When we want a leaner body, stronger muscles, more energy, or healthier bones and joints, we turn to exercise and proper nutrition. We also utilize these habits to improve the condition and appearance of our hair, skin, and nails. But it’s not often that we consider the after-effects.
Imagine leaving the gym with that post-workout high which has us feeling on top of the world, only to notice blemishes on our skin later on. How could this be? We thought we were doing the right thing for our skin by exercising! Well, we are; physical activity gets our blood circulating throughout the body which helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to skin cells and, in turn, can carry away waste. But sometimes, outside factors can cause sweat and bacteria to linger, leading to breakouts.
Luckily, we can continue to reap the health and beauty benefits of exercise with these simple tips for minimizing blemishes and maintaining glowing, radiant skin post-workout:
How to Avoid Post-Workout Blemishes
Prep Your Skin
One of the first steps towards having clear skin after a workout actually begins before a workout by having a fresh, clean face. Our body’s inherent way to stay cool and avoid overheating is through perspiration, which opens up the skin’s pores to emit sweat. Makeup can pose as a barrier on the skin’s surface that prevents sweat from escaping through our pores. To avoid blemishes caused by clogged pores, it’s important to remove any makeup prior to exercising. Even those who are crunched for time and use their lunch break to fit in some fitness can tackle this by tossing one-step makeup-removing cloths in their gym bag! Think of it this way: If we care enough about our muscles to warm up before exercising, then doesn’t our skin deserve the same attention?
RELATED: The Hottest 2019 Summer Trends
When we’re in the zone, be it running with our favorite pump-up jams blasting through our headphones or feeling zen during yoga or meditation, we don’t always think of the things we are doing subconsciously – like wiping sweat from our face or grabbing the first dumbbell set we can find. Each piece of gym equipment, our hands, and our clothing are all breeding grounds for dirt and bacteria. Be mindful when using gym equipment because bacteria from others can be hiding anywhere; from weights to treadmill buttons, and even bench seats. Be sure to sanitize all equipment before and after using it and avoid using your hands and shirt to wipe off sweat by bringing a clean towel with you instead. Last but not least, always wash your hands before leaving the gym.
Keep Calm & Clean On
Blemishes don’t discriminate – they can appear on our face, chest, back, and so on. That being said, it’s worth emphasizing the importance of keeping all areas of our skin dry and clean. Bacteria flourishes in warm, moist environments, so staying in sweat-soaked clothing long after a workout encourages bacteria to grow. To combat any lingering bacteria that may clog our pores, change out of damp clothing and shower promptly after a workout. For an extra boost to keep blemishes at bay, consider a treatment to help control breakouts.
Go Beyond the Surface
Beauty is only skin-deep, literally, and figuratively. Remember: clear skin comes from within too. Sugar, for instance, can trigger blemishes, so forgo the sports drinks loaded with added sugars, and stick to good ol’ H2O – or better yet, a refreshing collagen drink like Vital Proteins Collagen Water. Hydration can help to support skin’s moisture levels.
Don’t let the fear of blemishes keep you from getting in a great workout. With a few mindful precautions, you can reap all the rewards of a healthy lifestyle, including clear, glowing skin!