What Causes Post-Workout Acne?
When we exercise, we sweat. That is pretty much a given. That sweat mixes with the natural oils that are already happening on our skin. Then, dead skin cells, and even a bit of bacteria, join the combo for a really disastrous recipe. All this nastiness works together to clog our pores.
This is one of the few areas of skin care where doctors have nailed down a specific cause and effect. Fortunately, by making this discovery, they’ve been able to offer up some suggestions on how to prevent post-workout acne. Here are the top six tips for keeping your skin acne-free.
1. Do Some Prep Work
You would never walk out your front door and take off on a 10-mile dead sprint. You would never try to bench press 400 pounds your first time out. If you take the time to prep your body for an important workout, why wouldn’t you do the same for your skin?
Make sure you remove any foreign chemicals from your face that might later impede your pores. Take off any makeup, moisturizer and/or sunscreen.
You’ll want to use lukewarm water (not scalding hot) to rinse your face. Use an antibacterial face wash to clean the skin. Don’t ever scrub your face (this could cause more irritation). Gently apply the face wash with your hands (an abrasive washcloth or other exfoliate is not necessary).
When you are done rinsing, switch the water to cold. Slap a few handfuls of cool water on your face. This will help close the skin pores and possibly prevent foreign objects from entering.
2. Dress Appropriately
If you are prone to body acne, choose your wardrobe wisely. You’ll want to purchase garments that are made of breathable fabrics. This will help wick the moisture away from your skin. Some items of clothing are even made with antibacterial yarn.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Dry off During the Workout
Sometimes, a towel is a necessity at the gym. You don’t want to be sweating all over the equipment; fellow exercisers frown upon that.
When you do need to stem the tide of perspiration, do it gently. Pat your skin to remove excess sweat. Don’t vigorously rub the skin; that can make irritation (and acne) worse.
4. Clean Up
In a perfect world, you would strip down as soon as the workout finishes, hop in the shower, and immediately rid your body of all that sweat, oil, and dead skin.
However, that isn’t always possible. At the very least, wash your face. Use the same pre-workout washing routine.
Also, don’t go anywhere until you have changed out of your nasty, sweaty clothes. The shower can wait awhile (if need be), but a change of clothes can’t.
Water is a miracle worker when it comes to health. If you don’t have enough H2O in your system, everything will suffer – your skin included. After each workout, make sure you replenish the fluids you lost.
6. Sleep it Off
Clogged pores and spreading bacteria are bad for the skin. Sweaty workouts aren’t the only times these acne-inducing things happen though. They also happen when you sleep.
By grinding your face into a pillow for several hours each night, you can cause new breakouts to happen and worsen the ones you have. Instead of sleeping on a regular pillow, swap it for a beauty pillow. This new product is a great natural skin care solution. And since all-natural skin care treatments are generally preferable to toxic, chemically-laden ones, a beauty pillow is a great solution!
Have you been suffering from post-workout acne? Did you find any of these tips helpful? Do you know of any other suggestions we left off the list? Let us know!
About the Author: Martha Delgado is a health, fitness, and beauty writer. She often writes about weight loss, natural healing, and home remedy beauty suggestions. If you want to debate health topics with her, look her up on Twitter or Google+!