Does exercise and sweating make acne worse?
Is it OK to exercise, or does sweating make acne worse?
"I'm going to the gym," I tell friend. "With your acne? It will only make it worse!" This stopped me in my tracks.
I knew that if I didn't use my acne treatment regimen I would breakout, but that's caused by sweat and toxins drying on my skin- not the exercise itself.
Exercise does not cause acne, dried sweat on your skin does. Insufficient ventilation is the number one cause of exercise related acne. When you let sweat dry on your skin- and forgo your acne treatments- it provides supple amounts of food for the bacteria on your skin, and- you guessed it- zits. Your sports equipment needs its own kind of acne treatment too. Padding that doesn't breathe or rubs and causes heat rash will also aggravate acne. From my volleyball playing days I can remember how our kneepads would begin to smell after only a few practices.
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The dirt and sweat that accumulates on sports equipment also encourages acne. One of the best acne remedies is to wash those kneepads, and for hard plastic equipment, wipe it down with alcohol; this keeps the acne causing bacteria off.
Also make certain you're wearing something cotton and breathable under any hard or shiny plastic, or for items that don't breathe, you could consider lining it too.
Wearing makeup seems to be the new fad in work outs. Working out with makeup on has got to be one of the stupidest reasons to have acne that I have seen. It's nothing short of vanity. Want to pickup guys? Do so at the gym juice bar AFTER your workout (and a shower that includes your acne treatment!). No one looks 'sexy' during a workout that is actually useful to you. The sweat that forms on your skin shifts your makeup directly into your pores, causing some serious acne. Do your acne treatment and your skin a favor; when you hit the gym, check your ego at the door.
Sunscreen as acne treatment can be a double edged sword if you use the wrong one. You have to be certain to use a brand that is safe for your face and at least a spf 15. There's a myth going around too that says sun exposure is a good acne treatment- it's NOT! Failure to use sunscreen will cause dryness, at which point your face will begin shedding more skin cells. The cells shed not only on the surface, but inside the pores as well. Without protection the sun will cause worse acne.
Finally, hit the shower! The best defensive acne treatment is an offensive acne treatment. If your sweat dries on your skin it's going to start clogging your pores. You need to get into the shower before your sweat dries on your skin. If this is not possible, at least wash your face with your acne treatment regimen before you head home to shower, to prevent facial breakouts. Don't forget that with exception of sensitive skin areas, you can perform your daily acne treatment regimen anywhere you get acne, not just your face.
Your body knows what it needs, and anyone that tells you not to exercise is telling a fib. Just remember to keep clean after your workout and all should be well. If you do find that you still experience breakouts, consult your dermatologist, he/she will have some other acne treatment options for you.