If you think that your workout might be the trigger for your acne, chances are you are right. Intensive physical activities cause excessive sweating that leads to clogged pores and the thrive of bacteria. However, it doesn’t mean you have to quit and forget about fitness goals – with adequate hygiene, you can enjoy both clean skin and a toned body. Regardless of whether you go to the local gym or exercise at home, here is how you can prevent acne when working out.
What Is Acne?
To start with, just a couple of words about the nature and symptoms of acne. This skin condition is a result of hair follicles being plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne mainly affects teens, or, it starts at this age and can last for many years. Whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples are the most common “perks” of acne, and the worst part of the story is that when one group of pimples start to heal and show an intention to leave your face, the others just pop up out of the blue.
Acne doesn’t only show up on the face but also on the upper back, shoulders, and chest. The signs can vary greatly and depend on the type of acne and the severity of the condition, often forming painful pus-filled lumps under the skin. Apart from emotional distress, acne can cause scars, which then become a real problem. Fortunately, today people can take advantage of a wide range of effective acne treatments, some of them are intended to prevent the development of this condition, others to clear the skin and fight the complications such as scars, keloids, as well as a variety of skin changes including hyper- or hypo-pigmentation. By the way, the best products are specifically designed to treat the unique acne problems for those with Black, Latin, Asian, and white skin.
Before Your Workout
You have probably heard this a myriad of times, but we are going to say it once again – clean skin is healthy skin. The first thing you should do before your training session is to remove your make-up. That’s why the morning is the best time for exercise as among other things, you do not have the need to remove something you haven’t put on yet. Just a heads up, there is no need to wash your face with soap or liquid cleanser. If you have make-up, it is enough to remove it with a dedicated formula (use only oil-free products), and if your skin is still untouched after sleep, just leave it this way, do nothing.
If you are planning to run or exercise outside, the use of sunscreen (also oil-free) is mandatory because the sun is known for drying skin, forcing it to produce more oil, which, again, results in clogged pores. When buying sunscreen, make sure you get a quality product because many of them are too heavy on the skin and do not let it breathe properly. You do not want sunscreen to worsen your problem but help you solve it, hence avoid cheap creams because they can cost you dearly later on.
Last but not least, always wear clean workout clothes. In fact, it is highly recommended to wash it after every session, because the sweaty fabric is a great environment for the growth of bacteria.
During Your Workout
It is a great idea to have at hand a clean towel to wipe off sweat from your face, neck, or shoulders. Make sure not to rub the skin because rubbing is a sure way to cause inflammation. Be careful and avoid touching your face with your hands, because it is the easiest way to bring more bacteria on the face skin. Make sure to fix your hair properly, so you do not have a surge to constantly put some naughty locks away from your forehead.
If you use any protective equipment such as a helmet, shoulder pads, or similar stuff, bring your own, do not share those items with other people. Despite what you may think, they are chock-full of someone’s oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. In the case that it is not possible and you have to share the equipment, clean your skin immediately after you put it off with a cleanser or wipe towel you usually use.
After Your Workout
The best thing you can do is to take a shower straight away to rinse out sweat and oil together with all the bacteria. It doesn’t matter whether you use soap or a special cleanser, the product of your choice should be mild and, once and again, oil-free. Perhaps, you will have to try several different products before you will be able to find your perfect fit, the one that cleans your skin superbly but makes it neither oily nor dry.
If you wonder whether you can apply makeup immediately after your workout, the answer is yes, of course, if you have previously washed your face. Even though we often hear that makeup is the main reason for various skin problems including stubborn acne, this is just one of many misconceptions. If you use quality products, they can’t trigger or worsen acne but improper hygiene can. Needless to say, if you are too lazy to remove makeup before going to bed, you can expect all kinds of skin problems. The same is true for a workout. Anyway, just as with everything else in life, moderation is key, and too much makeup on a daily basis can be harmful. Skin needs time to regenerate and it can do it better when left clean and uncovered.
Whatever your fitness goals, acne can’t stop you on the way towards your dream body. Physical activities are real mood-boosters that make people healthier and happier, therefore quitting your favorite sport or canceling a gym membership is simply not an option. Continue working out and enjoy every minute of your training sessions because now you know what to do before, during, and after workouts to keep your acne under control.