New year means new fitness goals. Unfortunately, our new workout regimen can interfere with our skin. For some, starting a new workout routine can trigger breakouts, skin irritation, dehydration and acne. So how does one prevent this precarious situation?
Most of us know to wash our face after a workout and clear the sweat & bacteria. But, it’s actually more important to cleanse your face BEFORE exercising, particularly if you go to the gym after a full day at work. At the end of the day, you have an accumulation of dirt, oil, bacteria, environmental pollution, skincare products and makeup (if you wear it) already on your skin. Combining sweat with all of those elements significantly increases the potential for clogged pores, skin irritation, and acne.
Additionally, you can increase acne irritation through "acne mechanica” - acne caused by heat and/or rubbing on the skin. It’s most commonly caused by the friction from wiping your face with a gym towel or shirt, back acne from your sports bra, or rubbing athletic equipment, like a chin strap. Blotting your face with a clean towel (not rubbing), wearing cotton or moisture wicking fabrics, and showering directly after exercise are all very helpful to combat this phenomenon.