How Working Out Affects Your Skin

Women Running in Park

Running can have so many benefits for your health, not just fitness (Source: Pexels)

Many of us can be counted among the masses that work out on a regular basis. Whether you go to your nearest gym or simply take a run in the local park; whether you do it because you enjoy it, because you want to or because you feel obligated to, the effects exercise has on your skin will be largely the same.

How does exercise affect our skin?

Exercising regularly can have a positive effect on your skin in almost no time. Working out increases blood flow, allowing more oxygen to reach the skin cells, keeping them as healthy as possible. Having a fitness regime can also slow or even reverse the effects of aging, as it improves the elasticity of the skin and prevents sagging. Be careful not to exercise too much though, as this can have the opposite effect on elasticity.

Not only does exercising mean that your skin cells will be provided with more nutrients, it also allows for the waste products to be removed. When you sweat, your pores open up, allowing the toxins and dirt to be expelled, thus sweating functions as a cleaning mechanism for your skin.

An additional benefit of exercising for skin is that it reduces stress, which has been known to cause, or at least worsen, skin problems.

Looking after your skin

Women on Gym Bikes

Going to the gym regularly will lead to healthier skin (Source: Unsplash)

Though exercising alone does have benefits, this will be negated if you neglect your skin while working out. So, to ensure that you get the maximum possible effect of your exercise, here are some skincare tips for before, during and after your workout.

Pre-workout skincare

Before you start exerting yourself, make sure that you thoroughly clean your face. Yes, you are likely to work up a sweat while exercising, but that is not an excuse for skipping this activity. In fact, it is a compelling argument on the opposite side, as it will leave you less to worry about after working out, and will leave your skin in a healthier place. If you are wearing makeup, then it is advisable to remove it entirely. Makeup can block your pores, which would trap the dirt in, increasing the likelihood of breakouts or other problems.

Once you have done this, you will want to moisturize. Exercising can leave your skin very dry, so it is best to get out ahead of this potential issue and moisturize to keep your skin hydrated while you workout.

If you are going for a run in the park or completing some other outdoor exercise, then apply some SPF to protect your skin from UV rays.

Mid-workout skincare

Water and Lemon

A refreshing drink of water will not only cool you down while you workout, but it will also prevent your skin drying out (Source: Pexels)

When working out, looking after your skin probably isn’t your main focus. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy things that you can do so that you can properly exercise and implement a skincare regime.

You are going to lose a lot of water through sweating when you exercise, so just drinking water is a way that you can avoid leaving your skin out to dry. If you are at the gym, then it would be best if you avoid touching your face until after you have washed your hands, as the equipment is often covered in bacteria, which is not going to be good for your skin.

Post-workout skincare

Once you have finished, you should use a clean towel to wipe the sweat from your face, as this will be better for it than if you were to use your hands.

clean towels

Using a clean towel to wipe away the sweat after working out is not difficult but has a big impact (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

As you did before working out, you should cleanse and moisturize as soon as possible once you are done, to remove the toxins and sweat that will have built up on the surface of your skin, preventing them from being absorbed. It would also be beneficial to exfoliate, as a build-up of dead skin cells can block pores, preventing dirt from being expelled.

If your skin becomes very red after exercising then it might be an idea to try a moisturizer that contains soothing ingredients such as white tea, chamomile and sea whip, as this helps to calm the skin.

Exercising has a very positive effect on your skin, as long as you don’t trip over your own shoes along the way. If you provide a little assistance, your skin will look after itself while you workout, and you will be able to experience all the benefits of exercising.

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