Without a doubt, exercising is one of the most important practices for staying fit, active, healthy, and, of course, in shape. Aside from all of these advantages, exercising is an excellent way to improve the glow of your skin as well because it stimulates blood circulation, brings nutrients and oxygen to the skin, and aids in the removal of toxins.
Workout-related breakouts, on the other hand, are a real issue for many people. This is because, while sweating during a workout helps to detoxify the skin, it also allows acne-causing bacteria to thrive by mixing with dirt and oil on the skin.
But there’s no need to put a halt to your workout routine! All you have to do is practice good hygiene before, during, and after your workout.
Here are some pointers to help you avoid post-workout acne.
1. Before working out, wash and start with a clean face
The key to acne-free skin, especially acne-free face, is to wash it before you begin your workout. Most people do this after their workout, but it is far more important to clean your face before working out.
Exercising increases blood flow to the skin. Because of the increased blood flow, the pores enlarge and open up, and wiping away sweat may unknowingly push dirt and grime deeper into the pores, causing sweat and bacteria to become trapped inside. This can lead to clogged pores and acne over time.
Furthermore, sweat has a proclivity to enter your pores and attract dead skin cells, fungal infections, and bacteria, the longer it sits on your face. So, the key to keeping your skin clear of breakouts is to keep your pores open, which means no product on your face while working out.
2. Choose clothing that is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking
Choosing clothing material that is both breathable and well-fitting can also help to prevent breakouts. Breakouts can occur when sweat is trapped under non-breathable fabrics. Furthermore, if your clothing is too tight and irritates your skin, it can push bacteria and dirt into your skin, irritate it, and cause pimples and bumps.
If you have acne on your back or other parts of your body, make sure to wear light, airy, and moisture-wicking gym clothing that will absorb less sweat. T-shirts and joggers made of light and airy fabrics are always a good choice.
Sweat-wicking fabrics are the best to wear during workouts. However, keep in mind that the same type of fabric may not be appropriate for all types of exercises. Here are some of the most common workout fabrics, as well as what they’re best for and when they should be worn.
Suitable for almost any type of workout and in any weather.
Suitable for exercising outside in sleet, rain, snow, or high humidity.
In general, it is appropriate for all workouts and weather conditions.
Suitable for workouts that require a high range of motion, such as yoga and weightlifting.
e. Merino Wool
Cool-weather fabric ideal for outdoor workouts.
Suitable as a high-end substitute for polyester or nylon.
Suitable for cold, wet, and/or windy conditions.
Suitable for use in hot weather and whenever additional airflow is required.
Cotton is a fabric to avoid because it is extremely absorbent, so once you start sweating, your clothes will become heavy and damp. If you sweat a lot or exercise in a humid environment, you might feel like you’re wearing a wet towel. Also, keep in mind that while exercising, you should avoid wearing any other accessories alongside inappropriate and tight clothing.
Many people suffer from butt acne and back acne simply as a result of wearing tight and inappropriate clothing fabrics, and vigorous exercise can aggravate those conditions as sweat accumulates in those areas. As a result, invest in good workout clothes that allow your skin to breathe.
3. Manage and pull your hair off your face
Now that you’ve entered the gym with a clean face, it’s time to manage your hair and keep it from falling on your face.
Natural oils from your hair, as well as hair care products such as serums and hair wax or hair creams, can be transferred to your skin if your hair is constantly in contact with your face. You may not realize it, but hair care products and oil from your tresses can easily transfer to your face, changing the pH of your skin and clogging pores, contributing to acne.
If you have long hair, pull it back and tie it in a bun or ponytail away from your face. Use a hairband to keep your hair out of your face if you have short hair. Wearing a cap during your workout is the best and most recommended step. This will keep your hair in place and prevent it from coming into contact with your face while also allowing you to maintain your gym fashion. Just keep in mind that you must keep your hair back to avoid breakouts.
4. Clean and sanitize the shared exercise equipment
It is claimed that gym equipment contains more bacteria than public restrooms! Isn’t that gross?
Since so many people use the same equipment, again and again, they harbor a vast number of germs that can eventually transfer to your skin and cause breakouts. As a result, it is always a good idea to clean or disinfect gym equipment before using it.
Wiping down equipment before use will help to remove some of the bacteria, dirt, and oils that may end up on your skin.
Whether you use a home gym or a public gym, always clean your exercise equipment. Sanitizing equipment before use will aid in the removal of bacteria and dirt that may make their way to your skin and cause breakouts.
Wipe down free weights, machines, and equipment handles before and after each use. After each use, spray your own items, such as yoga mats, straps, pilates balls, or any other tools, with a cleaning product designed for that purpose and let them air dry if possible.
