How Exercise Benefits Your Skin's Health
We're already familiar with the various ways exercise can benefit your physical, and mental health but it also plays a key role in healthy skin. Any form of movement that promotes healthy blood circulation helps to keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant too.
Some of us have skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis that require more special care and consideration when exercising, but that shouldn't prevent you from being active. This is because, by increasing blood flow exercise helps reinvigorate and nourish skin cells, keeping them healthier. Blood carries important nutrients and oxygen to cells throughout the body, including the skin. Not only does it carry in vital nutrients, it helps carry out waste, including nasty free radicals from our skin. Exercise doesn't work like kidneys and doesn't 'detoxify' our skin but it does aid in flushing out cellular debris from our systems.
Exercise has also proven to lessen stress so skin conditions that are commonly triggered by stress can be improved by increasing the amount of exercise in a routine. Conditions such as acne and eczema are often associated with stress and can see enhancement. Although the linkage between stress and skin conditions is still being researched, studies show that the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin, are influenced by stress hormones.
Skin Fitness Tips
- If you're exercising outdoors, especially during peak sunshine hours be sure to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen that is water-resistent and reapply if you are sweating large amounts as sweating does alter the effectiveness of the sunscreen. If you have naturally oily skin or problems with acne, choose a gel or oil-free product or the latest innovation, powder laced with SPF protection.
- If it's the opposite and it's rather cold or windy outside, remember to cover your skin as much as possible. The harsh winds and temperatures can strip your skin of moisture and even result in wind burn in extreme cases.
- After exercising be sure to cleanse your face and neck skin. Wipe away perspiration with a gentle cleanser. When sweat is left on the skin it can easily clog pores and lead to breakouts. The salt in sweat may also effect sensitive skin types.
- Chaffing can be a regular problem for athletes, especially if they're prone to acne. The irritation and increase sweating caused by tight-fitting workout clothes can lead to a form of acne called 'mechanica'.
- To avoid this, we suggest wearing moisture-wicking clothes to keep the skin dryer and cooler. Wearing looser fitting clothing can also help with this.
- Always shower immediately after exercising
- Make sure your skin is clean before exercising. Remove any makeup beforehand as to not clog your pores.
- Different forms of exercise work well for different skin types. For rosacea sufferers, increased temperature and the skin flushing that accompany exercise can cause flare-ups. The best strategy, dermatologists say, is to exercise in a cool environment. Swimming is one of the best options for people who have rosacea, eczema, or other sensitive skin conditions.
What's your workout routine? Does it jive well with your skincare practice and health? Tell us your story! We love hearing from you!