We all know exercise is good for you. Keeping the body moving helps build muscle, reduce fat, increase heart strength and overall make you a happier, healthier person. But did you know, it can also help keep the skin fresh and glowing? It’s true, exercise may be the secret to healthy skin you’ve been looking for. But, it comes only with the proper routine – that’s a proper skin care routine, we mean.
Let’s first look at three reasons why you should exercise for your skin.
Exercising encourages you to get a good night’s sleep. When you work out, even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block, your body uses energy. And when it needs to recharge, it’s eager to get into bed and fall asleep. When you don’t exercise, there’s a higher probability you stay up later, and then if you have to wake up early for work or school, you aren’t getting enough sleep – and that takes a toll on your skin. Your skin does better with a good night’s sleep.
Exercise, especially hard work outs or long runs, help relieve stress. Stress from school, work, relationships, family, etc. can take a toll on the body, and cause your skin to look aged, tired, and for some, cause breakouts. When you exercise, you leave all that stress on the track, at the gym or on the yoga mat, and you resurface with a healthier mind, and healthier skin! In addition to releasing stress, exercising can release endorphins, endorphins make you feel better and more relaxed.
Exercising can increase your blood flow which can lead to healthier skin cells. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body, including to our skin cells. It’s a way to cleanse the skin from the inside.
But, wait, when I work out, I sweat, I get hot, and all of that leads to break outs, outbreaks, or my skin condition flairs up. How is that good for the skin?
That’s a good point. And that’s why we say exercise is great for your skin when you have a healthy skin care routine. There are many things we do when we exercise that are not helping the skin. A proper skin care routine before, during and after, are crucial to getting all the benefits of healthy skin, and none of the pain exercise can cause to skin.
Proper Skin Care before:
We recommend before going for a workout to wash your face. Especially if you plan to exercise after work or at the end of the day. By washing your face, you reduce the amount of dirt and environmental pollution that has collected on the face throughout the day (or night,) and this allows for the pores to stay clear when you sweat. If you suffer from Eczema or Psoriasis, applying a moisturizer before working out helps prevent the salt, from sweat, from getting into your skin, decreasing the risk of a flare up.
If you plan on exercising outside, we recommend you protect your skin with sunblock before you go out. It’s no secret excessive exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, so protecting your skin every time you plan to spend long periods of time outside is the healthier option; keeping your skin radiant for life. If you plan to do a hard workout or you sweat a lot, or if sunblock isn’t your thing, try wearing as much clothing as possible to cover as much skin as possible.
Although unconventional to consider it a part of skincare, the clothing you choose to wear when working out can harm your skin. Tight, elastic gym bras can actually do more harm than good. When working out, the tightness of the fabric will hold heat in, causing the pores to clog, leading to rashes and breakouts on the back or front. Wearing clothing that fits comfortably or is slightly loose, helps the skin breath and reduces the risk of any skin reaction or irritation.
Proper Skin Care during:
Drink water. Stay hydrated. It’s pretty simple but the more you drink, the more your body stays cool, and keeps you from getting dehydrating or hot and red. Getting all hot and red can aggravate your skin, especially if you have a pre-existing skin condition.
Clean the equipment before you use it at the gym. Public places are filled with bacteria, and gym equipment is no exception, in fact in many cases it’s the dirtiest place you will experience all day long. Make sure you use an antibacterial wipe to clean the equipment before you use it. It will keep you from transferring any unwanted foreign bacteria from your hands to your face or body.
Workout in a cool environment. If you do get flushed or overheated when exercising, working out in a A/C controlled environment may help keep you cool and reduce the risk of any pre-existing skin condition to flare up.
Proper Skin Care after:
Avoid touching your face and wiping sweat away. To keep your pores clean and free of bacteria, resist wiping sweat away with your hands and instead use a clean towel to pat your face and neck dry.
Get out of those workout clothes fast. Staying in sweaty clothes long can cause pores to clog, leading of course to breakouts or irritations. It’s important to change right away and to wash off in a warm shower as soon as you can. Rinsing off in cold water will close the pores to quickly, keeping dirt locked in, leading to of course, breakouts and unwanted rashes.
To maintain healthy clean skin, it might be a good idea to use a body scrub, like our walnut scrub, that will help exfoliate the skin and clear the skin of any dead skin cells. We also recommend applying a moisturizer right after to re-hydrate your skin.
If you follow a healthy skin care routine, exercise can do wonders to your body and your skin. Like with everything, trial and error will help you find the proper skin care routine that works for you. These are just suggestions that we have found worked for us, but may not be for everyone. Let us know if you try any of these skin care tips or if you have a few of your own!