Acne And Exercise: Tips To Reduce Breakouts

You love exercising and the benefits it has on your mind and body. Working out has helped you manage weight, build and tone muscles, enhance performance, boost energy levels, and improve mood. Yet, there’s just one problem – it’s horrible for your acne-prone skin. Although exercising effectively releases toxins, increases blood flow, and relieves stress-related acne, working up a sweat can also breed bacteria that lead to acne breakouts. 

Of course, you don’t want to stop working out, but dealing with the pain and discomfort of an acne flare-up isn’t ideal. Luckily, there are some steps you can take before and after your exercise routine to maintain clear skin. 

Wear The Appropriate Workout Attire

To help prevent acne, always wear the appropriate workout clothing.

Exercising in clothes that are too tight can cause acne breakouts. Tight clothing keeps the sweat in close contact with the skin enabling bacteria to clog your pores. It’s best to wear loose-fitting workout gear to keep the sweat off your skin. Another option is to select specially-designed athleticwear that absorbs moisture to keep your skin dry during your workouts. 

Remove The Makeup

Wearing makeup while exercising isn’t ideal, especially if you struggle with acne. The increased blood flow causes your pores to open up when you work out, enabling the makeup, dirt, and bacteria to clog your pores. While you may want to look good on your way to the gym, it’s best to wash your face before beginning your routine. 

Be Mindful With Lotion And Haircare Products

Many of the products used on the skin to maintain moisture are acne-causing culprits during workouts. They can cause the body to produce more sweat which clogs your pores. You want to keep products like lotions, oils, and creams to a minimum and pt for lightweight products that don’t leave your skin or hair feeling heavy and oily. That includes sunscreen. If your workouts take place outside, keep a travel size mineral sunscreen on hand to protect your skin from the sun and reduce acne breakouts. 

Wipe Down Equipment & Accessories

Before starting your workout, wipe down the equipment and accessories (helmets, goggles, earbuds, etc.) to remove any bacteria or dirt that may already be present. You can clean them with mild soap and water or disinfectant and antibacterial wipes. Ensuring that you complete this step can prevent existing acne-causing bacteria from contacting your skin. 

Keep A Towel Handy

To help prevent acne after exercising, keep a towel handy
Keep a towel handy

Sweating goes hand in hand with exercising. While you can’t prevent it, you can reduce its impact on your skin. One suggestion is to keep a clean towel nearby during your workouts. Simply blot or dab your skin to keep it dry and reduce acne breakouts when you start sweating. 

Shower After Working Out

The longer you allow sweat, dirt, and bacteria to remain on your skin, the higher the chances are of an acne flare-up. Taking a shower post-workout is the most practical solution to maintaining clear skin as any dermatologist will tell you. Avoid hot water as it can cause more skin problems. Instead, opt for a lukewarm or cold shower. Get out of those sweaty clothes and gently scrub from head to toe. If you’re unable to take a shower right away, at the very least, wipe yourself off with moist towelettes and change your clothes. 

Treat Your Skin

After showering, the final tip to keep your skin clear is completing your everyday skincare routine. Wash, exfoliate and moisturize your skin using products best suited for your skin type. Then lotion the rest of your body to prevent dry and itchy skin. If you’re prone to acne breakouts, stick to lightweight lotions to avoid making your skin feel too oily. 

Don’t let the pain, discomfort, and embarrassment of acne flare-ups keep you from working out. As exercising is essential for optimal health and wellness, it’s not something you want to give up. Instead, it’s best to use practical solutions like those listed above to keep your skin clear and reduce the likelihood of a breakout. If these steps don’t make a difference in your skin’s appearance, consult with a doctor or dermatologist about other solutions and treatment options.