Working Out Not Breaking out
There’s nothing quite like a good working to boost your energy, improve your health, lower stress and of course keep your body looking tight! The only problem is consistently breaking a sweat can lead to consistently breaking out. Not fun!
When you workout, sweat mixes with dead skin-cells, oil and bacteria that clog your pores resulting in breakouts. Don’t worry, there are ways to ditch the work out, break out.
What to do Before:
If you wear makeup to the gym, you will definitely want to cleanse your face before exercising. We’ve touched on Acne Cosmetica before on the blog. A gentle exfoliating cleanser used before will allow your skin to breathe while you workout. My favourite one is Clear Clinical brand (pictured below.) I keep one in my bathroom and one in my gym bag at all times. It’s a gentle exfoliant so it helps get my makeup off and is soothing on my skin.
During: The Common Culprits
The Yoga Mat: Ahh yoga class. During class every inch of your body makes contact with the mat. Your palms are in constant contact during vinyasa’s and down dogs. When you then touch your skin, your transferring bacteria that can cause breakouts. Child’s pose becomes a little less relaxing if it leads to stressful forehead breakouts! If you don’t bring your own mat, you can’t be sure how often the studio is cleaning theirs! Make sure you’re showering immediately after class. If you can, bring your own yoga mat and be sure to wipe it down post workout. You can even mix some vinegar, water and tea tree oil to spray a mat with post practice or buy one here.
Weights and Equipment: I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times I’ve been to the crowded gym and hopped on my favourite treadmill or gone to sit on a bench and it’s been covered in someone else’s sweat. YUCK! Not only is this inconsiderate but its pretty disgusting… who wants to be exposed to the toxins someone else is sweating out. I don’t care how crazy I look, I will wipe down weights, treadmills, benches with a sanitising wipe pre and post workout. This will reduce the amount of bacteria and oil you expose yourself to in the gym as well.
Sitting in Sweat: I have totally been guilty of this one. You’re leaving your workout class, when suddenly your phone rings and you need to pick up your boyfriend at work, or grab the kids from school, or pick something up at the grocery store before it closes – so you rush off pre-shower. Sometimes, life gets in the way of a luxurious post workout steam and shower. But think about it, if sweat residue on our skin causes breakouts, what does sitting in it do? If you can avoid it, shower right after class. If you do need to rush off and run some errands, at least aim to get changed and out of those sweaty clothes ASAP. While working out it can help to wear looser workout attire or something with sweat-wicking fabric.
Helmets or Athletic Pads: I spoke with our go-to dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett, who said she sees a lot of athletes and fitness enthusiasts with acne. “If you play a sport, for example hockey, or something where there is a helmet or chin strap, you’ll notice breakouts congested in that area. Make sure to carry an exfoliating wipe or clinical wipe to cleanse the areas of the excess oils that have accumulated in those areas.” says Dr. Kellett. It is also a good idea to disinfect your sporting equipment regularly. I would even suggest spraying it with a natural anti-bacteria spray.
What to do Post Workout:
Wash Your Face! Ideally you want to hop in the shower and cleanse both your face and body, to prevent breakouts all over. It’s ideal if you can use an exfoliating cleanser on the face and any body parts that are prone to acne. This will help to eliminate excess bacterial and oil and cleanse the skin, before you either put on a medicated acne treatment, or moisturiser.
Keep up the great work in the gym! And don’t sweat the small stuff 😉