"Gym Glow Or No?": How Exercise Affects Your Skin

Working out can be a great way to stay healthy and fit. We all know that exercise can have a major impact on our health and well-being, but what about our skin? Does sweating it out in the gym leave you looking more beautiful or more bedraggled?

There's a lot of conflicting experience out there about whether working out hurts your skin or makes it glow. Most people report a glowing skin after. But for some, it's also the reason why they experience skin problems.

Here's what you need to know about how working out affects your skin:

woman working out

Does exercise help fight acne?

You might have noticed that after you run or do any other form of strenuous exercise, your skin looks brighter and feels more supple. That’s because exercise increases blood flow and blood delivers oxygen to your muscles and organs—including your skin—which makes it look healthier. That is what we call the "post-workout glow."

Aside from that, exercise itself is really a good tool for combating breakouts. Physical activity helps to even out blood sugar levels in your body, which are instrumental in managing acne. Exercise can lead to the release of endorphins, which reduces stress and inflammation in the body and improves skin conditions.

Moreover, exercise can also help improve your self-esteem and confidence, which can make you feel better about yourself and less stressed out about having a breakout.

Does exercise worsen acne?

There are numerous benefits to exercise but here's the catch: it's also true that exercise can make acne worse.

While sweating is a normal part of exercise, it can be harmful to your skin if you're not properly prepared. As you sweat, your pores open up and release sebum into the skin. This makes it easier for bacteria to grow on your face and cause inflammation.

Excessive sweating is also a common cause of skin chafing in areas where clothing may rub against the skin, such as underarms or inner thighs during exercise. When the skin becomes wet and rubs against clothing or other fabrics repeatedly, this can lead to an irritating burning sensation—and even serious skin chafing if no relief is provided immediately.

Tips for post-workout skincare

So, does working out hurt your skin or make your skin glow? Well, it depends. If you're not taking care of your skin before and after a workout, you cannot expect it to look great.

To keep your skin healthy and glowing, follow these tips:

  • Rinse off as soon as possible after a workout. Sweat and dirt can clog your pores, which can lead to acne so it's important to wash off right away, especially if you've been working out outside in the heat or humidity.
  • Use a gentle cleanser. After exercise, the pores on your face are open and vulnerable to contamination by dirt and sweat. Use an unscented cleanser that doesn't contain harsh ingredients like alcohol or fragrance to cleanse away sweat and grime without drying out your skin.
    CLn Sportwash provides all over body cleansing during strenuous activity, including workouts at the gym and contact sports like football. Its concentrated formula deep-cleans pores by removing dirt, sweat and oil. It is also free of steroids, antibiotics, parabens and other chemicals, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.
  • Avoid harsh exfoliants. The same goes for abrasive scrubs or chemical peels, they can irritate post-workout skin even more than usual! Stick with gentle exfoliants and don't use microfiber cloths (which feel like little soft towels when you rub them against your face).
  • Choose moisturizers with hydrating and soothing properties to help protect the skin barrier and draw moisture into the upper layers of skin where it's needed most after exercising.
  • Make sure you practice good hand washing hygiene before and after every workout. That means washing your hands with soap and water, or using a sanitizer if you don't have access to water (or just want to be extra cautious). This will help prevent any bacteria from getting into the pores of your skin which can happen if you touch gym equipment that has been contaminated by someone else's sweat.
  • Avoid touching your face while working out as much as possible because it can lead to breakouts. If you have to touch your face like wiping off sweat, use a face towel and make sure that it’s clean before using it.

Key Takeaway

Exercising regularly will give you an overall healthy glow from within and make you feel better about yourself. But if you want to avoid acne breakouts and enjoy your workout session, make sure that you use the right products and take care of your skin before and after

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise explicitly stated, the content on this blog, including all articles, videos, and other information, is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice, or other institution.