As previously stated, workout gear is a favorite hangout for bacteria, so make sure to disinfect it before using it with the disinfectant provided by your gym or carry it by yourself. This is especially important if you intend to place your face on communally used equipment like yoga mats. The disinfectant, however, will most likely not kill all of the bacteria on there, but it will be enough to keep you from breaking out caused due to bacteria.
5. Avoid touching your face
When you’re exercising, it can be very tempting to touch your face to remove sweat or an itch. However, it is the most common cause of post-workout acne. That’s because any dirt, dust, or bacteria you pick up from the gym equipment or anywhere else inside the gym can end up on your face, clogging pores and causing skin infections. Keep in mind that the skin on your face is more delicate than the rest of your body.
6. Always use a soft and clean towel
Towels are excellent workout companions due to their ability to absorb sweat, but they are also excellent at absorbing bacteria, oil, and dirt. It’s great to use a towel to blot sweat away during your workouts, but make sure you use a clean towel for each new workout session.
Your gym towel should be absorbent enough to quickly wipe sweat from your face. Look for a quick-drying gym towel that has been specially designed to be more absorbent so that fungus and bacteria do not feed on it.
Remember to bring your own hand towel to the gym or yoga class. Allowing sweat to accumulate in your body increases the chances of getting a fungal infection. Take frequent breaks while exercising to wipe away the sweat.
When we exercise, we frequently use shared machines that contain an unimaginable range of germs and dirt. So, always keep your bare hands away from your face and use a clean, soft towel. This will help you keep germs away.
7. Change your sweaty gym clothes as soon as possible
The longer you wear your workout clothes afterward, the more likely bacteria and dirt will accumulate in your skin’s pores. You should change out of your sweaty clothes as soon as possible after your workout, or the sweat and dirt that has accumulated on your gym clothes could lead to disaster.
Launder your clothes before wearing them again, as pore-clogging oils and dirt can become trapped and transferred to your skin the next time you use them while exercising.
8. Take a quick shower straight away after your gym session
Never skip a shower after a strenuous gym session, no matter how tired you are. It aids in the removal of all dirt, sweat, germs, and bacteria from the body. Taking a bath or shower not only removes germs and bacteria from your skin but also removes body odor and makes you feel more refreshed.
Don’t shower with hot water
Showering after a workout feels like the best thing in the world, whether you shower at the gym or when you get home. When taking a shower, however, pay attention to the temperature of the water. Using excessively hot water may be harmful to your skin. Hot water dries out the skin, and acne thrives on dry, flaky skin. Instead, take a post-workout shower with lukewarm or slightly colder water which helps to avoid back acne as well.
Wash your face and body with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. But, before you do anything else, wash your hands or it may transport the most germs and dirt.
Also, if you have acne-prone skin, we recommend using benzoyl peroxide-containing face and body cleansers. Cutibacterium (formerly known as Propionibacterium) species, an acne-causing bacteria, can be reduced by benzoyl peroxide. If you find that benzoyl peroxide is too harsh for your skin, using a gentle, oil-free cleanser or micellar water to remove bacteria and oils after your workout is recommended.
After a nice and refreshing shower, put on clean clothes and wash the used gym clothes in the washing machine or laundry. Never, ever re-wear the same gym clothes without first washing them. Always clean your gym equipment, including your gym gloves, headphones, and other gym accessories, after each workout to prevent bacteria buildup.
9. Cleanse your face after your workout
You now understand why you should wash your face before exercising. The same holds for post-workout face cleansing. You may be wondering why you should cleanse your face even after taking a shower. This does not imply that you should set aside a separate session to cleanse your face after working out.
You can’t treat your face the same way you treat the rest of your body’s skin. For your face, use a separate, gentle cleanser. You can do all of this while taking a shower. This will save you both time and effort.
Remember that even though you will start with a clean face, sweat and dirt on your face during and after your workout cannot be ruled out. All of that dirt and grime must be removed, which is where your post-workout face cleansing session comes into action.
However, remember to use a moisturizer afterward to allow your skin to rejuvenate and become fresh, clear, and flawless.
10. Consult a dermatologist if your acne has become unbearable
If you’ve taken all of the precautionary measures listed above and are still tired of post-workout acne, you should probably see a dermatologist. Apart from your love of the gym, there could be another reason for your breakout.
If your skin has become discolored or scarred as a result of acne breakouts, a dermatologist can assist you. They can also treat excessive sweating, which may contribute to post-workout acne in some people, and prescribe medications to treat your acne. They will walk you through any treatments that may be available, such as special creams or dietary changes.