after your workout. Many individuals with sensitive skin may have a bright red complexion once they start exercising.
This occurs because your skin is carrying out its function in helping your body cool down. The redness itself is a reflection of the dilated vessels in your skin that are working hard to cool your internal organs.
4 Ways to Care for Your Skin After a Workout
Reduce Redness by Cooling Down
Skin redness is a sign that your body is trying to cool down from your workout. Though this isn’t harmful to your skin health, you may feel self-conscious to step out of the gym with post-workout redness. Fortunately, you can easily eliminate this problem by helping your body cool down.
Use cold water to wash your face and body during your shower. If this isn’t enough, you can take a cool washcloth to help your body regulate its internal temperature. Pat your skin gently with the washcloth until you see the color fade out.
Hit the Showers to Eliminate Sweat
First things first: don’t skip the shower. It may seem cool to wear your workout clothes outside the gym because of the athleisure trend, but skipping that post-gym shower can lead to the development of skin issues.
As previously mentioned, the build-up of sweat, germs, and bacteria during your workout are the main causes of exercise-related skin problems. And bacteria can become a very serious issue that you don’t want in your life!
So, taking a shower is your first preventive step against these common skin concerns. You can even use body wash with the acne-eliminating benzoyl peroxide to prevent acne breakouts on your body. Afterward, you should change into clean clothes to prevent sweat from sticking to your skin again.
Follow a Proper Skincare Routine
After taking a refreshing shower and cooling yourself down, it’s important to protect your skin by providing all the nourishment that it needs. Though this may sound like a lot of commitment, following a proper skincare routine serves as a preventive measure so that you can enjoy glowing and clear skin.
Fitness enthusiasts can easily combat rough, dull, and acne-prone skin by accomplishing a skincare routine for dry skin. To start, you need to wash your face with a cleanser that can remove any acne-causing dirt or bacteria from your workout. Then, you can protect your skin against dryness by applying a moisturizing treatment all over your face. (4)
Apply Sunscreen Before Heading Out
Before heading out, protect your skin by applying sunscreen all over the exposed areas. Though you may have applied sunscreen before you went to the gym, your sweat can wash away the product and leave your skin vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. And UV exposure will not only cause sunburn and dryness but also increase your risk of getting skin cancer.
Thus, our article on healthy skin emphasizes that you need to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15. However, if you plan to stay outdoors the whole day then you need a heavy-duty sunscreen with about SPF 70 for maximum protection.
Your post-workout routine has a huge impact on your skin’s appearance and overall health. To prevent the development of skin concerns, like acne and dryness, remember to take a shower, cool yourself, follow a skincare routine, and apply sunscreen after your workout. Prioritize skin care after workouts and you will thank yourself in 20 years!
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- American Academy of Dermatology. (2020, January 14). How to break a sweat, without causing acne; American Academy of Dermatology. GlobeNewswire News Room. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2020/01/14/1970530/0/en/How-to-Break-a-Sweat-Without-Causing-Acne-American-Academy-of-Dermatology.html
- Palmer, A. (2022, August 25). Why do I have bacne or body acne? how can I treat it? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/back-acne-and-body-acne-15483
- Beyer, A. L. (2021, June 29). Is there a link between Eczema and sweat? Greatist. https://greatist.com/eczema/eczema-and-sweat
- Recharge regimen for dry, dull skin: Rodan + fields®. Recharge Regimen for Dry, Dull Skin | Rodan + Fields®. (n.d.). https://www.rodanandfields.com/en-us/shop/recharge-regimen/p/RCRG001