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In many ways, exercise can be very good for our skin. It can increase blood flow to the skin cells, bringing in nutrients and oxygen and taking away waste, which may aid healing.
It can also help reduce stress.
However, working up a good sweat in the gym can also create the perfect conditions for acne-causing bacteria and yeast to thrive, causing more frequent breakouts.
To prevent post-workout acne, dermatologists recommend the following 10 tips.
1. If you wear makeup, remove it prior to your workout.
During exercise, there’s increased blood flow to the skin. This increased blood flow causes the pores to open. Makeup can cause sweat and bacteria to become trapped in the enlarged pores. Over time, this can lead to clogged pores and acne. The OrganiClear acne cleanser is amazing at removing even hard to remove make-up like mascara.
2. If your hair is long, pull back and off your face.
Natural oils from your hair and hair care products can be transferred to your skin.
Hair can also trap moisture on your skin.
This can clog pores and encourage fungal growth, contributing to breakouts.
3. Wipe down any equipment that's going to be touching your face.
This includes headphones, if you enjoy listening to music or a good podcast during your workout.
You should also clean any sports equipment that touches your face, such as helmets or googles.
Cleaning them will remove oil, dirt, and bacteria that can contribute to breakouts.
4. Wipe down shared exercise equipment.
While it would be great if everyone was as considerate as we are and cleaned after each use, we can’t really count on this.
Wiping down equipment prior to use will help remove some of the troublesome bacteria, dirt, and oils that might find their way onto your skin.
5. Avoid touching your face with your hands.
Any bacteria, oils, or dirt that you’ve touched can get transferred to your skin, contributing to clogged pores and infections.
6. Wear loose, moisture-wicking clothes.
Sweaty, tight-fighting clothes trap moisture next to your skin, creating the perfect conditions for acne flares.
A type of yeast commonly found on the skin called Malassezia, can thrive in the warm, moist conditions created by your workout clothes.
When this yeast overgrows on your skin, it can cause a type of fungal acne to develop.
This type of acne is often misdiagnosed as bacterial acne, leading to improper treatment.
7. Change out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible.
Be sure to launder your clothes before wearing them again since pore-clogging oils and dirt can get trapped there and be transferred to your skin the next time you work out.
8. Shower after your workout.
If possible, shower after your workout to remove any sweat, oil, dirt, and bacteria that may have accumulated.
Dermatologists recommend using facial cleansers that contain salicylic acid to cleanse acne-prone skin followed by acne lotion containing benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide can reduce the amount of an acne-causing bacteria called Cutibacterium acnes.
If it isn’t possible to shower after your workout, at a bare minimum you should be washing your face.
So here’s to you and your journey towards healthy, and beautiful clear skin.
We believe your skin has the power to make you feel better day in, day out - to change your life and the lives of those around you. There’s really no limit to what we can accomplish when we feel and look our best.
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