A new fitness routine can sometimes result in unwanted skin issues. Here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes that could contribute to skin problems.
Many people avoid working out because they believe that it makes them break out with pimples. Though sweating is an unavoidable side effect of exercising that can contribute to skin irritations and eruptions, there are several steps that you can take to combat this problem.
No makeup: Wearing makeup when exercising can block your pores and is generally not healthy for your skin. Make an effort to remove any foundation before you start your workout. If exercising without makeup is not an option for you, waterproof mascara and lip gloss is okay to wear. Blush and powder should always be removed.
Remove pollutants: If my first tip does not resonate with you, let me share the fact that if you work outside or in a factory, you may have dirt and oils on your skin. If you start your exercise routine with excess oils and dirt on your face, when you start to sweat and your pores open up they can become blocked and cause a breakout. Make an effort to wash your face before you exercise.
Wear a headband: A lot of people sweat right at their hair line and it runs down their face when they are exercising. Wearing a headband helps because it catches the sweat and prevents too much from reaching problem areas such as the T- zone or chin. As a result, you won’t touch your face to wipe away the sweat and add excess dirt to your skin.
Use a towel on exercise mats: Skin problems are not restricted to just the face. The back and shoulders can be prone to breakouts, too. Exercise mats are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Protect your skin by wearing exercise clothing that covers the areas of your body that touch mats and exercise benches, or by placing a towel down before you exercise.
Cleanse, moisturize, hydrate: As soon as you are finished with your workout, wash your face to remove the sweat that is on your skin. Using a facial moisturizer or serum will help to hydrate your skin from the outside. If you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, this will also help with the appearance of the skin.
Protection from the sun: Many people do their work out outdoors. If you are one of them, it is essential that you wear sunscreen or UV protective clothing to help you avoid any skin problems that are caused by sun exposure.
Wear clothing that fits well: Avoid skin irritation caused by chaffing by wearing comfortable clothing that is designed with exercise in mind. Exercise specific fabrics can help to wick sweat away from your body and prevent the unnecessary rubbing of material against your skin.
Change quickly: Now that exercise clothing is quite fashionable it’s easy to get into the routine of running errands in your workout clothes. This can however allow moisture to sit close to the skin. Becasue many fungal infections grow easily in a moist environment, keeping your tight gym clothes on can cause an array of skin issues. After a workout, shower as soon as possible and put on some fresh clothing. If you want to spend the day looking sporty in a comfortable gym outfit, simply bring a fresh one to the gym with you.
Don’t avoid exercise because you are worried about your skin. Be patient and try your best to eliminate any of the problems that may be negatively affecting your skin. If you have spent a long time being inactive and your skin is not used to sweating, it may take a little time for your body to adapt and learn to cope with the new stresses. Just be patient and remember that exercising on a regular basis is essential for your health.
Written by Samantha Clayton. AFAA, ISSA – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness.