Exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital by increasing blood flow. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body including the skin.
In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products including free radicals from working cells.
Contrary to some claims, exercise doesn’t detoxify the skin. The job of neutralizing toxins belongs mostly to the liver. But by increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system.
Exercise also helps maintain healthy levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol. A high cortisol level could lead to breakouts or cause the collagen in your skin to break down, which can increase wrinkles and sagging.
The main danger if you exercise outdoors is sun exposure. Therefore, the best advice is to avoid exercising outside during peak sun time, between 10 am and 4 pm.
If you have to work out during peak sun time, wear sunscreen. Don’t count on sunscreen alone to protect you. For added protection, wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible and a hat to shade your face, if possible.
If you have dermatological conditions such as acne, psoriasis,etc, you may need to take special care to keep your skin protected while exercising. But don’t let skin problems prevent you from being active.
Eczema or psoriasis sufferers can experience flare-ups after strenuous activity, usually caused by salt from perspiration. It is recommended to apply moisturizer before a workout session to provide protection from sweat. Moisturize your arms, legs and areas with skin creases such as underarms and groin.
If possible, exercise in a cool environment to reduce perspiration and the need for showering after exercise. Washing too often can cause dryness and exacerbate eczema and psoriasis.
For rosacea sufferers, increased body temperature and the skin flushing that accompany exercise can cause flare-ups. The best strategy is to exercise in a cool environment. One of the best choices is swimming since the water keeps skin cool even when you build up body temperature.
Exercise is good for your body and your mind, but it can easily wreak havoc to the appearance of your skin if you don’t care for it properly.
Pre And Post Workout Skincare Tips
- Before you start your workout, wash your face to remove any makeup.
- If you’ll be exercising outdoors, be sure to apply an even layer of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF30 or higher beforehand.
- Avoid touching your face during your workout, exercise machines are a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Once your workout is finished, avoid wiping sweat away from your face with your hands. Use a clean gym towel to pat your face and neck dry instead.
- it’s important to get out of your sweaty clothing and wash your face/body as soon as possible.
- Once your face/body is clean, follow-up with the rest of your skincare routine.