No matter what your lifestyle, your age, or your path in life, exercise plays a role in having healthy skin. Your skin oxygenates and cleanses itself through sweating! Increased blood flow from a workout helps bring nutrients to the tissues, creating an opening for the natural exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
However, without proper attention to your skin and without a healthy skincare routine, frequent workouts can also take a toll on your skin. A dull complexion, acne breakouts, and blackheads can be contributed to clogged pores and overproduction of sebum. Keep your skin breathing and glowing naturally by following a few of our tips below!
Clean your skin before you sweat
While some women choose to face the gym or yoga class with makeup on, this does a great disservice to the skin. That is kind of like putting a tarp over your face before starting exercise! When we sweat from exercise, our pores open and allow the unhealthy byproducts of respiration to be released and healthy oxygen to enter. If your skin is not cleaned of dirt, oil, and makeup before sweating, it can get absorbed back inside through the pores. If we take care to clean our skin before we sweat, the skin can cleanse itself naturally.
Keep lip balm close at hand
Cardio and other extended activities involving heavy breathing can dry out the lips. No one likes to stop mid workout to go find some lip balm, but even a short period of dryness can gently damage the lips for a day or two. Keep a handy lip balm in a pocket or a workout bag, or better yet, simply remember to reapply right before you begin your exercise. If you like to exercise outdoors, be sure to choose one with a high SPF protection.
Apply sunscreen for outdoor workouts (but not for indoors)
No matter what time of year it is, if you’re planning an outdoor workout, be sure to wear sunblock to prevent premature aging, damage, or sunburn. However, if you workout indoors, try to avoid lotions or creams containing sunscreen. As we talked about with regards to cleaning your skin before you work out, when your pores open, the sunscreen is getting deep access to your skin. While it’s a risk you have to afford when outdoors, there’s no sense in exposing your skin to those particles while inside. Instead, use a light lotion with all natural and organic ingredients or a nourishing facial oil—something your pores will be happy to drink up.
Avoid touching your face while working out
We all know to be careful about what we touch at the gym or even in a yoga class, which often involves lots of shared props. But even if you’re only touching your own yoga mat, or if you haven’t touched anything at all, avoid touching your face when sweating. As we mentioned before, it’s in a delicate state when you’re working out—pores are open, accepting whatever comes their way. Meanwhile your hands are also sweating, releasing unwanted waste that has made its way to the surface. When you touch your face, you’re taking sweat (waste) and introducing it to your face, where it can be absorbed.
Take a shower after a workout
Don’t let the dirt, sweat, and oil accumulate on your skin after working out where it can be reabsorbed. Wash your body after exercising. Use a gentle, all natural, and organic cleansing soap to help remove the built-up sebum and sweat without stripping your natural oils. Also, exfoliating once or twice a week is highly recommended to keep impurities away and make your skin healthy and glowing. Use a gentle lotion or a body oil to re-hydrate and re-nourish. You may need to reapply oils or lotions an hour to two after exfoliating if your skin is very dry or if you live in an arid climate.
Drink water during and after
Drink lots of water while you exercise and for at least the first hour afterwards. Dehydration can sneak up an hour after a workout, so make sure the rehydration continues post-workout. A lack of water truly affects your skin, making it dry, flaky, and more prone to wrinkling. So, for optimum skin moisture and fewer fine lines, make water your buddy every day.
While beautiful skin makes us look and feel great, good skin care goes deeper than that. Taking care of your skin is tantamount to taking care of your health. Remember, the skin is the largest organ of the body, so make sure that you give it what is due!